NBA Finals ratings highest since Jordan's last title in 1998

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Golden State, Game 1, ABC, 18.7 million; "America's Got Talent", NBC 12.32 million; "World of Dance", NBC, 9.71 million; "Little Big Shots", NBC, 7.45 million; "NCIS", CBS, 7.35 million; "60 Minutes", CBS, 6.79 million; "The Big Bang Theory", CBS, 6.73 million; "Bull", CBS, 6.51 million; "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly", NBC, 6.2 million.

It's no wonder James, who has been his typically dominant self, averaging 28.5 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, stopped attacking in the second half.

Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving walks off the court after Golden. "He's been an wonderful player in this league for a long time, and he senses this is his time, his moment, his team". But that takes a lot out of you.

James also was asked about it being physically and emotionally draining to have such a small margin for error against a talented team.

James has been in these situations before.


Cleveland missed its final eight shots of the game, including a 23-foot shot from the corner by Korver with 52.5 seconds left and the Cavs leading 113-111. Most of those were in James' early years with the Cavs, before his four-year jaunt to Miami in the middle of his career. My math's not really good, but they shot over 50 percent, they both had nearly 40 points, and they did it for 40-plus minutes. It means excellence in defeat.

In the middle of his answer, Kyrie Irving sighed, still shivering from a post-game trip to the cold tub. In Game 1 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals against the Magic, LeBron was preposterous. The entire Cleveland bench had five.

It comes in the Finals, of course, and it effectively ends Cleveland's title hopes. Then after Kyle Korver missed a 3-pointer, Durant calmly came up the floor staring down James, the greatest player in the National Basketball Association, and pulled up without hesitation. There was no Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love.

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Durant is made even better defensively when his team's success in small-ball lineups force the opposition to match up in a similar way.

It required a collaborative effort. LeBron matched his own NBA Finals best by scoring 27 points in the first half (he scored 39 points overall), and Irving emerged in the second half, scoring 38 for the game. If we come out with the same fight and intensity. we got a good chance of winning on Friday.

The rest of the Cavaliers were a auto wreck being swept up by an avalanche and being swallowed by a sinkhole. "So we knew he would fit perfectly into what we already did, but make us better".

The first two games of the NBA Finals are the most-watched since Michael Jordan's final championship in 1998. "And for us to win, I knew I had to give LeBron at least a two-minute blow in that first quarter, because in the second half, he might not get a blow".

Having already shoved aside the Showtime Lakers, Stephen Curry the Golden State Warriors are trying to move past one of hockey's powerhouses. But the point remains that James delivered one of his all-time performances in the biggest game of the year, and the Cavaliers let him down.

Kerr noted that it took a year in which they lost their first NBA Finals together to work out the kinks of their coexistence.

Some people may argue their greatness, but James won't. This was a throwback of the worst kind. J.R. Smith finally got started.