NBA Playoffs 2016: The Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat completed comfortable Game 2 victories against the Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Hornets, respectively, to take 2-0 series leads in the first round of the playoffs on Wednesday.
While the Cavs beat the Pistons 107-90, the Heat beat the Hornets 115-113. With Cleveland and Miami holding onto home court advantage, it would take a massive upset to keep either team from entering the second round of the postseason expected to begin late next week. |Box Score|
For the Cavs, the Big Three of LeBron James (27 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 12-18 FG), Kevin Love (16 points, 10 rebounds, 3-7 3pt) and Kyrie Irving (22 points, 4 assists, 4-7 3pt) continued to brush asides worries about team chemistry and bonding. If anything, this is the best the Cavs have played since their winning streak leading into last year’s postseason.
NBA Playoffs: Cavs shoot lights out
The Cavs shot an impressive 20 out of 38 shots from deep, sending out warning signs to Golden State Warriors that they could match the champions shot-for-shot from deep. JR Smith had another hot shooting night, draining 7 out of his 11 attempts to finish with 21 points and 5 rebounds. Though the Cavs bench didn’t contribute as desired, their starting unit proved too much to handle for Detroit.
For the Pistons, all five starters scored in double digits but Andre Drummond (20 points, 7 rebounds) shockingly got out-rebounded Kevin Love, giving up many second-possessions to the Cavs. The Pistons could manage 4 for 17 from deep after an impressive shooting performance in Game 1. Rookie Stanley Johnson (9 points) almost proved to be a spark plug off the bench until LeBron James shut down any such possibilities.
D-Wade back to his best?
Meanwhile, Dwayne Wade had 28 points and 8 assists while Hassan Whiteside finished with 17 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks as the Heat overcame a 29-point outburst from Kemba Walker and an ultra-competitive Hornets squad.
Nicolas Batum, still battling injuries, played 34 minutes but shot only 3 out of his 11 shots for 9 points. Al Jefferson (25 points) and Jeremy Lin (11 points) added 36 points off the bench but couldn’t overcome Heat’s 72-60 first half lead. |Box Score|
After the game, Wade acknowledged that his team was still not ready to contend for a title. “You want to be able to get stops, you want to be able to put some runs together. And we did that. We didn’t play a perfect game, by no stretch of the imagination. We’ve got a lot of things that we can get better at — that we need to get better at.”
Cleveland will travel to Detroit for Game 3 on Friday. Miami will travel to Charlotte to resume the series on Saturday. Keep it here for the latest on the 2016 NBA Playoffs.