LeBron James had that look in his eyes Wednesday night. With Cleveland Cavaliers entering a must-win game, it was imperative that their leader stood up. James registered 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks and a steal as Cavs routed the Golden State Warriors 120-90 to storm back into the NBA Finals.
LeBron James makes it a series…
After losing the first two games by a record finals margin of 48 points (combined), the demoralized Cavaliers were picked up by the energetic home crowd as James & Co. ran away with a 33-16 first quarter lead before Warriors staged a fightback in the second quarter. |Final Box Score|
James, a hesitant shooter in recent times, found his shooting touch and knocked down several 18 and 22-foot jump shots besides draining one three-pointer. James made only 5 of his first 14 shots before scripting a turnaround in the second half when he began making a flurry of jump shots.
Richard Jefferson, who started the game in the absence of the concussed Kevin Love, had 9 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals, and proved to be a better match-up for the Warriors. It won’t be surprising if Jefferson continues to start going forward with Love coming off the bench.
Kyrie Irving (30 points, 8 assists, 12-25 FG) and JR Smith (20 points, 5-10 3pt) shot lights out after two disappointing outings to give the Cavaliers a decisive edge. Tristan Thompson had arguably the best game of his playoff career with 14 points and 13 rebounds, including 7 huge offensive rebounds in the first half, while also switching and guarding Stephen Curry at the perimeter.
Splash Brothers flop again…
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were once again non-factors thanks the Cavaliers’ tight perimeter defense. Harrison Barnes was Warriors’ best player on the night with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Curry and Thompson shot a combined 4/16 from deep. Amazingly, neither superstar has scored even 20 points through the first three games, testament to Cleveland’s outstanding defense.
Game 3 is on Friday. Will LeBron James and the Cavs square the series?
Stay tuned for full report.