NBA Finals 2018

NBA Finals 2018: Steph Curry leads Warriors to 122-103 win over LeBron and Cavs

Steph Curry's surge in the final quarter leads Golden State Warriors to a 122-103 win against the Cavs to take a 2-0 series lead in NBA Finals 2018

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles at The Oracle Arena

Warriors start Game 2 with help from Magee

JaVale McGee was handed his first start in the NBA Finals – his 10th career playoff start – at The Oracle for Game 2. His impact at the start of the Third Quarter in Game One convinced head coach Steve Kerr to go with Magee ahead of Kevon Looney. It was a decision that paid dividends. Magee won the tip before the popular center made two dunks in the opening 50 seconds to raise the volume in the Bay Area. Klay Thompson scored five points before the first timeout to rubbish concerns about his leg injury from Game One. The Warriors maintained a four-point lead throughout the opening 20 minutes of Quarters One and Two before Steph Curry sunk a delightful three on the back of a handful of field goals from Shaun Livingston to give the Warriors an 11-point advantage. Magee was back on the court in the Second Quarter and produced more quality minutes, with a field goal and a dunk. The Warriors led 59-46 at the break thanks to Curry, who hit a succession of three-point efforts.

Cavs rally in Third Quarter, Warriors toil

The Warriors are known for their impressive point-scoring in the Third Quarter. But it was the Cavs, and not the home team, that consistently put points on the board. Kevin Love hit two three pointers to close the gap and Tristin Thompson made two layups. Klay Thompson threatened to end Clevelands’ purple patch when he hit a three on the break. But LeBron James responded with a 29-foot three pointer with Kevin Durant defending the No23. The Cavs managed to get the deficit down to five points with three minutes of the Third Quarter to go, but Thompson hit another three to keep LeBron and co at arm’s length. It was a good night for Love, though. The No0 scored 22 points, just short of LeBron’s 27-point effort.

Kendrick Perkins gets Curry pumped

Curry clashed with Kendrick Perkins on the Cavs bench after his three point attempt at the end of the Third Quarter. Perkins left a leg stretched out with Curry retreating. A stare-down ensued. This prompted a flurry of Tweets deriding Curry’s attempt to take on the Cavs big man given Perkins is 6ft 10ins and far more intimidating than the two-time MVP. The No30 answered on the court with two big three-pointers to give the Warriors a 96-83 leading heading into the final 10 minutes. He came up with another big three points from 28 feet with the shot clock on the verge of running out. Curry finished with 30 points having made eight three-point attempts.

Thompson milestones

Klay Thompson was featuring in his 100th career playoff game on Sunday night. He suffered a leg injury during Game One following JR Smith’s sliding challenge. It threatened to rule Thompson out of his first playoff game since the Warriors won their first NBA title. However, he returned to the team to make him the first player in franchise history to appear in 100 postseason games with the Warriors. Thompson made his 297th playoff three during Game 1. He hoisted himself above LA Lakers legend Kobe Bryant into sixth place on the all-time playoff threes list. Thompson hit a number of vital threes in the Third Quarter to protect the Warriors’ lead.

JR Smith reaction

JR Smith presumably have wanted to take to the court as soon as possible to get Game One out of his system. However, the Warriors supporters weren’t going to let him forget about his poor-decision making at the end of regulation time on Thursday evening. He got the loudest cheer when both teams were introduced to The Oracle. He was greeted with shouts of MVP when the shooting guard had the ball in his hands. However, the 33-year-old didn’t appear fazed about he hit a big three pointer and secured a steal at the other end of the court.

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