After a straightforward Game 1 win for NBA defending champions Golden State Warriors last Thursday, a Game 2 bounceback had been expected from Cleveland Cavaliers.
However, it proved a bridge too far for LeBron James & Co. as the Warriors scored a statement 110-77 win Sunday night to put the Cavs in the kind of hole from which few have ever found their way out.
They will now attempt to become just the fourth team out of 32 in Finals history to win it all after trailing 2-0. The overall playoff history is even more daunting, as 244 of 261 teams that trailed 2-0 in a seven-game series have gone on to lose.
More frightening is the fact that the Warriors barely even needed back-to-back MVP Stephen Curry to get the job done.
Forward Draymond Green, who did his best Curry impression (28 points, five three-pointers) while playing the tough defence for which he is known, led the way.
With Curry sitting and celebrating on the Warriors bench for much of the third quarter, Green and a mixed crew that also included Leandro Barbosa, Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson went on a 30-16 run without him that put them up 82-62 entering the fourth.
James (19 points, nine assists, eight rebounds) and the Cavs, who struggled yet again to penetrate Golden State’s superior switching defense (35% shooting), are clearly outmatched here.
Game 3 of the series comes up Wednesday at the Oracle Arena.