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NBA Finals notes heading into Game 2

 


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| June 5, 2016

NBA Finals notes heading into Game 2Golden State’s reserves outscored Cleveland’s 45-10 in Game 1, the largest bench scoring disparity in the NBA Finals in at least 50 years (when the NBA began tracking starters).

The Warriors have advanced to their second-straight NBA Finals, the first time Golden State is appearing in back-to-back NBA Finals in its West Coast Era (since 1962-63) and first time overall since appearing in consecutive Finals in the first two years of the league’s existence (1947 and 1948).

The Warriors are appearing in their eighth Finals in franchise history (4-3 all-time in The Finals).

Golden State and Cleveland met in the 2015 NBA Finals, with the Warriors winning the series, 4-2, en route to their first championship in 40 years.

The Warriors and Cavaliers are the 14th teams to meet in the NBA Finals in back-to-back seasons.

Entering The Finals, Cleveland leads the NBA in threes made during the playoffs (14.4 per game), while Golden State ranks second (12.5).

LeBron James and the Cavaliers face a 1-0 deficit in The Finals entering Game 2 on Sunday. James’ teams have won their last nine playoff games when trailing a series 1-0, the longest such streak for a player in NBA postseason history.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr played three-plus seasons with the Cavaliers from 1989-92. Kerr holds the team record for career (47.2) and single-season (50.7 in 1989-90) three-point field goal percentage. Last year, Kerr became the sixth coach to coach in The Finals against a team for which he played.

Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson has recorded a point-rebound double-double in five consecutive Finals games (Game 1 this year and Games 3-6 last year). Thompson has grabbed at least 10 rebounds in all seven career Finals games.

In Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night, three Cavs players register point-rebound double-doubles for the first time this postseason: LeBron James (23 pts, 12 rebs), Kevin Love (17 pts, 13 rebs) and Tristan Thompson (10 pts, 12 rebs). The last time the team accomplished that feat in the playoffs also occurred against the Warriors on June 16, 2015 (James, Thompson, Mozgov).

The Cavs are outrebounding opponents, 43.3 to 37.3 (+6.0), the 2nd-biggest differential among all 16 postseason teams. In Game 1 against the Warriors, Cleveland won the battle on the glass, 47-41.

MILESTONE ALERT: With his appearance tonight, LeBron James (193 GP) will pass Karl Malone (193 GP) and Danny Ainge (193 GP) for 10th all-time in playoff games played. James (338 STL) can also move past John Stockton (338 STL) for 4th place in career postseason steals with just one swipe tonight.

LeBron James posted his 8th double-double of the 2016 Playoffs after tallying 23 points, 12 rebounds, a game-high nine assists, two steals and one block in 41 minutes during Game 1. He also passed Larry Bird (1,683 REB) for 10th place in postseason rebounds and is now the only player in NBA playoff history to rank in the Top 10 in points (4th w/5,387), rebounds (10th w/1,691) and assists (3rd, w/1,295). He also became the all-time Finals leader in three-pointers made (57) with his second triple on Thursday, passing Robert Horry (56) and Ray Allen (56).

LeBron James has scored at least 20 points in 25 straight playoff contests, breaking his postseason career best mark (24 straight games, 5/12/08-4/25/10). He has topped 20 points in all 15 games this postseason which includes 12 games with at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. Kyrie Irving finished with a game-high 26 points, a playoff career-high 11-12 (.917) makes from the free throw line, three rebounds, four assists and three steals in 38 minutes at Golden State on Thursday night. Irving has now scored at least 20 points in 13 of the 15 playoff games so far.

Kevin Love notched his 10th double-double of the 2016 Playoffs with 17 points, a game-high 13 rebounds, two assists and one steal in 37 minutes against the Warriors in Game 1. Love’s 10 double-doubles rank 2nd in the NBA this postseason.

Tristan Thompson posted his 1st double-double of the 2016 Playoffs (10th of postseason career) in Game 1 after recording 10 points, 12 rebounds and one block in 31 minutes. Thompson has pulled down 10 rebounds or more in all seven of his NBA Finals appearances, which includes a double-double in each of the last five Finals contests. Over his Finals career, he is averaging 10.0 points and 12.9 rebounds (5.4 offensive) in 39.7 minutes.

Among the 16 playoff teams, Cleveland ranks 3rd at 105.7 points per game and is undefeated at 12-0 when scoring 100 points or more this postseason. J.R. Smith has made a team-high 50 three-pointers this playoffs, which ranks 3rd in the NBA this postseason. His 50 triples are also one shy of tying the Cavaliers single postseason record, set by Smith during the 2015 Playoffs (51). Kevin Love has nailed 43 threes (4th -most this postseason), while Irving has made 37 shots from deep (7th -most this postseason).



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