Game 2 of the NBA Finals once again went down to the wire in overtime Sunday night, with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers barely beating out Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors 95-93 in Oakland's ORACLE Arena. The Cavaliers will be heading home to Cleveland and try to break the 1-1 series tie at Quicken Loans Arena during Game 3 on Tuesday.
According to a report from the Associated Press, James and the Cavaliers managed to pull off a victory on the NBA's toughest home floor. He finished the game with 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists in 50 minutes.
"I tried to give it all to my teammates. And they do a great job of giving it back to me. Total team effort," James said. "To be back in the same position we were in three days ago and to come back and even the series is big time."
The Associated Press reported that Matthew Dellavedova stepped up and scored free throws in overtime, helping Cleveland secure a victory in Golden State's home arena.
"That's the classic thing you practice as a kid growing up," Dellavedova said. "I felt like I've been in that situation a million times before."
According to the Associated Press, the Cavs won their first finals game in franchise history. Their last appearance in the NBA Finals happened in 2007; the San Antonio Spurs won the championship back then, and James was just starting to find his role in the NBA.
"James is still left trying to carry Cleveland to its first championship in 51 years after Kyrie Irving fractured his left kneecap in Game 1," AP wrote. "Irving had surgery in Cleveland on Saturday to join sidelined starters Kevin Love and Anderson Varejao, both of whom had already been lost for the season with injuries."
The Associated Press reported that Cavs coach David Blatt sent out Dellavedova in place of Irving, a decision that affected Golden State Curry's performance on the court. Curry had a "horrific shooting performance," scoring 19 points and shooting 5 of 23 from the floor; he also had six turnovers.
"Shots I normally make I knew as soon as they left my hand that they were off. That doesn't usually happen," Curry said. "Mechanically, I don't know if there is an explanation for it, just didn't have a rhythm and didn't find one the whole game."
The Associated Press added that the Warriors went 8 for 35 from long range and shot 39.8 percent overall. Klay Thompson also scored 34 points.
"It's the grit squad right now," James said. "If you expect us to play sexy cute basketball, that's not us right now. Everything is tough and it has to be that for rest of series."
Warriors coach Steve Kerr agreed with the sentiment expressed by James.
"This is the finals. It's hard. It's supposed to be hard," Kerr said. "We had a tough night. So you have to move on. You've got to learn from it and get better, and that's what we're going to do."
According to Steven Cook of Bleacher Report, Curry would have to find a way past a team that may have figured out how to counter him on the court. In addition, he and the rest of the Warriors team may have to adjust to a louder arena; James hoped that Cavs fans would bring the noise out in response to Golden State.
"I've heard our fans pretty loud before. A couple instances my first postseason appearance was really loud, and me coming home against the Knicks at the start of the season was pretty good," James said. "But I know we can be much, much louder than any fanbase in this league."
As for the prediction, Cook thought that the Cavaliers would win in home court for Game 3 and take the series lead.
Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Cavaliers and Warriors will air Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on ABC. Because it will be aired via broadcast, online viewers can freely stream the game on WatchESPN.com or through the WatchESPN app.