OAKLAND, Calif. -- LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are headed home in a familiar spot after the first two games of the NBA Finals.
Rather than reach back to last year's championship comeback for a confidence boost, James' focus is on figuring out what Cleveland must do to change its fortunes against a Warriors team that is fresher and far more dangerous this year, thanks to the addition of Kevin Durant.
"They're a different team," James said following a 132-113 loss in Game 2 on Sunday night that put Cleveland in an 0-2 hole.
That's been quite evident through two games. Durant leads all players with 71 points the first two games -- six more than the player he replaced in the lineup, Harrison Barnes, scored in seven games a year ago.
Durant's scoring has taken pressure off Stephen Curry and allowed the Warriors to withstand Cleveland runs so well that they haven't trailed after the first quarter in either game.
A healthy Curry followed up a 28-point Game 1 with his first postseason triple-double on Sunday with 32 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. He looks more like a two-time MVP than the hobbled player he was in last year's Finals.
Klay Thompson shook off a shooting slump to score 22 points and the Warriors pulled away late for another lopsided win.
"They play well at home," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. "They won their first two games like they're supposed to. Coming to a tough environment, we knew it was going to be tough, but they won the first two games. We get a chance to go home now to our home crowd where we play well, also" (see full story).
Warriors: Brown returns to Cleveland with Golden State
CLEVELAND -- Mike Brown happily slid into his normal seat to coach Steve Kerr's left for Game 2 of the NBA Finals. For the first time in weeks the Warriors were whole again.
Brown has moved before -- not always so willingly -- and over the next few days he'll return to a familiar place.
Golden State's well-liked top assistant, whose first two stints as a head coach were to nurture a young LeBron James and then pamper Kobe Bryant, is heading to Cleveland, the city that shaped him more than any other.
It's where he was hired twice and fired twice by the Cavaliers, who are paying him until 2020. It's where he raised his two sons. It's where he rooted himself in the community and stayed after losing his job in 2014. And it's where he still has a home and keeps one of his Harleys, which he took for cruises along Lake Erie to clear his mind.
"He loves those Harleys," said Warriors forward Draymond Green. "That just means he has `em in every city he goes to. That's an addiction."
When Game 3 tips off Wednesday night with the Warriors holding a 2-0 lead that feels insurmountable, Brown will be back in a building where he and James appeared in their first Finals together 10 years ago.
In 2007, the Cavs were no match for the powerful San Antonio Spurs, who overwhelmed Cleveland and swept the series. Brown can surely appreciate the irony in coming back as part of a juggernaut.
"Circle of life," Brown said last week. "Like the `Lion King,' everything comes back around, I guess" (see full story).
NBA Finals: TV ratings highest since 1998
CLEVELAND -- The first two games of the NBA Finals are the most-watched since Michael Jordan's final championship in 1998.
Despite two lopsided outcomes, Golden State's two home wins over Cleveland averaged 19.6 million viewers, according to numbers released Monday by the Nielsen company.
That's an increase of 5 percent from the 18.6 million average in 2016.
The Warriors' 132-113 victory on Sunday drew an average of 20.1 million viewers, up 13 percent from Game 2 last year and the most for a Game 2 since Chicago and Utah met in 1998. The telecast peaked with 23.1 million viewers.
This is the first time two teams have met three straight times in the NBA Finals.
Clippers: Team to host pair of preseason games in Hawaii
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Clippers will host two preseason games against the Toronto Raptors in Honolulu this fall.
The games on Oct. 1 and 3 will be played at the Stan Sheriff Center on the University of Hawaii campus. That's where the Clippers will hold their training camp.
The Clippers will participate in a pregame fan fest at the Hawaii Convention Center as part of the Clippers Hawaii Classic event.
It will be the first time the Clippers have played a game in Hawaii.