OAKLAND, Calif. — The Cleveland Cavaliers will look to bounce back on Sunday night in Oracle Arena against the Golden State Warriors after losing Game 1 of the NBA Finals in controversial fashion on Thursday night, 124-114 in OT.
LeBron and company have now had a couple of days to digest what happened to them on Thursday night in Game 1. After looking like they were destined to steal Game 1 on the road, things turned the other way and the Cavs lost, leaving them “demoralized” in the locker room according to sources.
It feels like the type of loss that could linger into Game 2 on Sunday night, but coach Ty Lue insists that won’t be the case. “We’re not broken,” Lue said. “The guys’ confidence is not shaken… we have the blueprint, now we have to execute at a high level.”
For the most part, they did that on Thursday. The Cavs played about as well as they could’ve expected them to in Game 1 and they were in a good position to win the game coming down the stretch. LeBron was unstoppable with 51 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. They’ll also need more good production out of Kevin Love, who had 21 points and 13 rebounds in the Game 1 loss. Love was a reliable second option to start these NBA Finals, which he will need to continue to be moving into Game 2.
J.R. Smith and George Hill will also be looking to bounce back after both feeling somewhat to blame for the loss on Thursday. “This one hurt. This one hurt bad,” said Hill after the loss. Hill missed a potential go-ahead free throw in the final seconds of the game that led to the eventual loss. Smith, who got the rebound on Hill’s missed free throw and appeared to forget the score, will also be looking to put the blunder behind him. They will need him to play well to have a chance to win Game 2.
Game 1 was an all-timer. In what might have been LeBron James’ best game ever, it was all hindered because of a couple late plays by the other Cavs that cost them the game. They’ll be looking to bounce back and make up for it tonight. “We need go bottle up our frustration for Game Two,” said Hill. “It shouldn’t be a prom dance. It needs to be a fight.”
Game 2 tips off tonight at 8:00pm ET on ABC.
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