MATAPOS ang nakapanlulumong pagkatalo sa NBA Finals opener ay nangako ang Cleveland Cavaliers na babawi sa Game 2.
Kinuha ng host Golden State ang 1-0 kalamangan sa best-of-seven championship series sa pamamagitan ng 124-114 overtime win na tinawag ni Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue na isang ‘robbery’.
“We lost a tough game,” wika ni Lue. “We can’t dwell on that. We can’t live on that or we won’t be able to perform in game two. So we have to get on with it.”
“Listen, we’re not broken. We lost a game. It was a tough game for us. The guys’ confidence is not shaken. We have the blueprint. Now we have to execute at a higher level.”
Ang kumpiyansa na iyon ay umagos kay Cavs guard George Hill, na hindi nakatulog makaraang magmintis sa isang late free throw na nagbigay sana sa Cavaliers ng kalamangan.
“We can win this series playing the right way. Everyone in this locker room felt we gave one away but we have a game on Sunday to make up for it and get back on the right track,” pahayag ni Hill.
“None of us is demoralized. We’re going to bottle up all that frustration from game one and bring it out for game two.”
“We’re the last two teams standing. We’re going to fight it out. It shouldn’t be a prom dance. It’s going to be a fight.”
Malaki naman ang inaasahan ng Warriors, nagtatangka sa kanilang ikatlong titulo sa apat na seasons sa unprecedented fourth consecutive finals showdown sa Cavs.
“I don’t expect them to be deflated by Sunday. I expect them to play with great energy out of the gate Sunday,” sabi ni Warriors guard Klay Thompson. “If we play with great passion and great focus I think we’ll be fine.”
Napasabog si Cleveland superstar LeBron James ng playoff career-high 51 points, ang pinakamalaki sa finals magmula nang maitala ni Michael Jordan ang marka noong 1993.
“He did everything he could to will our team to win,” ani Lue.