With Green on the shelf, the Cavaliers coasted to a 15-point win in Oakland, and perhaps more importantly, Andrew Bogut got hurt, removing a critical component of Golden State's rotation for the final two games of the championship series.
Often times in sports, we say that certain players or teams played in the wrong era.
Thompson then pushed the ball ahead to Durant who with two dribbles waltzed into the lane for wide-open dunk after JR Smith decided that leaving Curry unattended for a wing three would be a bad decision.
For the better part of three quarters, the Cavaliers fought with the heart of a defending champion, battling to assert themselves and prove they aren't going to be one-and-done. The only teams to rally from 2-0 down in The Finals are Boston (over the L.A. Lakers) in 1969, Portland (over Philadelphia) in 1977, Miami (over Dallas) in 2006. and of course, Cleveland over the Warriors last season.
It may not be the easiest welcome-back game, but the Warriors finally have their leader back at the helm. Golden State equaled its four turnovers from Game 1 in the initial 5:12.
The themes of Game 2 were established early. Kerr has still been able to attend practices and coaches' meetings.
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Even though Cleveland star LeBron James is no fan of the short-sleeved look, it is one that works for the Cavs.
While James has delivered - he had a triple-double Sunday night in Game 2 - it hasn't been almost enough against the superstar-laden Golden State Warriors. They wore the black shirts while winning Game 7 of the NBA Finals previous year, and will try the look again Sunday against Golden State.
Kerr received a standing ovation from the Warriors faithful and hugged Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue as he walked out to the court before the game.
"When we get stops, we have to get out". The Warriors squandered a 3-1 lead to the Cavs a year ago to miss a repeat.
Kerr has been sidelined since the first round of the National Basketball Association playoffs after experiencing complications from back surgery. Bottom line, the Cavaliers were engaged in a way they were not in Game 1, and while the Warriors pushed the lead out to 10 at the 2:41 mark, their eight first-quarter turnovers - double how many they had in all of Game 1 - helped the Cavaliers stay close.
(If needed) Sunday, June 18: Cleveland at Golden State, 8 p.m.
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