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RECAP: Cleveland Cavaliers fall to Golden State Warriors, 122-103, in Game 2 of 2018 NBA Finals

The Cleveland Cavaliers fell into an 0-2 deficit with a Game 2 loss to the Golden State Warriors in the 2018 NBA Finals Sunday night.
Credit: Kyle Terada
Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James argues for a foul to be called against the Golden State Warriors during the first half of Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

10:37 p.m.-CAVALIERS FALL TO WARRIORS IN GAME 2 OF NBA FINALS

For the third consecutive year, the Cleveland Cavaliers will return to Quicken Loans Arena at an 0-2 deficit against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

Despite double-digit scoring performances from four of their five starters, including 29 from small forward LeBron James and 22 from power forward Kevin Love, the Cavaliers were overmatched in the second half and suffered a 122-103 loss to Golden State at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, Sunday night.

Including Sunday’s defeat, the Cavaliers have lost five straight games at Oracle Arena in the NBA Finals, dating back to Games 1 and 2 of the 2017 NBA Finals.

The Cavaliers will look to get their first win in the 2018 NBA Finals with Game 3 in Cleveland Wednesday night.

10:04 p.m.-CAVALIERS CUT WARRIORS’ LEAD TO 10 AFTER THIRD QUARTER

Behind a stellar shooting quarter, the Cleveland Cavaliers cut the Golden State Warriors’ lead down to 10 points, 90-80, after the third period in Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

The Cavaliers converted 12 of their 20 looks from the field, including a five-for-nine showing from three-point range. Additionally, the Cavaliers went five of seven at the free-throw line to go along with a nine-to-five edge in rebounds and eight-to-five advantage in assists.

Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love led the way with 13 points on four-of-four shooting, including a three-for-three mark from three-point range, while center Tristan Thompson and small forward LeBron James added eight and seven points respectively.

9:40 p.m.-CAVALIERS CUT INTO WARRIORS’ LEAD

The Cleveland Cavaliers started the second half with a 20-13 scoring run and cut the Golden State Warriors’ lead down to six points, 72-66, with 6:13 to play in the third quarter of Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

The front-court combination of center Tristan Thompson and power forward Kevin Love got the second half started with two layups from Thompson to go along with a pair of three-point baskets from Love.

Point guard George Hill got in on the act when he buried a three-pointer that was set up by small forward LeBron James, who then made a driving up and knocked down a pull-up triple of his own from the top of the key.

James’ three-pointer countered a triple from Golden State’s Klay Thompson in transition on the previous possession.

A dunk from Thompson that James set up with a pass as his center cut toward the hoop trimmed Golden State’s lead down to six and forced the Warriors into a timeout.

9:14 p.m.-CAVALIERS TRAIL WARRIORS, 59-46, AT HALFTIME OF GAME 2

The Cleveland Cavaliers trailed the Golden State Warriors, 59-46, at halftime of Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

Already with a four-point lead after the first quarter of play, the Warriors built a nine-point advantage, 27-18, over the Cavaliers, who struggled on both side of the floor in the second period.

The Warriors converted 10 of their 19 looks at the basket (52.6 percent), including a four-of-11 showing from three-point range, while the Cavaliers knocked down only six of their 23 attempts from the field (26.1 percent) and went just one of four from beyond the three-point arc.

Led by 16 points from point guard Stephen Curry, the Warriors had three double-figure scorers in the first half.

Small forward LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 15 points and point guard George Hill added 12 over the first 24 minutes of action.

8:50 p.m.-WARRIORS HAVE STRONG START TO SECOND QUARTER

Just as they did in the first quarter, the Golden State Warriors came out firing in the early part of the second stanza against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

With an 8-2 run to start the second quarter, the Warriors forced the Cavaliers into a timeout with 9:12 to play in the first half.

Small forward Kevin Durant buried a three-pointer from the top of the key and shooting guard Klay Thompson knocked down a deep jumper with his foot on the line, which stretched Golden State’s lead out to nine points, 39-30.

8:41 p.m.-CAVALIERS TRAIL WARRIORS, 32-28, AFTER FIRST QUARTER OF PLAY

The Cleveland Cavaliers trailed the Golden State Warriors, 32-28, after the first quarter of play in Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena.

The Warriors shot a blistering 68.2 percent from the field (15 of 23) over the first 12 minutes of play, but six of their eight misses came from beyond the three-point arc. Despite getting into the paint early and often, the Warriors did not draw enough fouls to shoot a single free throw in the first quarter.

Conversely, the Cavaliers knocked down 10 of their 23 looks from the field, with two of their makes coming behind the three-point line. The Cavaliers took advantage of some early foul trouble from the Warriors and made six of their eight looks from the free-throw line.

Cavaliers small forward LeBron James led all scorers with 10 points in the first quarter.

8:25 p.m.-CAVALIERS GO ON 11-6 SCORING RUN

Fresh off of their first timeout of Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers went on an 11-6 scoring run against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.

Aided by a pair of three-pointers, an and-one and driving jumper in the lane, the Cavaliers trimmed Golden State’s lead down to four points, 21-17, with 4:34 to play in the first quarter.

Cavaliers point guard George Hill got the run started when he connected on a three-pointer on the second possession out of the break, and then, small forward LeBron James, who assisted on Hill’s triple, got a driving layup to fall while being fouled by JaVale McGee and buried the ensuing free throw.

Cavaliers shooting guard JR Smith was responsible for the next five points, as he got a running jumper in the lane to fall despite being fouled by Warriors guard Stephen Curry, and then, caught a pass from James at the top of the key and knocked down his first three-pointer of the game from 26 feet away.

8:17 p.m.-WARRIORS JUMP OUT TO 15-6 LEAD OVER CAVALIERS

After losing a heartbreaker to the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, the Cleveland Cavaliers wanted to have a fast start in Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, tonight, but that was not the case.

In front of their home fans, the Warriors made all seven of their shots at the basket to start the game and jumped out a 15-6 lead over the Cavaliers, who called their first timeout of the half at the 8:14 mark.

Shooting guard Klay Thompson and center JaVale McGee were the Warriors’ leading scorers with five and four points respectively over the first three-plus minutes in Game 2.

7:45 p.m.-TRISTAN THOMPSON ‘HAPPY’ HE WILL PLAY FOR CLEVELAND CAVALIERS IN GAME 2 OF NBA FINALS

Because of a late-game scuffle, there was quite a bit of speculation and doubt in the days that followed Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals as to the availability of Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson for tonight’s Game 2 matchup against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

Thompson was thrown out of Game 1 in the final seconds and had a run-in with Warriors forward Draymond Green on his way off the court. Despite being hit with a $25,000 fine, Thompson will play in Game 2 tonight as the Cavaliers look to bounce back from Thursday’s 124-114 overtime loss.

“Happy I'm able to play,” Thompson said after Saturday’s practice. “The NBA has to do what they've got to do in terms of fining. At the end of the day, I want to be out there with my teammates and I'll be able to do that in Game 2.

“People said it was a possibility. At the end of the day, I did what I had to do in terms of speaking to the NBA and whatnot, but they made the right call by letting me play.”

Thompson took exception to the fact that Warriors guard Shaun Livingston took a long-range shot in the waning seconds of Game 1.

Thompson closed out on Livingston, and from one angle, it looked as though an elbow went to the head/neck area of the Warriors guard. From another angle, it appeared there was no contact above the shoulders, and yet, it took only a few seconds for an official to immediately assess Thompson a flagrant-two foul, which comes with an automatic ejection.

Thompson’s foul has since been reduced to a flagrant-one.

Shortly after the ejection, Thompson was walking off the court and to the locker room, only to have a run-in with Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Green.

Words and applause in Thompson’s face were followed by an exchange of shoves, and officials and players from both sides had to separate the two before Green was escorted to the bench, where he was admonished by Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

“Whenever you see a team for four straight Finals, you start not liking each other,” Thompson said. “It's two competitive franchises that want to hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy, so like any playoff series, after a couple games, guys get irritated, but for us, it starts in Game 1 because we've seen these guys the last couple years.”

The key for Thompson going forward is handling any antics dished out by Green and focus on the task of winning Game 2 and evening the best-of-seven series before it shifts to Cleveland for Games 3 and 4.

“It's The Finals,” Thompson said. “It's about toughness. You've got to be able to play hard, and I think that's what I bring to my team, so as that enforcer for our team and Draymond for his team, I think it is what it is. If it had to be two guys that do get into a little scuffle, it would be us two.

“Of course, I know that he's going to probably try to find ways to provoke me and make me retaliate, so I've just got to stay locked in at the end of the day. It's about the game. Got to stay locked in and win the ballgame.”

7:30 p.m.-CAVALIERS LOOK TO EVEN NBA FINALS AGAINST WARRIORS

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are set to tip off Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California tonight.

The Cavaliers will look to even up the best-of-seven series at 1-1 heading into Wednesday’s Game 3 matchup at Quicken Loans Arena after what was a heartbreaking loss in Game 1.

The Cavaliers had their chances late in the fourth quarter to steal away home-court advantage early in the 2018 NBA Finals, but the Warriors made the right plays at the right times in order to claim a 124-114 overtime win in Game 1.

Despite a career-best 51 points in the NBA Finals from Cavaliers small forward LeBron James, the Warriors started the overtime period on a 7-0 scoring run and never looked back on the way to the Game 1 win.

“We feel good,” center Larry Nance Jr. said. “Obviously, that was a heck of a battle between two good teams, but that actually gave us some confidence. We can hang with them, and we can hang with them in this building. We plan on coming out and proving that again.”

A late three-point play from Stephen Curry put the Warriors ahead of the Cavaliers by a point, but Cleveland point guard George Hill split a pair of free throws to even the score at 107 all with 4.7 seconds remaining.

Cavaliers shooting guard JR Smith caught the rebound after Hill missed the second of his two free throws, but dribbled out the clock instead of using Cleveland’s final timeout of regulation to reset the offense or going up for a shot after dribbling his way through the lane and out to the three-point line.

“We felt like we fought hard,” power forward Kevin Love said.

“We continue to make big plays when we needed to. We made a two-minute game, and the last two minutes were tough for us. We made some mistakes, went into overtime and the game got away from us a little bit. We just have to have a good showing in Game 2 and come out and play our style.”

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