Stephen Curry dribbling circles around LeBron James epitomizes Warriors’ win in Game 2 of Finals

That Stephen Curry dribbling routine that blows up on social media during warmups,  well, it doesn’t only happen before games.

Curry’s 13-dribble exhibition early in the second half of the Golden State Warriors’ 132-113 Game 2 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday was the greatest highlight of a game full of them — mostly all from Golden State.

Curry received the pass at the top of the circle, dribbled close enough to get one foot in the paint before reversing his course and coming back out to the circle. He then pump-faked LeBron James into leaving his feet and headed to the rim, eventually finishing with a right-handed layup over James and Kevin Love.

Curry said early in the play he was “just kind of like a chicken with my head cut off running circles,” before adding, “he’s a great defender so you know you have to do something pretty special to score,”

The Cavaliers called time out and although the Warriors lead was 10, it felt like 100 as Cleveland showed, once again, it had no clue how to stop Curry and Kevin Durant.

The two combined for 65 points — one fewer than in Game 1 — 23 rebounds and 17 assists with Curry recording his first postseason triple-double: 32 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assist.

And although he did not have a great night from the floor (7 of 17, 4 of 11 on threes), Curry made all 14 of his free throws.

Durant had 33, 13 and 6. To put their dominance in perspective, the 131 points by Curry and Durant while the Warriors have taken a 2-0 lead in the series are just 73 fewer than the Cavaliers have scored.

Golden State’s Klay Thompson watches his jump shot during the second half of the Warriors win over Cleveland in Game 2 of the 2017 NBA Finals.
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Klay Thompson finds his stroke: The Warriors had two players score more than 30 points in Game 2 but it was the guy with 22 points that will bring the most smiles today. Thompson has been in the shadows of Durant and Curry this postseason, and most of this season for that matter. He’s having the worst postseason of his six-year career, averaging 13.8 points and shooting just 36.6 percent entering Game 2. And he appeared frustrated and confused in Game 1 with just six points, while missing 13 of his 16 shots.

But the old Klay Thompson returned in Game 2, his 22 points coming on 8-of-12 shooting (4-of-7 on threes). And if he’s all the way back, a team that has been unbeatable in the postseason (14-0) will become even more daunting.

LeBron James

LeBron goes from aggressive to gassed: LeBron James is getting no help and it’s starting to show. He came out aggressively in Game 1, taking the ball hard to the rim on his first 12 shots. And although he was piling up points, he was getting worn down, a byproduct of chasing players like Durant and Thompson all over the court as the Warriors continue to push the pace. James’ first jumper, a three, did not come until 6:48 remained in the third quarter. James had 27 points after three quarters, but by late in the third quarter he appeared exhausted, and a few minutes later Cavs coach Tyronn Lue noticed, giving him a break. James had just two points in the fourth quarter and he did shoot 12 of 18 and finish with a triple double (11 rebounds and 14 assists), but he was not a factor the final 12 minutes, allowing the Warriors to race to the victory.

Once again James will have two days of rest before the next game, but that didn’t help between Games 1 and 2. Wednesday’s Game 3, though, will be in Cleveland where James should receive a major boost from the home crowd.

Following the game James was asked if he needed IV fluids. “No, I’m good, I’m good,” he said. “Just need some food and some wine and I’ll be all right.”

[Game 1 of Finals exactly what Kevin Durant envisioned when he signed with Warriors 11 months ago]

[LeBron James entering the NBA Finals as the underdog … again]

[2017 NBA Finals: 10 storylines as the Cavaliers and Warriors meet for third straight year]

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