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Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Finals 2016

Cleveland Cavaliers Wins the Series 4-3
GAME SUMMARY
Game 1: GSW 104 CLE 89
Game 2: GSW 110 CLE 77
Game 3: CLE 120 GSW 90
Game 4: GSW 108 CLE 97
Game 5: CLE 112 GSW 97
Game 6: CLE 115 GSW 101
Game 7: CLE 93 at GSW 89
GAME 7 played on June 19, 2016, CLE wins title 4-3 on the score of 93 (CLE) – 89 (GSW)
Game 7 Western Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

The Cleveland Cavaliers have completed a historic comeback being down 1-3 in the series and climbing back and winning the Championship. Lebron James finished with a triple double with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. Kyrie added 26 points and most importantly the 3-point shot that buried the Warriors and winning the first Championship for the city of Cleveland in over 50 years.

The first half can be summed up into – “we are waiting for Lebron or Steph to take over; instead Draymond Green is taking oer as the leader with 22 points, 8-10 fg, 6 rebound and 5 assists giving the Golden State Warriors a 49-42 lead.

JR Smith started the second half strong —

JR Smith opens the second half with what looks like a 3-point shot but was just inside the arc to cut the lead to 5, 49-44. Thompson quickly responded with a 5 point swing to give the Warriors their largest lead early in the second half — 54-46. JR Smith however responded with another 3 point-shot scoring his 8th point in less than 3 minutes to cut the lead to 54-52. Irving then followed up with a driving layup from the right side corner to even the score at 54-54 prompting Steve Kerr to call a timeout.

Stephen Curry 3-point catch and shoot.

Cleveland was looking to pull away from game when they pushed the lead 68-61 with a 3 point shot by Irving. With a Barnes and Thompson free throw the Cavs were still leading at 70-63 until Draymond Green fished a foul from Lebron from beyond the arc and making 3 free throws. With another 3 point shot and a driving layup from Livingston tied the game at 71-71.

With over 6 minutes remaining is when we first saw signature pulling and hitting a 3-pointer almost 5 feet away from the top of the key against Irving to tie the game at 83-83, followed by fellow Splash brother Klay Thompson hitting a very long 2-point shot from the left side to give them a 2-point lead.

With 3:36 remaining we already had 20 lead changes and 11 ties. There was a back and forth possession with no one able to score until Kyrie Irving hit the 3-point shot with 53 seconds remaining that proved to be the go ahead basket for winning the game.

Game 7 Western Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

We predicted this was going to be short series as the Golden State Warriors won a dominating 73-wins in the regular season, have survived the OKC onslaught and the fact that the East is an easier conference, the Warriors should be coasting along in the series. For a moment there it looked like that when the Golden State Warriors led the series 3-1 before the epic performances of Lebron James and Irving, pushing the series to Game 7.

This is going to be an epic performance and NBA ticket sales are proving it as StubHub reports.

NBA Game 7 should get you all excited as we might not see a comeback of epic proportions like this in a long time.

A cool and funny video on the intensity of both teams.

In an interesting article it questions whether the Warriors can recover or Lebron closes this out

Whatever the outcome be sure to seat, relax and get ready for a full 48 minute of NBA Game 7 action.

GAME 6 played on June 16, 2016, CLE win ties series 3-3 on the score of 115 (CLE) – 101 (GSW)
Game 6 Western Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

LeBron James led the Cleveland Cavaliers to Game 7 becoming only the third team to push Game 7 after trailing 3-1 in the series.

James had a back-to-back 40 plus point game scoring 41 points, a performance only achieved by a few, Kyrie Irving scored 23 and winning Game 6 against the Golden State Warriors 115-101.

Cleveland’s hasn’t had a Championship team since Dec. 27, 1964 and Lebron James could bring one to the city, he has this to say — “One more game left. I’ll play it anywhere.”

Lebron had a monster game aside from the 41-points he contributed 11 assists, eight rebounds and most notably have outshined Stephen Curry in the game.

The Warriors will be tested and the legacy of their 73-win season will be amplified if they close out the series or be outshined with Lebron and his ability to rally the team back from 3-1/

Stephen Curry became the first MVP to be ejected out of the game due to fouls and Steve Kerr has this to say — “He gets six fouls called on him, three of them were absolutely ridiculous. As the MVP of the league, we’re talking about these touch fouls in the NBA Finals. I’m happy he threw his mouthpiece.”

Curry has this to say — “I didn’t think I fouled either Kyrie or LeBron. It was obviously frustrating fouling out in the fourth quarter of a clinching game and not being out there with my teammates. So it got the best of me, but I’ll be all right for the next game.”

Cavs coach knows what Lebron is capable of — “It’s LeBron being LeBron. He’s one of the greatest of all-time. Our back was against the wall and he took it upon himself, him and Kyrie, they put us on their backs. They’ve got us to where we wanted to be – and that’s Game 7.”

Ayesha Curry is in the news again because of her comments against the NBA saying it was rigged to push the series to Game 7

Game 6 Western Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

The Cleveland Cavaliers have managed to push the series to Game 6 and while they have a chance to become the first team in history to climb back from a 3-1 deficit I doubt they are thinking about that right now. The team is focused on playing it one game at a time and while the idea of making history is sweet they have more things in minds like making sure to keep the Warriors from closing them out at home.

In a similar situation last year where the Warriors managed to close the series at Game 6 in front of the Cavaliers home-court, the Cleveland will come out strong and determined led by Lebron James and Kyrie Irving.

There are only two teams in history that was able to push Game 7 after trailing 3-1 in the series and the Cavs have a good chance of becoming the third team.

As James put it — “I think that’s always been the case in the postseason. I think it also depends on the way you played and where you played at. I think that helps. But, I mean, both teams in this series have shown that they can win on each other’s floor, so I don’t think that matters much.

I feel like we’ll be prepared for Game 6. Our coaching staff has given us another great game plan. They’re going to give us some more insight on what needs to be done tomorrow morning at our shootaround, and it’s up to us as the guys to go out and execute that.”

Irving puts it this way — “Not really even thinking about that game (Monday night) right now. As soon as the buzzer ended in Game 5, all I could think about was preparation for Game 6. Watched some film and the next 24 hours would be just solely focused on how we can be better for Game 6.

As a competitor, you want to sustain it. Obviously you want to have a big night, especially playing on this platform. But sometimes it can go either way, and you have to be willing to play through both ways and remain confident in what the game plan is offensively and defensively. And if we stay that course, we feel pretty good that we’ve put ourselves in a great position to be in the game. So for us, it’s just about coming out with that aggressive mindset, pushing in transition, and getting easy opportunities that we can take advantage of.”

It is not yet clear if Kevin Love would play in Game 6 and how effective he could be. Kevin Love has not gained footing in this series and even missed Game 3 because of concussion protocol but when Lebron and Irving are playing the way they play Kevin’s big contributions might not be needed.

Draymond Green is expected to be back from suspension on a flagrant foul slapped on him against Lebron James.. He notes that he believe they could have won the game if he wasn’t suspended.

Curry has this to say — “When you have two guys play the way they did, you obviously notice because you see the ball going in the basket every time. But for me, you kind of get a little edge about you trying to go back at them, but you’ve got to do it within the system of our offense and how we go about things and not get the temptation to abandon that just to get into the little back-and-forth, one-on-one. So that’s kind of my approach. You enjoy those kind of moments, even though we didn’t get the win. But an opportunity to go right back at them.”

GAME 5 played on June 13, 2016, CLE wins trail series 3-2 on the score of 112 (CLE) – 97 (GSW)
Game 5 Western Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

The Warriors started strong in Game 5 with a score of 9-3 on a Curry 3 point shot, a jumper by Klay and two layups from Iguodola. Cleveland would not let the game slip by with Lebron James hitting the 3-point shot off an Irving assists for a score of 8-12. When the Warriors were threatening to widen the lead anew Lebron James had a 5-point swing — free throws and three points to even the score at 22-22 with 4:07 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Second quarter was tight with both teams going back and forth scoring on multiple lead exchanges. One highlight was a dunk of Shaun Livingston to tie the score at 38-38.

This quarter also saw Klay Thompson scoring from every corner of the court.

Lebron James wouldn’t let his team go down, the half ended tied at 61 all.

The third quarter is when the Splash Brothers re-emerged in Game 4 however in Game 5 it was the tandem of Lebron James and Kyrie Irving as they have quickly built an 8 point lead on a dunk of Lebron (30 points) on the 8:07, then a 3-point miss by Curry, and a return 3-point shot by Kyrie Irving (26 points) on a James assist with 7:45 remaining. The Cavaliers had a 10 point lead 85-75 after Jefferson scored on a driving layup. The quarter ended with Cavaliers leading by 9 points, 93-89.

The Warriors started the fourth quarter with a 3-point shot by Curry at the 11:40 mark while Kyrie Irving answered back with a pull-up bank shot 18 seconds later for a 95-87 score. This was a tough quarter for the Warriors as Stephen Curry and everyone else were only able to score 35 second half points while the Cavaliers scored 51 points with James and Kyrie carrying most of the load. As Curry continued to miss his shots Irving couldn’t miss hitting a bank shot on the 6:20 mark, followed by turnaround fadeaway, and 3 point shot at the 5:33 mark. Lebron James scored a jump shot and a free throw with 3:22 remaining for a 111-96 lead.

This is the first time in an NBA Finals that two players scored more than 40 points a piece; Lebron and Irving both finished with 41 points.

I must say this has been an offensive and one of the greatest performances of two superstars in an NBA Game

Game 5 Western Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

The Golden State Warriors is one win away for a Championship title repeat becoming only the seventh team to achieve the feat.

The task might not be easy as they would be playing the game without Draymond Green who is Mr. Hustle for the Warriors and can matchup perfectly with Lebron James and limit the effectivity of Tristan Thompson and the Cavaliers on the paint. Without Draymond Green they need to get more of the hustle and defense from Harrison Barnes, Iguodola and Bogut.

The Warriors will have to a chance to  win the Championship on their home court in Game 5, something they had to win on the road in last year’s Finals.

A ray of sunshine for the Warriors is the resurgence of the Splash Brothers who led the team to a historic 17-3 pointers in the Finals. Stephen Curry who had 38 points is expected to have another monster night that could spark everyone’s offensive output.

Curry says this about missing Green – “Yeah, we’re going to come out aggressive and confident, just like we would if Draymond was playing. We understand what we’re playing for, and that’s all that matters. So we hope to have a great night, take care of the details of the game. Individual guys step up and play pretty special and have special efforts and come out with a win.”

Tyronne Lue of the Cavs says this — “He’s the heart and soul of their team, but we’ve still got to play. His suspension doesn’t make us win the game. We’ve got to go out and win the game and take the game. So it’s a big suspension on their end, but we’ve still got to play.”

Klay Thompson added 25 points for the Warriors and we are expecting him to rain 3s tonight. Klay has this to say — “If you don’t get up for that, there’s something wrong with you. We can’t wait to get to Oracle on Monday. I’ve been fortunate to play there for five years and we really do have the best fans in the league. They probably won’t have ever seemed as excited before as when we get to Monday.”

Kerr on Game 5 — “I just think that it’s the NBA Finals. We’re at home. We have a chance to close things out. I don’t think we need any more of an edge, any more psychological advantage, anything like that.

The game gives us all the motivation we need, and the biggest thing for us is to just tweak things a little bit here and there to try to get the right rotations on the floor at the right time. And because of our versatility, I feel like we’ll be able to do that.”

On the other side, we cannot rule out the Cleveland Cavaliers that while winning 3 straight games against a team that has won 73-regular season games is nearly improbable to comeback but they might be able to win Game 5 especially without Draymond Green.

Warriors is only the tenth team who was able to rally from a 3-1 deficit but no one in the Final was able to do that.
James has this to say — “We’ve already got to take a flight home back anyways, so we might as well come home with a win and play on our home floor again. Being a confident bunch, we feel like the chips have been stacked up against us all year anyway.”

Lue says this — “Just win one game. Bring everything we’ve got to win one game. I told the guys when we left — we have to come back to Cleveland anyways, so why not come back and play a game. So we’ve got to give everything we’ve got. Our backs are against the wall, so we’ve got to be prepared to win just one game.”

GAME 4 played on June 10, 2016, GSW wins leads series 3-1 on the score of 108 (GSW) – 97 (CLE)
Game 4 Western Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

This is the game that the Splash Brothers have risen from slumber hitting 3-pointers, layups, making small runs to close the gap, take the lead and eventually win the game.

Stephen Curry looked normal in the first three games of the NBA Finals and critics are vocal about Curry’s ability to push more in the finals.

Stephen Curry exploded for 38 points while fellow Splash brother Klay Thompson had 25 points beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-97.

Curry who just averaged 16 points in the first three games in Finals showed why he is the MVP and what he is capable of doing.

Check this Curry highlights

Third quarter with over 8 minutes remaining is when the Splash Brothers came back to life in the NBA Finals 2016. Stephen Curry hit a three point shot, followed by another three by Thompson.

Iguodola had his moments when he tied the game with over 4.5 minutes remaining on a 3 pointer. Stephen Curry followed up with another 3-point shot with 4:07 remaining to give the Warriors the lead 72-69.

When the Splash brothers came back in the third quarter, James fought hard and was determined to win this game grabbing an offensive rebound in a paint of Warriors with 2:41 second and getting two points. James followed it up with a block against Curry with .7 seconds left in the shot clock.

On Curry’s comeback Green has this to say — “All the slander. He’s a competitor. He’s been under a heavy microscope, and rightfully so. Two-time MVP, you’re expected to have a great game in the finals. He struggled the first three, tonight he was our guy.”

Curry downplays his return back to action — “Business as usual. We answered the bell. We got back to who we are as a team.”

Steve Kerr feels that Curry getting back to business is as expected — “He’s Stephen Curry. He’s the MVP for a reason. He doesn’t have the size and strength to dominate a game physically, so he has to dominate with his skill and that’s not an easy thing to do because your shot sometimes isn’t going to go in. Tonight they went in.”

The Cavaliers had a hard time containing the Warriors especially when they hit a finals record of 17 3-pointers.

Kerr adds — “They got going. Sooner or later it’s going to happen. You can’t keep guys like that down forever.”

The Warriors have a huge chance of closing this game at home in Game 5, something they weren’t able to do in last year’s Finals when they won on the road against the Cavaliers.

Game 4 Western Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

This it the game that would test the character of the Golden State Warriors as they were blown by 30 points in Game 3 and the momentum has now shifted to the Cleveland Cavaliers with Game 4 on the Cavs’ arena, a place they have not lost in the playoffs this year.

Having gotten back from a 3-1 has the Warrior still optimistic with Curry still have a lot to give in the Finals, as Steve Kerr notes — “Just think about the OKC series. We’re down 3-1, he hadn’t played well. Look what he did the last few games. So that’s Steph. That’s who he is. He always responds. He’s got a huge heart, competitive as hell, and extremely talented. I know how he will respond. He’ll play well. He always does.”

Credit also to the Cavaliers defense who doesn’t allow Stephen Curry to shake out of screens and rotations.

Kerr knows they have to put Stephen in better scoring opportunities and would also need Curry to step up the game especially now in the Finals — “We can definitely help Steph out and we will. We can put him in better position to catch the ball or to handle the ball and to come off screens and that kind of stuff with more space, and we’ll do that tomorrow. Then the other side of it is just him playing better, and that’s what the Playoffs are about.”

After Game 2, the Warriors looked very bullish and the Cavs didn’t look like they had any chance of winning but after Game 3 people are worried that the Warriors might have slowed down while the Cavaliers are accelerating to winning status.

Kerr is alright with the situation and no need to worry — “All this stuff about, ‘Oh, my God, what are we going to do? All we have to do is take stock. We’re up 2-1. We’re in pretty good shape. We haven’t played that well. Let’s play better.”

Lebron James knew in Game 3 they cannot go down 3-0 in the series but same could be said in Game 4 as there is no team that were able to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals.

The Cavaliers still need three more games to win the series

James says — “We can’t afford to go down 3-1 and go into their building and give them confidence going back. So it’s a do-or-die game for us still.”

We should expect Kyrie Irving to continue his offensive game which helped the Cavs win Game 3 while Kevin Love might play and contribute some given that he is coming back from concussion and doesn’t seem to find the flow in the Finals against the Warriors.

Irving has this to say — “As a maturing young player, young man, I had to really just remove myself emotionally and realize that the journey isn’t going to be easy in order to be a champion in this league, a great player or anything. And when you have the chance to learn from someone like that and you have a group of guys in our locker room like we do with veteran leadership, it makes my job a lot easier and a lot more fun to be a part of. So I’m happy about the team that we’re part of and the teams that I’ve been part of. But being around him every single day has been great for my career.”

What we are most interested in Game 4 is whether Stephen Curry can come back and show a mighty offense we have missed in this year’s Finals.

GAME 3 played on June 9, 2016, CLE wins trail series 2-1 on the score of 120 (CLE) – 90 (GSW)
Game 3 Western Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

Cleveland has played very well at home in the playoffs keeping their record unbeaten. They did not only beat the Warriors but took them for a crushing spin on a 30-point margin win.

Lebron James scored 32 points and 11 rebounds but most notably he put in jumpers whenever the Warriors are starting a mini-run to keep their opponents from closing the gap. Kyrie Irving who did not play well in the first two finals game scored 30 points.

The Cavaliers could not afford to lose this game and trail 0-3 in the series so they had one mission going into Game 3 – give everything and win. The Cavaliers spirits could have been crushed after blowout losses against the Warriors but today they showed character and the ability to bounce back.

As James noted — “We finally got back to our game. It was a good flow, a collective team win.”

The Cavaliers had to rely on their two superstars Kyrie Irving and Lebron James to carry most of the offensive load. Kevin Love is out on concussion protocol and the Cavs was able to find a way to win without him.

Tristan Thompson showed strength and defense that helped limit the Warriors offense

Missing in the finals series is MVP Stephen Curry who just scored a dismal 19 points. Curry started slow by only scoring two points in the first half and wasn’t able to pick it up in the second. Fellow splash brother Klay Thompson is also missing in action as he only scored 10 points while Harrison Barnes was able to contribute 18.

The Cavs are not yet out of the woods and call this a series until they have won Game 4 and make this a best of 3 series.

Steve Kerr was disappointed with his team — “We were soft. When you’re soft, you get beat on the glass and turn the ball over.”

Stephen Curry who still has to find his flow and range has this to say — “I’ve got to play 100 times better than that. I’m fine. Not the way we wanted the night to go.”

The Warriors need to steal one on the road to better their chances of winning the Championship instead of hoping to finish them off in Game 7 utilizing their home-court advantage.

It would be interesting how the Cavaliers will continue their dominance at home and whether the Warriors can bounce back on the road, most specially Stephen Curry.

Game 3 Western Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

The Cleveland Cavaliers are now down 0-2 in the NBA Finals 2016, both games played at the Warriors home court where they have been outstanding this season although not as much as the points and point margin win against the Cavaliers.

Cleveland has been able to score but could not play defense as the Warriors went on a scoring spree. Lebron James in an interview said they have to win Game 3 as they cannot be down by 0-3.

Warriors defense key for Game 3 on the road

With a 33-point win, the Warriors looked invincible especially since both the Splash Brothers just scored less than 20 a piece, more than half of what they are capable of scoring on big times.

The good thing going for Lebron James and the Cavaliers is they are playing at home where they play extremely well having routed the Raptors and every other team in the playoffs.

Both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love has not played well and it was reported that Kevin will be out in Game 3 because of concussion. Kyrie Irving will have to step up in Game 3 to make this a series.

As James noted — “It’s a do or die game for us”.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have not yet lost at home in the playoffs and while it is known that the East has weaker teams; the Warriors might find themselves trying to keep up with the Cavs.

Tristan Thompson notes — “We feed off each other. We’ve been great at home. We’re excited.”

James adds — “If we can score a little bit more, which I believe we will do in Game 3, that will help our defense out a lot, too. When you miss versus those guys it gives them the ability to get out and run, which they’re very good at. Either from Draymond (Green) pushing the break or Iguodala pushing the break or Steph and those guys run the floor and they run to their spots and create a lot of problems. So if they’re taking the ball out of bounds, then it slows it up just a little bit. So we’ve got to do a better job of putting the ball in the basket.”

Draymond Green, the main hustle man for the Warriors is optimistic they could find energy on the road — “I’ve always said the best feeling in the world is to quiet another team’s crowd, so that right there is motivation.”

Steve Kerr on the total team effort — “We just want to win. It doesn’t matter who scores the points or who gets the credit. We do feel like the strength of our team is our depth, and we’re not overly reliant on one player, even the MVP. So our depth has shown so far, and I’m sure we’ll have different players continue to step up as the series goes on.”

GAME 2 played on June 5, 2016, GSW wins leads the series 2-0 on the score of 110 (GSW) – 77 (CLE)
Game 2 Western Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

The Warriors came into the game knowing what happened last year when they won Game 1 and lost the next two games to a depleted Cleveland Cavaliers. They arrived focused and with so much strength and force that it looked like they were playing against a bunch of amateur players when they routed the team for 33 points.

The Cavaliers didn’t even put up a fight in the fourth quarter when the Warriors were trying to break away as Lebron James continued to rest the quarter.

The offense for the Warriors on Game 2 was outstanding

There is a lot of pressure for the Golden State Warriors to win the Championship especially after breaking the Chicago Bulls record of regular season wins by finishing with 73. The historic regular season would have been for nothing if they didn’t end up with a Championship trophy. The Warriors are now two wins away from making this an incredible season whose records may not be broken for the next few decades.

The supporting cast of the Warriors delivered once again with Green scoring 28 points, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out five assists and hitting five 3-pointers. MVP Stephen Curry scored 18 points still far from what he is capable of but the Warriors still won by a huge margin of 33 points, the Warriors biggest finals win.

Lebron has this to say on the loss — “They just beat us. We didn’t win anything. At no point in the game did we win anything.”

Coach Steve Kerr says this — “I’m definitely surprised at the margin of victory tonight. It happens in the NBA, sometimes things get away from you. Sometimes shots go in, sometimes they don’t. … Everything changes when we go to Cleveland, we know that.”

Klay Thompson scored 17 points and the Splash brothers had almost twice the performance they had in Game 1.

Stephen Curry says this — “What we’ve done the last few years, everybody, every night has an impact. You don’t know where it’s going to come from any given night. We’ve got to keep our focus and our edge and hopefully get two more.”

Lebron James have to talk things over with the team and coach Tyronne Lue needs to pull something from his sleeve to at least close the gap when they host the Warriors on Wednesday for Game 3 of the NBA Finals 2016.

Kevin Love was put in the NBA’s concussion protocol after he felt dizzy in the second half of the game.

Lue has this to say — “The guys are not discouraged. But we’ve got to be tougher. … They did what they were supposed to do, they won two games at home. We’ve got to get home and do the same.”

“Stop it,” Green said as he had a great night with five 3-pointers. His 3-point accuracy got Thompson to say this — “Tonight, he’s one of us”.

The Warriors’ 87 victories combined from their record 73-win regular season and the playoffs matched the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, the group Golden State topped for the most regular season victories in NBA history of 73.

Andrew Bogut delivered on the defensive end with five blocks while the Warriors had nine overall.

Thompson thinks the Warriors are better than the Lakers — “We’re better than the Showtime Lakers”.

The Cavaliers need to get their act together and would have their best chance of coming back on Game 3 at their homecourt; otherwise, they will be down 0-3 in this series. In the next game they are just a win away to making this a series.

Game 2 Western Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

If the Cleveland Cavaliers have a chance of winning the NBA Finals Championship 2016 it has to start in Game 2.

The Warriors was able to beat them by 15 points without their superstars contributing much in Game 1. The Cavaliers will have to be ready for the Splash brothers explosion while keeping up with the rest of the reserves to level the series in Game 2.

The Cavaliers seemed to be a stronger opponent when they didn’t have the two other stars in the game. Lebron will have to rally his team similar to how he got everyone to elevate their game to stretch the series to Game 6 in last year’s finals.

The Cavs looked superior on their playoff run only losing two games and not it seems the weaker Eastern Conference has not done them a favor.

James however remains confident — “We’re not a team that loses our composure over anything”.

Cavs coach Tyronne Lue has this to say — “It was funny because people were talking about not having been through adversity, and, I mean, we’ve been through adversity all season. And I thought our guys did a great job of just coming together and understanding we have one common goal to start the season, and throughout that we had a lot of bumps in the road and a lot of things that happened.”

Kevin Love thinks being down in the series is an opportunity to show how they fight — “There’s good things that can come from it and feeling like your back is up against the wall. Then you have to push back and fight. I think we’ve been a team that has kind of thrived in, I don’t know if chaos is the right word, but thrived in adversity and been able to bounce back. We’re going to look to Sunday as definitely a bounce-back game and try to go 1-1 back to Cleveland.”

The series that the Warriors had with the Thunder strengthened them more as Green says — “I think that experience of going through that definitely makes us closer and a lot tougher. That wasn’t an easy series by any means. Then coming down and coming back from down 3-1, it gives you a certain amount of confidence.”

The Warriors will be working harder despite taking Game 1 as they do not want to be in the same situation they were last year when they went down 2-1 in the series after winning Game 1. Steve Kerr on this — “I don’t think it will be a problem. “I think we’re much more experienced. We have that memory in our mind. We’ve been through this now, and we understand you can’t let up ever. Sunday is obviously a huge game. We’d like to go take care of business and get out on the road with a 2-0 lead. But we’ve got to play well.”

GAME 1 played on June 2, 2016, GSW wins leads the series 1-0 on the score of 104 (GSW) – 89 (CLE)
Game 1 Western Conference Finals 2016 RECAP

James said before Game 1 that facing the Warriors is unique – “The fact that we’re going back to back, I think, is pretty unique.” James adds that it would be an interesting write-up in history — “It’s pretty unique to be in this position to have another opportunity for guys to write about, for us to play it, for the people to talk about it throughout the world. I’m blessed that I can be a part of conversations.”

I highly doubt this is what James thought about being written for this Championship series. The Cleveland Cavaliers got blown out by 15 points in game dominated by the Warriors. James was probably confident they would fare better compared to last year’s finals especially because Irving and Love are in the roster.

What adds insult to injury is that the Warriors was able to win by 15 points while the Splash brothers were having a bad night. Both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson only combined 20 points on 8-27 shooting, less than half of what they were capable of. The supporting case were the ones who delivered the loss to the Cavaliers with Draymond Green scoring 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, and Shaun Livingston adding 20 points, his highest personal playoff record.

Curry has this to say on their performance — “You don’t win championships without the entire squad coming in and making an impact on games. That’s why we’re here.”

The bench of Golden State scored 45 points against the 10 points from Lebron James’ supporting cast.

The next game will still be played on the Warriors ground and Lebron knows what is at stake — “When you get outscored 45-10 on the bench and give up 25 points off 17 turnovers, no matter what someone does or doesn’t do, it’s going to be hard to win, especially on the road. Don’t matter what you do with Steph and Klay, don’t matter what you do with Draymond.”

The supporting cast of the Splash brothers delivered with Barbosa scoring 11 points on a perfect 5-5 shooting night, Iguodala scoring 12 points, adding seven rebounds and six assists.

Steve Kerr praise the bench of the Warriors — “We play a lot of people, and we feel like we have a lot of talent on the bench that can come in and score when we need it. So it’s a great sign, obviously, that we can win in the finals without those two guys having big games, but it’s not really that surprising to us. This has been our team the last couple of years.”

The Warriors battle cry “Strength in Numbers” fits how the Warriors performed to win the first game of the Finals. Livingston reinforces this — “That’s our motto. That’s what we believe in. We pick each other up. We believe in each other and we just fight.”

Lebron James scored 23 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, while Kyrie Irving added 26 points, 11 on free throws.

Iguodala is a great team player as he had performed very well when he played at the starting lineup for  Game 7 clincher against Oklahoma City but did not miss a beat when he went back to the bench contributing from both ends of the floor.

Harrison Barnes who is starting in Iguodala’s place, scored 13 points. Superstar Curry only had 11 points but had six assists and five rebounds, while Thompson only scored nine points.

Cavaliers coach said this — “I thought our guys did a great job of locking into those guys. Their bench played well. So we’ve got to go back to the drawing board and try to figure out how to take those guys out of the game.”

Kevin Love had a productive night with 17 points and 13 rebounds.

Game 1 Western Conference Finals 2016 PREVIEW

This is a rematch of last year’s Finals. More than that it features a head to head competition between two of the best ballplayers in the world. Both are MVP players. Both are endorsers of big sports products — Nike vs Under Armour.

The Warriors have defeated the Cavaliers last year and we would expect Lebron James to rally his team and end the 52-year drought of the city of Cleveland from winning a Championship title. The task would not be easy however as the Warriors are way better this year having won 73-regular season games and was able to show their ability under pressure after climbing back from a deficit of 3-1 against the Thunder.

The same could be said for the Cleveland Cavaliers as they are more complete than last year when Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love was out and James had to carry his team.

Is this going to be a team rivalry? We are not yet sure given that Lebron James could transfer to another team next year and the rivalry maybe between these two superstars.

Curry’s take on the matchup finals — “It’s really annoying for me. That’s not what I’m playing for, to be the face of the NBA or to be this or that or to take LeBron’s throne or whatever. You know, I’m trying to chase rings, and that’s what I’m all about. So that’s where the conversation stops for me.”

Curry does not seem to be bothered by the attitude of James towards him when during last year’s finals James has proclaimed he is the best player on the planet despite Stephen Curry winning the MVP title. James posted 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists but could not deliver the Championship to the city of Cleveland.

James took another shot at Curry when he won his second MVP award and became the only  unanimous winner — “but when you talk about most `valuable’ then you can have a different conversation, so, take nothing away from him, he’s definitely deserving of that award, for sure.”

The media have been eating the comments of James and tries to make a rivalry out of them, James however downplays it — “You guys make rivals. I think it’s great for the sport. It’s great for all sports. I don’t think me and Steph, when you talk about rivalries, you talk about Carolina-Duke, you talk about Ohio State-Michigan. It’s hard to say LeBron and Steph. If there’s a smaller scale or another word for a rival.”

Klay Tompson says this about these stars — “I don’t think there’s just a face in the NBA. I think there are faces because it’s such a star-driven league. … But I think it might be easier for the common fan to relate to Steph because it’s hard to be 6-8, 260 and have a 40-inch (vertical) and be the fastest guy on the floor.”

Stephen Curry is a superstar that most of the fans can relate too, small, thin, people doubting his ability. As such he had to work harder to keep up with players of superior athletic ability. He had to work the hardest to overtake players bigger and stronger. Curry has become the hero most fans want to be and the surging sales of Under Armour proves this.

As Thompson notes — “The casual fan might relate better to Steph because he doesn’t have that athletic just God-given ability. It’s tough to say. It’s just personal preference, honestly.”

James on facing the Warriors again — “The fact that we’re going back to back, I think, is pretty unique. It’s pretty unique to be in this position to have another opportunity for guys to write about, for us to play it, for the people to talk about it throughout the world. I’m blessed that I can be a part of conversations.”

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