CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cleveland Cavaliers return home to Quicken Loans Arena tonight for Game 3 of the NBA Finals trailing 0-2 in the series after losing both games on the road in Golden State.
The Cavs hung around in Game 2 until the early stages of the fourth quarter when Stephen Curry found a groove and went off to put the Warriors up 2-0 in the series. Curry had 33 points to lead the Warriors in Game 2 and set a new NBA Finals record of nine three pointers. Curry has been Golden State’s best offensive threat through the first two games of the series.
The Cavs will try to slow down Curry tonight. That task might become harder in Game 3 as the Warriors will possibly have Andre Iguodala back tonight from a knee injury that has prevented him from playing in the Finals thus far. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Iguodala will probably be good to go for Game 3 but will still be a game-time decision. The 2015 Finals MVP isn’t better than players like Curry or Durant but he certainly gives the Warriors plenty of energy off the bench and another body to guard LeBron James.
As for the Cavs, they will look to keep up their offensive production that they have found in the first two games. The Cavs have shot over 40% in the first two games of this series and have played just well enough offensively to stay in the game against this all-time great Warriors team. Obviously, LeBron has been great, scoring 51 points in Game 1 and then having a 29-point near triple-double in Game 2. James has to continue to lead the way for the Cavs if they are to have any chance of making this a series.
It’s been the production of Kevin Love that has been promising for the Cavaliers offensively. Love had 20+ points and 10+ rebounds in each of the first two games, which is something they’ll need tonight in Game 3.
While the offensive production has been better, Cleveland needs to ramp up the intensity defensively. There were times throughout Game 2 that the Cavs weren’t having any trouble scoring but couldn’t seem to buy a defensive stop. That is obviously easier said than done against an all-time great offensive team like Golden State, but that’s what it’ll take to have a chance going forward in the Finals.
The Cavs can’t afford to go down 3-0 in this series like last year, so tonight is a must-win if the Cavs want to keep hope alive for winning a title this year. LeBron is great with his back against the wall, but this is a totally different animal. We’ll see if the Cavs can muster up a home win tonight to get back into the series.
Game 3 of the NBA Finals tips off tonight at 9:00pm ET on ABC.
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