CLEVELAND (Ohio) • While the Golden State Warriors fight to avoid complacency after two lopsided wins to start the National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers hope playing at home will help them find toughness they have so far lacked.
The Warriors would reach the brink of a repeat crown with a victory today in the best-of-seven series.
"We're feeling confident but we're not getting ahead of ourselves," their star guard Stephen Curry said. "It's a trap to think we've figured things out and that we have the perfect formula to beat Cleveland and they have no chance in the series."
"The guys are not discouraged. More (angry) than anything," Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. "We've got to be tougher."
The Warriors have beaten the Cavaliers seven consecutive times - three in last year's Finals, two this season and twice more in the Finals.
"We don't go in thinking, 'We've beat these guys seven times. We've got them.' That's not our mindset at all," said Golden State's Draymond Green.
"Once that becomes your mindset, you will lose. Our mindset is we took care of home court. Now let's get one on the road.
"At this point, everything you get is really hard and it's about to get even harder. They will probably play with a little more energy. They will be playing with a sense of desperation."
Golden State won the first two games by a combined 48 points, the most lopsided start in 70 NBA Finals.
"We understand the situation we're in. We know we've got to play a lot better in order to get this series turned around," Cavaliers star LeBron James said. "We have to figure out how we can be better. We've got to bear down."
The Cavaliers have to avoid giving the ball away. In two games, they have committed a combined 35 turnovers leading to 51 Golden State points. James has 11 total turnovers. "Can't turn the ball over against a great team and expect to win," he said. "We can't have as many mental lapses."
It is also a character builder for Golden State, a chance to put a struggling rival on the brink of elimination.
"How we show up in Cleveland will be a big test for us," Curry said. "They have a great home atmosphere and, the way the first two games have gone, you would expect Cleveland to come out with a lot of energy."
CLEVELAND V GOLDEN STATE
Game 3: StarHub Ch202, tomorrow, 9am