CLEVELAND (CBSMiami/Gracenote) – If the 2017 NBA Finals is going to be anything of a decent series, the Cleveland Cavaliers need to get on the board.
The Cavaliers didn’t put up much of a fight while losing the first two games of the NBA Finals and aim to start a turnaround when they host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.
Cleveland fell into a hole last season as well before winning the final three games to beat the Warriors and claim the title.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr knows his team won the first two games by an average of 20.5 points but he hasn’t forgotten what occurred last season.
“Well, it’s been a great run but none of that matters unless we can finish the job with this series,” Kerr told reporters. “Trust me, we know. It was 2-0 last year, we lost.”
The Cavaliers aren’t willing to count on a comeback and know it might be even harder work to get back in the series this time around.
“As much as the comparison wants to be drawn from last year to this year, this is a totally different team,” Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving said after Game 2. “There is no comparison even though we’re down 0-2 going back home.”
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ABC
ABOUT THE WARRIORS: Golden State has rolled to 14 consecutive postseason victories and seems even harder to beat with small forward Kevin Durant playing superbly and averaging 35.5 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in the series.
“I’m not going to take a step back,” Durant told reporters of his team’s 2-0 lead. “We know this is far from over. We know how hard it is to be the best team in the league.”
Point guard Stephen Curry is averaging 30 points 10.5 assists and eight rebounds in the series and shooting guard Klay Thompson displayed signs of breaking out of a postseason slump by scoring 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting in Game 2.
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS: Cleveland collapsed in the third quarter of each of the first two games as it wilted under Golden State’s offensive firepower.
Both coach Tyronn Lue and star forward LeBron James insist the Cavaliers won’t try to slow down play and will stick with the style they prefer.
“That’s not our game. We don’t play slowdown basketball,” James told reporters. “We play at our pace. We play our game. We got to this point playing our way. We have won a lot of games playing the way we play, so we’re not going to change.”
- James recorded 29 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds in Game 2 for his eighth career postseason triple-double, tying for first all-time with legendary Magic Johnson.
- Curry drained all 14 free-throw attempts in Game 2 after not attempting a single one in the opener.
- Cleveland SG J.R. Smith has just three points on 1-of-6 shooting in the series but coach Tyronn Lue said on Tuesday that Smith will again start in Game 3.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Gracenote contributed to this report.)