CLEVELAND -- For the second straight postseason, the Cleveland Cavaliers return home to Quicken Loans Arena in an 0-2 hole in a best-of-seven series against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
The Cavaliers fell into the 0-2 deficit with a 132-113 loss to the Warriors in Game 2 of the 2017 NBA Finals, which was played in front of a capacity crowd of 19,596 raucous fans at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, Sunday night.
“They play well at home,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. “They won their first two games like they're supposed to. Coming to a tough environment, we knew it was going to be tough, but they won the first two games. We get a chance to go home now to our home crowd, where we play well also. So they won two games. Now, we’ve got to go home and regroup.”
Despite Cavaliers small forward LeBron James matching Los Angeles Lakers great Earvin “Magic” Johnson for the most triple-doubles in NBA Finals history (eight), the Warriors set a new NBA record with their 14th straight postseason victory.
The Warriors have not lost in the postseason since their three straight setbacks against the Cavaliers in Games 5-7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
“They took care of business on their home court,” Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson said. “Now, it’s time for us to go home and win Game 3. We have two games under our belt, so we have to get used to it now. We’re going home, the crowd will be behind our back and we have to go out there and play.”
Throughout the 2017 NBA Playoffs, the Cavaliers have lost just once on their home floor, in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics, and over the last two years, they have experienced defeat at Quicken Loans Arena on just two occasions.
And after being on the wrong side of lopsided losses in Games 1 and 2, the Cavaliers know they are backed into a corner with little room for error.
“I feel like every game in the Playoffs, and especially in The Finals, is a must win,” power forward Kevin Love said. “Being down 0-2, going back home, we have to take care of business. We have to defend our home court, and we are in the same position that we were in last year, and going into Cleveland, we're going to need to make it a tough environment for them, and it definitely is a must win.
“As an entire unit, we need to play better, and I think we are capable of doing that. And if going home to Cleveland and playing in front of our crowd isn't enough for you, then you might as well go home. So I think we will be ready to go.”
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