The Cleveland Cavaliers managed to overcome a fourth-quarter collapse and survived the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of the 2015 NBA Finals, winning 95-93 in overtime.
LeBron James tallied his second career NBA Finals triple-double, finishing with 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists. Matthew Dellavedova connected on a pair of free throws to give Cleveland a one-point lead with 10.1 seconds left in the extra session.
It was ugly. It was bad basketball. But to the Cavaliers, that just doesn’t matters. The franchise recorded its first-ever NBA Finals victory.
Stephen Curry shot a porous 5-of-23 from the field, including a 2-of-15 mark beyond the arc. Cleveland held Draymond Green without a basket until overtime, Andrew Bogut was largely a non-factor and the Warriors bench managed just 17 points.
Golden State used Klay Thompson’s 34-point effort to stick around, though a LeBron triple that gave Cleveland a 79-68 lead with 3:14 remaining in the fourth quarter appeared to seal the outcome.
Nevertheless, for the second straight game, the Dubs recovered when it mattered the most. Andre Iguodala sparked the run with a three-pointer, Curry netted seven points down the stretch and Harrison Barnes added a clutch and-one.
James had a chance to win at the buzzer in regulation, but his layup—and a Tristan Thompson putback—bounced off the iron.
Then in overtime, the Cavaliers took a five-point edge before Golden State mustered enough offense behind Green and Curry to snatch the lead.
For Cleveland fans, it must have felt like déjà vu—especially when Green rejected LeBron at the rim in the waning moments.
But somehow, perhaps miraculously, Golden State threw away the ensuing pass and granted new life to the Cavs. Dellavedova was fouled while attempting to grab a rebound, sunk both free throws and handed Cleveland the much-needed triumph.
The Cavaliers evened the series at one win apiece, and they’ll return home believing they can pull off the upset—even without Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Anderson Varejao.
Sunday night was undoubtedly an ugly performance.
But to Cleveland, it just doesn’t matter.
Photo: USA Today Sports