No team has ever been beaten up in the NBA Finals like the Cleveland Cavaliers. They lost the first two games by a combined 48 points, and they're 1.5-point home dogs at press time for Wednesday's Game 3 (9 PM ET, ABC) versus the Golden State Warriors. The Cavs were 1-point puppies when the line opened on Monday.
After playing somewhat competitive basketball in the opener, things fell apart for Cleveland Sunday night in Game 2; they got blown out 77-110 as 6-point road dogs, and they lost Kevin Love to a concussion after he was elbowed in the head by Harrison Barnes. Love was put in concussion protocol and didn't practice Tuesday, but he hopes to play Wednesday despite being officially listed as questionable for Game 3.
Cleveland can't afford to have anyone missing. The Warriors are healthy, and their depth has taken its toll on the Cavs, whose bench pales in comparison. Leandro Barbosa scored 21 points in 29 minutes during the first two games, shooting 10-for-12 from the floor. Ian Clark, Marreese Speights and former Cavs center Anderson Varejao have also contributed for Golden State in limited minutes.
NBA Odds: “Must-Win” for Cavs in Game 3
Technically, the Cleveland Cavaliers don't have to win Game 3 of the NBA Finals. But with his team down 2-0, LeBron James has called Wednesday's matchup (9 PM ET, ABC) against the Golden State Warriors a “must-win” game for Cleveland.
It won't be easy. The Cavaliers dropped the first two games by a combined 48 points, and they're 1.5-point home dogs for Game 3, up from +1 at the open. The Cavs might also be without Kevin Love, who suffered a concussion in Game 2 and is listed as questionable for Wednesday after skipping Tuesday's practice.