Golden State coach Steve Kerr made a lineup change for the Warriors in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, going with 7-foot big man JaVale McGee in the starting lineup in place of Kevon Looney.
The move paid off with McGee scoring 12 points on 6-of-6 shooting.
McGee started the second half of Game 1 and had two baskets in a spirited six-minute stint. He played only three minutes in the conference finals against Houston, when Golden State went with smaller lineups to match the Rockets’ perimeter shooters.
McGee’s size could help against the Cavaliers’ big lineup that includes LeBron James, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson. Kerr said the Warriors can’t just sit back and let James attack, and the Warriors need a better effort on the backboards after getting outrebounded 53-38 in Game 1.
Golden State’s Andre Iguodala did not play Sunday, missing his sixth straight postseason game with a bone bruise in his left knee.
Kerr remains optimistic the 2015 Finals MVP will play at some point in the series.
James says the Warriors are pretty good with Iguodala, and pretty good without him.
The Cavaliers All-Star said the Warriors have “had a two-time MVP sit out playoff games and they’ve won. ... They’re good. They’re great, actually. So let’s not get too far on that.”
David Guthrie, welcome to the NBA Finals.
Guthrie made his Finals debut as a referee in Game 2. He worked alongside Mike Callahan — who is the most experienced referee assigned to this series.
Callahan worked his 20th Finals game.
Also part of the crew was Derrick Stafford, who was picked as a Finals ref for the eighth time.
Officiating was likely more closely scrutinized than usual in Game 2. The crew of Ken Mauer, Ed Malloy and Tony Brothers was criticized for late-game decisions in Game 1, such as the overturning of a block-charge call involving James and Kevin Durant and the ejection of Thompson in the final seconds.
It’s the fourth straight NBA Finals for the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s the fourth straight NBA Finals for the Golden State Warriors.
And it was the fourth straight NBA Finals for Carlos Santana.
Santana and his wife Cindy performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Game 2 at Oracle Arena. It was the fourth straight Finals that Santana, a 10-time Grammy winner and three-time Latin Grammy winner, has played the anthem before the second game on the Warriors’ home floor.
Santana told The Associated Press: “We take whatever is offered to us and we’re very grateful, Cindy and I, that they invited us to be part of this. I call it ‘unprecedented brilliance.’”
Santana was born in Mexico and settled in the San Francisco area when he came to the United States. He said he appreciates greatness in all forms — the Warriors, James, as well as the careers of Tiger Woods and Serena Williams.
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