The Cavs lost Game 1 in horrific, gut-wrenching fashion, ultimately succumbing to the relentless offensive firepower of the Warriors in overtime after a questionable call reversal and an unbelievable late-game blunder from J.R. Smith after a missed George Hill free throw.
Entering Game 2, it was fair to wonder how much Cleveland would have in the tank after such an emotionally draining loss, but to the Cavs’ credit they hung around for most of the night. Unfortunately, that was the best they could do for 40 minutes, simply keep within arms reach of the Warriors but never really seeming like a threat to win the game.
Eventually, the floodgates opened and Golden State pulled away as it is wont to do for a 122-103 win and a 2-0 series lead. The catalyst for the Warriors’ fourth quarter run to put Cleveland away was a flurry from Steph Curry in which the two-time MVP made his early case for Finals MVP (the one accolade that’s eluded him in his career). Curry hit nine three-pointers, setting a new NBA Finals record, en route to 33 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds.
He had 16 points in the final quarter, none more ridiculous than this end-of-shot-clock heave that hit nothing but net and was effectively the nail in the Cavs coffin.