Durant, Curry hit golden form

Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors blocking Channing Frye of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Two of the NBA Finals series. Durant, who ran the floor and defended the rim, had a game-high 33 points in his side's 132-113 victory.
Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors blocking Channing Frye of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Two of the NBA Finals series. Durant, who ran the floor and defended the rim, had a game-high 33 points in his side's 132-113 victory.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Warriors' all-court efficiency too much for Cavaliers as Kerr's men race to 2-0 lead in Finals series

OAKLAND (California) • The Golden State Warriors charged to within two triumphs of becoming the first unbeaten National Basketball Association (NBA) play-off champions on Sunday by routing trophy holders the Cleveland Cavaliers 132-113 to seize command of the NBA Finals.

The Warriors overcame 20 turnovers and a triple-double by LeBron James on their way to the emphatic victory.

Kevin Durant scored a game-high 33 points while Stephen Curry unleashed his first NBA Finals triple-double with 32 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists to power Golden State, who set a play-off win streak record of 14 games, to victory.

"We're young. We're hungry. We're playing great basketball," Curry said.

"We've got a great opportunity in front of us and we've got to seize it."

The Warriors, who welcomed back coach Steve Kerr after he missed 11 games with health issues following back surgery, grabbed a 2-0 edge in the best-of-seven series, which shifts to Cleveland for Games Three and Four on Wednesday (Thursday, Singapore time) and Friday.

"To see him back on the bench was huge," Curry added.

  • KEVIN DURANT'S STATISTICS LINE AGAINST CLEVELAND


    33

    POINTS

    13

    REBOUNDS

    6

    ASSISTS

    5

    BLOCKS

"For him the whole priority was his health and I think he's in a good place right now."

Golden State won a record 73 regular-season games last year and led 2-0 only for Cleveland to make the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history and take the title. So the perfect play-off mark was not overly lauded.

"It has been a great run, but none of that matters unless we can finish the job," Kerr said.

"We know, trust me, we know. It was 2-0 last year and we lost."

James led the Cavaliers with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists to match a record with his eighth career NBA Finals triple-double. He shares the mark with former Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson.

"Right now, it means nothing," James said minutes after the defeat.

"But it does mean something. He's one of the greatest to play this game.

"When I'm done, I'll probably look back on it and say it was a cool feat.

"(We were) much more physical today than we were in Game One. And we forced them to 20 turnovers and they still beat us pretty good, so we've got to be much better too."

Kevin Love scored 27 points for Cleveland while Kyrie Irving added 19. Klay Thompson had 22 points for the Warriors.

Durant, seeking his first NBA crown after leaving Oklahoma City last July to join Golden State, became only the third player in NBA history to score at least 25 points in his first seven NBA Finals appearances, joining Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal.

He, too, shrugged off individual glory.

"We know this is far from over. We know how hard it is to be the best team in the league," Durant said.

"So we've got to just keep going, keep our foot on the gas and keep getting better every day."

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said his team must stay tougher for longer periods in defence, after letting the game slip away in the third quarter and the start of the fourth.

"We've got to be better as far as not relaxing, not falling asleep, the 50-50 balls, we've got to get to those. Every mistake you make defensively, they make you pay, and you saw that," he said.

"We get a chance to go home now to our crowd where we play well. So they won two games. Now we've got to go home and regroup."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2017, with the headline 'Durant, Curry hit golden form'. Print Edition | Subscribe