Needing a legendary performance, the Cleveland Cavaliers received just that and more from LeBron James in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
By Robby Sabo
From the start of Game 2 of the NBA Finals, it was clear LeBron James realized he knew what he needed to do.
This was to shoot as much as he had to in order to get the points they desperately needed. The pass-first superstar accomplished just that.
Suddenly, the discussion surrounding the death of the Cleveland Cavaliers during these finals will slow down just a tad after their stunning and exciting 95-93 overtime victory.
Still, with the Cavs leading by as many as 11 in the fourth quarter, Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors made a serious game of it.
It started with an intentional non-intentional foul of Tristan Thompson. Thompson hit one of two before the Golden State onslaught came on.
With just over 30-seconds to go in the game and the Warriors trailing by only two, a loose ball ensued after a Harrison Barnes miss from 15-feet out. James, Thompson and Matthew Dellavedova wanted the ball more than the Warriors. Dellavedova came up with it and the Cavs called timeout.
The following possession proved to be a costly one for the Cavs.
LeBron drove baseline on Andre Iguodala. He drew two other Dubs to him, dishing it out to Iman Shumpert who air-balled a corner three.
Curry took advantage and tied the game up with a scooping uncontested layup as Cleveland was overly concerned with protecting the three-point line.
— NBA (@NBA) June 8, 2015
The final shot for LeBron was a high percentage one, but he just missed, as did Thompson on the tip.
It started with another beautiful defensive job by Dellavedova, as he forced Draymond Green to miss on a mid-high post-up. Dellavedova was brilliant all night, especially when guarding the MVP.
Former New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert nailed a three off a James feed to get overtime going. Then, after a J.R. Smith miss, LeBron picked up a huge offensive rebound and was fouled in the act.
Game 2’s overtime started very differently than Game 1 did for the Cavs.
Following LeBron’s squad bursting out with a five-point lead, Green decided to get on the score sheet for the first time all night. Not once did he come up with a second-chance bucket, but he did it in two-straight possessions, cutting the lead to one.
Then, a few possessions later, and after LeBron was fouled twice without calls, Curry drew a foul on a jump-shot as he drew J.R. Smith off his feet.
Golden State took the lead for the first time in a long time.
Once again, Dellavedova came up huge. He found the rebound off of a James Jones missed three (setup by James), and in the act of grabbing the rebound was fouled in the act.
He sank both free throws with ease.
The following possession featured Dellavedova again as he forced a Curry air-ball.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 8, 2015
With the Cavs up by two, The Dubs had one last chance with five-seconds left. Needing to travel the length of the floor, Klay Thompson mishandled it due to suffocating Cleveland defense.
While LeBron came up huge for most of the night, this game was about Dellavedova. He exemplified the type of player that every championship team needs to have. The kid was gritty, clutch and big in every way.
Game 3 is slated for Wednesday night in Cleveland. After a miserable NBA Playoffs, the finals seem to be making up for it.
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