Basketball

LeBron: We can be a lot better

Cleveland look for home comfort to overturn 2-0 deficit against Golden State

NBA FINALS, GAME TWO
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
132 113
  • Golden State lead best-of-seven series 2-0

LeBron James struggled to put a positive spin on the Cleveland Cavaliers' performance against Golden State Warriors in Oakland yesterday morning (Singapore time) after they suffered another mauling in Game Two of the NBA Finals series.

The Warriors won the series opener 113-91 and clinched the second game 132-113 to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Finals, leaving the Cavs with little room for error as the series shifts to Cleveland.

"We were much more physical today than in Game One and we forced them into 20 turnovers and they still beat us pretty good," said James in the locker room.

The 32-year-old, who is making his seventh consecutive Finals appearance (four with Miami and three with Cleveland), said the Cavs kept it close until midway through the third period.

"We made runs, cut it to four (points)... couple of turnovers, couple of miscues defensively and they made us pay for it.

"We're going to go home, watch the film, see ways we can be better, see if we can be a lot better defensively and offensively.

"We've just got to figure out how we can be better in Game Three."

Already 2-0 down in the series, James got a little testy when asked if Cleveland had to defend home court in the next two games.

"Are you a smart guy?" he shot back.

James scored 29 points on 12-of-18 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds, all on the defensive end, but also gave up four turnovers.

And, while forward Kevin Love made a decent contribution with 27 points, James did not get much help from guard Kyrie Irving, the other member of the "Big Three".

Irving made only eight-of-23 shots for 19 points.

A DIFFERENT TEAM

James, who said the addition of Kevin Durant to the Warriors' line-up this season made them a "different team", declined to reveal why he did not attend a formal news conference after the game.

"There is a reason. It has nothing to do with wins and losses though," he said. "I'm good. I just need some fluid and some wine and I'll be all right."

Durant finished with 33 points, 13 rebounds and six assists and came up with some key defensive plays as head coach Steve Kerr shook off a long-term back ailment to return to the bench and help his Warriors win a record 14th straight post-season contest.

Guard Stephen Curry had a triple-double of his own but also committed eight of the Warriors' 20 turnovers.

Kerr, who has been sidelined by persistent back pain since April, has watched all but three play-off games from the locker room as his team swatted aside Portland, Utah and San Antonio.

Despite rumours of his return swirling around Warriors' practice session last Saturday, Kerr's status remained a mystery until just hours before Game Two yesterday morning.

The 51-year-old said before the game that he would be able to return to the sidelines for the remainder of the best-of-seven series.

"I'm feeling better," said Kerr. "The last couple weeks have been good in terms of running practice, film sessions, coaches meetings."

As Kerr walked onto the court, he was met with a standing ovation from the fans and hugs from Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue and James.

"It was a great moment for him and for the crowd, everybody showing their appreciation for all he's been through," said Warriors guard Curry.

"And to see him back on the bench was huge.

"And for him the whole priority was his health, and I think he's in a good place right now." - REUTERS

NBAbasketballGOLDEN STATE WARRIORS