What a perfect way to end a weekend: with an NBA Finals game. In tonight’s match, the Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to even the series against the Golden State Warriors, after they were put away in the latter stages in Game 1. They can bounce back and send this series home to Cleveland tied, or, they’ll be facing an unfortunate 2-0 deficit. Let’s get right to it…
8:00 pm – We’re welcomed to The Oracle out in Oakland by the familiar ESPN trio of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson. Tonight, the Cavs will need a better effort from their supporting cast, who were quiet in Game 1 while their Big Three did most of the work. For the Warriors, it was the exact opposite, as Steph Curry and Klay Thompson struggled through most of the game, with their role players having their back and leading them to victory.
8:03 – Before the National Anthem, there is a moment of silence for The Greatest, Muhammed Ali. Afterwards, Carlos Santana and his wife perform the National Anthem.
Moment of silence for Muhammad Ali. pic.twitter.com/IuE54HKwhW
— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) June 6, 2016
Despite his heyday being before our time, we here at The Bonus were always big fans of Muhammad Ali, and like everyone else, we’re saddened by his loss.
8:11 – The Cavs win the opening tip, and Game 2 is underway! Kyrie Irving quickly hits a jumper to put the Cavs up, 2-0.
8:14 – Draymond Green hits a little floater to finally get the Warriors on the board, nearly three minutes into the game. They trail, 4-2.
8:19 – We’ve got our first time out with the score Cleveland 10, Golden State 8 with 5:54 left in the first quarter. It’s been a pretty ragged start so far, with both teams making and taking advantage of each others errors. One of those errors was this crummy alley-oop pass by Steph Curry to Andrew Bogut, which resulted in LeBron James passing John Stockton for fourth all time on the Playoffs steals list…
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) June 6, 2016
8:28 – Steph Curry works his way to the bucket for a layup, and it leads to a Cavs time out as the Warriors are starting to build a little bit of momentum. The score’s Golden State 17, Cleveland 13 with 2:57 to go in the opening quarter. Andrew Bogut’s been hosting a Block Party, and everyone’s invited. In fact, he’s rejected four shots from the Cavs already.
8:35 – ESPN shows us a shot of Andrew Bogut heading down the corridor to the locker room. It didn’t look like he was hurt, but maybe the cops came and broke up his Block Party.
8:37 – The first quarter comes to an end with the score Cleveland 21, Golden State 19. For the first time in his career, LeBron James was scoreless in a Finals first quarter, but he has three rebounds, five assists and three steals in what’s been a slow paced game. Each team is shooting under 40% as the Cavs have slowed down the game, which is probably what they’re going to have to continue to do if they want to win.
8:41 – Draymond Green knocks down a three to lead off the second quarter and give the Warriors a 22-21 lead.
8:43 – LeBron James spins around Draymond Green for a layup, and his first points of the game. It inspires the Warriors to take a time out with the score Cleveland 26, Golden State 22 with 10:37 left in the first half.
8:45 – …and we quickly have another time out after Draymond Green finds Shaun Livingston for a dunk to end a fast break that started with a LeBron turnover. Now the score’s Cleveland 28, Golden State 27 with 9:36 left in the second quarter. Despite the slow pace, the Warriors are quite capable of quickly cutting into any lead the Cavs may build, especially while getting opportunities in transition after turnovers.
Defense ➡ Offense (ABC) pic.twitter.com/GeJUY8didv
— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) June 6, 2016
8:54 – Harrison Barnes blocks a layup attempt from Kyrie Irving, and it results in a wedgie! You should know by now that a wedgie is when the ball gets stuck between the backboard and the rim. It happens every now and then on a jump shot that goes awry, but Barnes just came up with a rare Block Wedgie.
8:56 – Oh dear. Harrison Barnes comes flying in for an offensive rebound and hits Kevin Love in the dome with his elbow. While Love is writhing on the ground, Draymond Green takes the ball in for a layup, and is able to avoid landing on Love, who is under the hoop. He then does his patented muscle flex, which is pretty lame to do considering he just scored on a guy lying on the ground, but whatever makes you feel good about yourself, Draymond. Anyway, a time out is called as the Warriors have taken control of the game and brought it up to their sort of pace. As a result, the score’s Golden State 41, Cleveland 30 with 5:09 left until halftime.
9:00 – Kevin Love remains in the game, and Draymond Green hits a free throw, as he was fouled on that last layup, something I forgot to mention because I was too busy bitching about his muscle flex. By the way, the Warriors are on a 20-2 run and lead 42-30 after the Cavs got off to a good, pace-dictating start.
9:02 – Man, another time out with the score Golden State 42, Cleveland 35 with 3:35 left in the first half. The Cavs appear to have weathered the big run from the Warriors. Let’s see if they can get back in gear and close the gap.
9:06 – Oops, Steph Curry commits foul number three, but the Warriors are leaving him in the ball game with 2:39 left in the first half. LeBron hits two free throws, and the Cavs trail 48-37. Let’s see if Curry can avoid foul number four.
9:08 – Curry’s now off to the bench as the Warriors don’t want to risk him getting into further foul trouble.
9:12 – We’ve made it to halftime with the score Golden State 52, Cleveland 44 after Cleveland ends the second quarter with a 7-0 run. It feels like things could be much worse for the Cavs, but they’re only down eight. Draymond Green had a strong first half, leading the Warriors with 18 points. Steph Curry had 12 points and 7 rebounds. Meanwhile, LeBron James is well on his way to a triple-double with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals.
For awhile, the Cavs seemed to have found a way to control the pace, as they slowed the game down and held the lead. However, the Warriors defense locked in, and forced turnovers that allowed them to ramp up the pace, build momentum and steamroll their way to that 20-2 second quarter run. That being said, the Cavs are not too far behind, but they’ll have to fight hard to wrestle control of the game back from the Warriors.
9:16 – It’s time for Today in NBA Playoff History, brought to you by Basketball-Reference!
Back on June 5th, 1977, the Portland Trail Blazers won their one and only NBA title with a 109-107 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 6. After losing the first two games, the Blazers won four in a row to secure their title. Julius Erving scored 40 to lead Philly, and George McGinnis put in 28 points, but the Blazers had a much more balanced effort that got them to a close win. Bob Gross led them with 24 points, while Bill Walton and Lionel Hollins each chipped in with 20. That Blazers team was a hard working bunch, and one of the more beloved champions in NBA history.
9:31 – Kyrie Irving gets into the paint for a layup, finally scoring the first points of the second half after about a minute and a half of sloppy basketball. It gets the Cavs a little closer, but they still trail, 52-46.
9:32 – We have a quick time out after Draymond Green has no choice but to call one after he’s trapped on the ground by some Cavs defense. The score’s Golden State 55, Cleveland 46 with 10:04 left in the third quarter.
9:38 – Steph Curry commits his fourth foul as he gets Richard Jefferson on a layup attempt. He’ll head to the bench with 8:42 left in the third. We’ll see if the Cavs can cut into the lead with him on the bench after Jefferson goes 1-2 at the line to make this a ten point game with Cleveland behind, 57-47. Meanwhile, Kevin Love, who took an elbow to the dome in the first half, is off to the locker room.
9:42 – Andre Iguodala finds Leandro Barbosa under the hoop for a layup, and the Warriors are doing just fine with Curry on the bench. In fact, the score’s Golden State 67, Cleveland 53 with 5:58 left in the third quarter as the Cavs call a time out with the game starting to get away from them.
9:47 – A time out as things continue to go down the drain for the Cavs. It’s Golden State 69, Cleveland 53 with 4:48 left in the third quarter as the Cavaliers just can’t find a way to get much of anything going.
9:49 – LeBron gets called for back to back travels. If LeBron’s getting called for travels, you know it’s just not going to be Cleveland’s night.
9:58 – The third quarter’s over, and so might be the Cavs chances tonight. The score’s Golden State 82, Cleveland 62. Nothing has been working for Cleveland, and they’ve tried all kinds of things tonight, including playing LeBron at center during the third quarter.
10:02 – Steph Curry knocks down a three to start off the fourth quarter and extend the Warriors lead to 85-62. Meanwhile, after going small in the third quarter, the Cavs are trying something new here in the fourth, by playing Tristan Thompson alongside the scarcely seen Timofey Mozgov. Either that, or they’re already putting up the white flag.
— NBA (@NBA) June 6, 2016
10:03 – Steph Curry takes control of a lose ball and throws it down the court to Leandro Barbosa for a layup. On the ensuing possession, Barbosa gets a steal and takes it all the way in for a layup, and the Cavs take a time out as things continue to get dire for them. The score’s Golden State 89, Cleveland 62 with 10:12 left in the ball game.
The Blur. pic.twitter.com/M4zI9oewPX
— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) June 6, 2016
10:06 – More bad news for the Cavs…
Kevin Love has been diagnosed with a concussion and has entered the NBA protocol.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) June 6, 2016
…hopefully one day he’ll get to have an injury free Playoff run.
10:13 – We’ve got a time out as this game continues to get more and more out of hand. It’s now Golden State 93, Cleveland 64 with 7:08 remaining. Both teams are officially over this game, with Steph Curry leaving at this time out, and the Cavs already rolling with the likes of James Jones on the floor.
10:25 – Another time out with the score Golden State 100, Cleveland 75 with 2:10 remaining. While we were watching this debacle, we apparently missed out on a pretty killer Mexico/Uruguay match in the Copa America Tournament. This is a basketball blog, though, and we will not abandon our duties, no matter how horrible a game might be.
10:33 – Game 2 comes to an end with a final score of Golden State 110, Cleveland 77. Damn.
Draymond Green caught fire for the Warriors, finishing with 28 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists to lead the way and set the tone. LeBron had 19 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 steals and 7 turnovers in what turned out to be an embarrassing night for the Cavs. They tried making all sorts of in-game adjustments, playing LeBron at center, going with Mozgov and Thompson in the fourth quarter, and each one worked out more poorly than the last. It seems as though the Warriors have them completely figured out, and now Cleveland might have to continue on without Kevin Love.
The 2016 Finals are starting to get out of hand. I really thought it’d be more competitive than these first two games have been. Maybe the Eastern Conference really is just that horrible, and the Cavs are no match for the Warriors. We’ll see if they can rebound with the next couple of games in Cleveland, but the Warriors are looking like they might sweep this thing. We’ll find out on Wednesday night, and you’ll read all about it here Thursday morning. Until then, enjoy the start of your week.