The Cavs were in a similar spot previous year, when they were blown out in Games 1 and 2 by a combined 48 points before they returned home and won Game 3 and then rallied from a 3-1 deficit to their first title.
The Warriors' 132-113 victory on Sunday drew an average of 20.1 million viewers, up 13 percent from Game 2 previous year and the most for a Game 2 since Chicago and Utah met in 1998. Harrison Barnes, the guy he replaced, scored 65 in seven Finals games in 2016. At one point Curry in the competitive time of the game, Curry was shown on the sidelines with a towel over his head not even watching the game.
A healthy Curry followed up a 28-point Game 1 with his first postseason triple-double on Sunday with 32 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.
Basketball rivals soccer and rugby for the top spot on Georgia's sports hierarchy and Pachulia, the NBA's only active player from the former Soviet republic, is among the most adored athletes in the Caucasian nation.
And Durant was coming off a Game 1 in which he totaled 38 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in a 113-91 Warriors victory.
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said he is sticking with shooting guard J.R. Smith in the starting lineup despite his struggles. We've won a lot of games playing the way we play. We knew it was going to be tough.
"We have to figure out a way to get him going early". While Curry looks back to being at the peak of his powers as a game-breaking offensive talent, Durant has been a two-way wrecking crew through the first two games of this series. We have a lot of games left. You don't surrender 132 points and get nicknamed "Doomsday". James has won a road game in 29 straight postseason series, so his Cavs must force a Game 5 back in Oakland to keep it going. James had little help as Love got there late. "Much more physical today than we were in Game 1", he pointed out, adding, "And we forced them to 20 turnovers, and they still beat us pretty good". The team put the ball in Curry's and Durant's hands and let them work in isolation for their own shot. We can credit the Warriors defense, but we can also point at the isolation plays of the Cavaliers.
"They're a different team", James said following the Game 2 loss. "That's what Golden State does".
"We have to sustain effort over the entire game", Irving said.
James is averaging a triple-double through two games, with 28.5 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists.
"We ride or die with Kyrie", said Kevin Love, who scored 27 points in the Game 2 loss, when the roof collapsed on the Cavs in the second half. But I feel the last four or five years I've definitely continued to get better and better, and smarter. At the end of the day, it's still just basketball, man, and that's what gives me comfortable, and I'm more comfortable about it because it's just a game. And we take pride in it, we care about it.