Published: Thu, June 08, 2017
IT | By Amos Hawkins

Warriors' Steve Kerr returns to the bench, will coach Game 2


Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates with guard Stephen Curry (30) during the second half of Game 2 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, June 4, 2017.

They were the two best offensive players on the court in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, but try as James did, he could not unseat the veritable All-Star team his Cavaliers faced.

They have to do it quickly or Cavs-Warriors III could end up being a much shorter series than the first two editions of the Finals trilogy that the teams split. Through two games, the Cavs have allowed 115.2 points per 100 possessions. Golden State has been punishing Cleveland in transition, and the way the Warriors have blown open the first two games by scoring in bunches hasn't just taken a physical toll. "If we play that game in Cleveland, we're not winning". Curry recorded his first career postseason triple-double with 32 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, while Durant contributed 33 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and five blocks and is suddenly on the cusp of his first ring.

Curry and Thompson, who finished with 22 points, also connected on four 3-pointers apiece for Golden State, which shot 51.7 percent overall. Each time the camera turned to him the crowd went wild, and they gave Kerr a standing ovation when the lineup was announced.

Based on the first two games, the next National Basketball Association champion appears a done deal.

You may have heard they came back from 3-1 to beat the Warriors a year ago.

"I don't want to get into the "what we need to do better" right now. I know that's kind of late on my career, but it's really when I started to focus on the importance of getting a stop and rebounding and taking care of the ball". I talk to them.

"We have to figure out a way to get him going early".

"The second half, we settled in and just tried to play better and played tougher on defense", Durant said.

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Green is one of the more emotional players around these days, a bit high strung but always willing to offer an opinion.

But it should be remembered that the Cavaliers were 2-0 down at this stage previous year, and they didn't take Sunday's loss lying down. But James (eight), Love (six) and Irving (six) combined for 20 of Cleveland's final 26 points of the half, narrowing the gap to three by the intermission.

"It's been a great run, but none of that matters unless we can finish the job", said the Warriors' head coach, Steve Kerr. "They're a different team".

With the Splash Brothers Steph Curry and Klay Thompson leading the way, the Golden State Warriors have been well-known for their 3-point shooting ability.

Neither does he, and KD's menacing, 6-foot-9 presence from the paint to the perimeter is a big reason unbeaten Golden State is closing in on its second championship in three years.

"His defense was fantastic, and we needed it especially with Draymond out", Kerr said of Durant.

The first two games have shown a stark difference in depth.

James tied Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson for most NBA Finals triple-doubles with eight. "It's a small game and you got shooters everywhere and you have to be able protect the rim with LeBron coming downhill, with Love posting up and Draymond's on the bench".

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