OAKLAND, United States: Draymond Green scored 28 points and Stephen Curry added 18 as defending champion Golden State overwhelmed Cleveland 110-77 Sunday in the NBA Finals, pushing the Warriors halfway to a title repeat.
Humbling the Cavaliers in the second half, Golden State seized a 2-0 edge in the best-of-seven series, which shifts to Cleveland for game three Wednesday and game four Friday.
“It’s a fabulous position with everybody playing their best,” NBA scoring champion Curry said. “We’ve got to keep our focus and not forget how we got here.”
But only three teams in NBA history have overcome a 2-0 deficit to win the finals — the 1969 Boston Celtics, 1977 Portland Trail Blazers and the 2006 Miami Heat.
Combined with their 104-89 romp in the opener, the Warriors produced the largest two-game combined victory margin to open an NBA Finals, six more points than the old mark of 42 by the 1950 Rochester Royals and 1961 Boston Celtics.
The Warriors stretched their overall win streak against Cleveland to seven games, including the last three of last year’s finals, two more this season and two more in this championship series.
LeBron James, who led Cleveland with 19 points, has never lost so many in a row to any club. He was 9-0 in prior playoff game twos after his teams dropped the opener.
The four-time NBA Most Valuable Player is in his sixth finals in a row and seventh overall but has won only two titles.
Golden State, which set an NBA record with 73 wins this season, matched the combined season and playoff win record of 87 set by the Chicago Bulls, improving to 50-3 overall, including 11-1 in the playoffs.
For the first time in his career, James was kept scoreless in the first quarter of an NBA Finals game.
Curry was 7-of-11 from 3-point range while Klay Thompson, who had 17 points, was 6-of-13 from beyond the arc.
The Cavaliers lost forward Kevin Love early in the third quarter to dizziness. Love had taken a hard elbow to the back of the head from Harrison Barnes in the second quarter. He was put into NBA concussion protocols and did not return.
Kyrie Irving cut Golden State’s lead to 52-46 to open the third quarter but a 17-7 Warriors’ run followed as Curry, Green and Thompson each hit 3-pointers and a Green layup capped the spurt for a 69-53 Warriors edge.
James fired an airball midway into the frustrating period while Curry was on the bench much of the time, the 3-point record setter laughing and smiling as teammates scored from beyond the arc.
Led by Green and Thompson, Golden State ripped off a 19-7 run late in the third quarter and early in the fourth for an 89-62 edge, sealing Cleveland’s fate.