Matthew Dellavedova Shuts Down Steph Curry, Cavs Level The NBA Finals

The dog is off the chain yet again.

It took another overtime thriller – the first time in history games 1 and 2 of the Finals have both gone to extra time – but this time the Cleveland Cavaliers were the ones walking out of the Oracle Arena with an arm-wrestle of a win.
An undermanned Cavs side managed to blink last in a see-sawing game 2 of the NBA Finals, levelling the series against the Golden State Warriors at one game a piece.
And it was the Cavs Australian ace in the hole in Matthew Dellavedova who yet again proved to be the key piece of the puzzle, continuing his stellar postseason form.
Following the loss of starting star guard Kyrie Irving – who will sit out the remainder of the series (and indeed season) with a fractured kneecap – Delly was handed the starter’s cap and given arguably one of the most intimidating jobs in the NBA: covering Golden State’s league MVP, Steph Curry.
But it was Delly’s now trademark tenacious D that won out, with the nuggety bloke throwing a virtual blanket over Curry, who was forced time and time again to settle for ugly, out-of-position shots. Despite carrying a postseason average of 29.0 points per game, Curry simply couldn’t get any sort of rhythm going for the entire game, registering just 19 points for the game off a woeful 5 for 23 shooting – this included 2 of 15 made from beyond the arc, representing a new NBA high water mark for missed 3 point shots in a playoff game.
Poor shooting wasn’t merely limited to the Warriors, however. With Cavs’ superstar LeBron James again struggling with his range. Though despite only managing 32.4% shot percentage, his voluminous shooting still saw him register a game-high 39 points. Coupled with 16 rebounds and 11 assists, James sealed the lid on another postseason triple double, the fourteenth of his already storied career.
But even James himself was full of praise for Dellavedova, whose clutch free throws and blanket defence muscled the Cavs through to OT period to a 95 – 93 victory.

“He came out, he defended, he rebounded. We knew we could count on him. He gave us everything and more.”

The Cavs victory gives them an all-important road win in what’s turning out to be one of the tightest NBA Finals series in recent memory.

The series now shifts to Cleveland and the Cavs home Quicken Loans Arena for Game 3, scheduled for Wednesday morning Australian time.
Photo: Ezra Shaw via Getty Images.