CLEVELAND – After a close call in Game 1, the Cleveland Cavaliers made sure they did not need the last two minutes of Game 2 to seal the deal last night.
Behind a dominant defensive effort in the third quarter, where they outscored the Detroit Pistons 27-15, the Cavs cruised to a 107-90 victory.
LeBron James put up efficient numbers of 27 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals on 12 of 18 shooting.
Having a 2-0 series lead, Cleveland is virtually already in the second round as they have never lost a playoff series after leading 2-0. On the flip side, the Pistons have never clawed their way back from a 2-0 deficit in franchise history, making their elimination all but certain.
Either the Miami Heat offence is firing all cylinders or the Charlotte Hornets are just not playing defence. The Heat after their Game 2 win became the only team in NBA playoff history to score 115+ points in consecutive games since Orlando Magic did so in 1996 when they won 115-103 last night in Miami.
The Heat’s halftime score of 72 points was how much the Boston Celtics had scored in the all of Game 2 against the Atlanta Hawks and four more than how many the Memphis Grizzlies scored in their Game 2.
Charlotte Hornets’ guard Kemba Walker scored 21 of his 29 points in the first half but still it wasn’t enough. He and Al Jefferson (25 points) were the Hornets’ players to show up. All other players in the team’s rotation were either having a tough shooting night or were in foul trouble.
The team’s small forward Marvin Williams, who is a crucial player on offence, failed to register a point shooting 0 of 10 from the field. For the home side, a vintage Dwyane Wade made an appearance with his 28 points and 8 assists.
Center Hassan Whiteside dominated once again with 17 points, 13 rebounds and two blocked shots.
The Portland Trailblazers might be the best feel good story in the league but the Los Angeles Clippers seem to have their number last night. The Clippers have beaten the Blazers five straight games with an average points margin of 13.8.
This is just a bad match-up for the young Portland squad. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the rest of the Clippers are far too experienced to not easily put away an inferior talented team, as the 102-81 score line demonstrated last night.
For a second straight game, the Blazers relied on their backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum to carry them and for a second straight game they failed. Lillard and McCollum shot a combined 17 of 42 (40.4%) and were the reason for six of the team’s 11 turnovers.
Young center Mason Plumlee was the pick of the Portland squad registering 17 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out seven dimes.
Meanwhile for the Clippers, Paul had 25 points, five rebounds and six assists while DeAndre Jordan had just three points to go along with 18 rebounds. Blake Griffin continued the run of good form since his return from injury with 12 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
A huge talking point from this game was the Clippers’ bench, which scored 42 points on the night, and their performance on both ends of the floor.