Barnett: Cavs "Cashed In Their Chips"

The Cavs knew midway through the fourth quarter of Game 2 that it was time to go home

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
June 04, 2018 - 8:51 am

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The Cleveland Cavaliers hung around for much of Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, but in the end, the Warriors were, as usual, too much. Golden State outscored the Cavs 32-23 in the fourth quarter to win 122-103 and take a 2-0 series lead.

“This is the first time they’ve put together four good quarters in a row,” Warriors radio analyst Jim Barnett said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “They’ll have a couple of quarters in a game – particularly just one. In the Houston series, it was hodgepodge all over the place. So I was glad to see them do that.”

The Warriors shot over 50 percent in each quarter, as Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson scored 33, 26, and 20 points, respectively. That trio shot 14-of-28 (50 percent) from distance, as Curry made an NBA Finals record nine three-pointers.

“He’s really amazing,” Barnett said. “He has these quarters where he just owns everything – and he had that in the fourth quarter. He only played eight-and-a-half minutes of that fourth quarter, but he put the game out of reach. He hit all five of these threes. He gets on these rolls.”

Curry’s most impressive three came in the fourth, when he launched a circus shot while fading away from the basket and the shot clock winding down.

“Other guys could make that shot accidentally and luckily,” Barnett said. “But when he throws it up there, you think, ‘You know what? This might go in because it’s him.’ And sure enough, it went in.”

That shot opened up the floodgates. The Cavs had pulled to within 100-89 with less than eight minutes to go. Curry’s shot made it 103-89. It was 111-93 in a blink.

“That's when they cashed in their chips,” Barnett said of the Cavs. “You could just see right there they were resigned and they were going to go (home down 0-2) and just wait for Game 3.”

LeBron James finished with 29 points, 13 assists, nine rebounds and two steals, but his Cavs were overmatched. They’ll try to get in the win column Wednesday in Game 3. Tip-off is at 9 p.m. ET.

“The Warriors controlled the game from start to finish,” Barnett said of Golden State’s Game 2 win. “But anything can happen in Games 3 and 4 back in Cleveland.”