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Warriors off to most dominant start in NBA Finals history

LeBron James looked at his copy of the box score and succinctly evaluated the Cavaliers’ problems.

“We didn’t win anything,” LeBron said.

The Warriors are the 32nd team to go up 2-0 in the NBA Finals.

Nobody had done it in such a commanding fashion.

Golden State beat Cleveland 104-89 in Game 1 and 110-77 in Game 2 – a combined difference of 48 points. That’s the best start in Finals history.

Here’s each team to go up 2-0 sorted by scoring difference through two games, NBA champions in blue and runners up in wine:


TeamScoring difference through two gamesWon Finals?
2016: GSW vs. CLE48 (104-89, 110-77)TBD
1951: ROC vs. NYK42 (92-65, 99-84)Yes
1961: BOS vs. STL42 (129-95, 116-108)Yes
1965: BOS vs. LAL38 (142-110, 129-123)Yes
1967: PHI vs. SFW37 (141-135, 126-95)Yes
2005: SAS vs. DET36 (84-69, 97-76)Yes
1964: BOS vs. SFW35 (108-96, 124-101)Yes
1986: BOS vs. HOU34 (112-100, 117-95)Yes
1987: LAL vs. BOS32 (126-113, 141-122)Yes
2009: LAL vs. ORL30 (100-75, 101-96)Yes
1971: MIL vs. BAL29 (98-88, 102-83)Yes
2002: LAL vs. NJN28 (99-94, 106-83)Yes
1976: BOS vs. PHO26 (98-87, 105-90)Yes
1999: SAS vs. NYK25 (89-77, 80-67)Yes
2006: DAL vs. MIA24 (90-80, 99-85)No
1947: PHW vs. CHS24 (84-71, 85-74)Yes
1977: PHI vs. POR24 (107-101, 107-89)No
2000: LAL vs. IND24 (104-87, 111-104)Yes
1959: BOS vs. MNL23 (118-115, 128-108)Yes
1996: CHI vs. SEA21 (107-90, 92-88)Yes
2007: SAS vs. CLE20 (85-76, 103-92)Yes
1949: MNL vs. WSC18 (88-84, 76-62)Yes
2008: BOS vs. LAL16 (98-88, 108-102)Yes
1983: PHI vs. LAL16 (113-107, 103-93)Yes
1989: DET vs. LAL15 (109-97, 108-105)Yes
1997: CHI vs. UTA14 (84-82, 97-85)Yes
1995: HOU vs. ORL13 (120-118, 117-106)Yes
1993: CHI vs. PHO11 (100-92, 111-108)Yes
1963: BOS vs. LAL10 (117-114, 113-106)Yes
1969: LAL vs. BOS8 (120-118, 118-112)No
1955: SYR vs. FTW7 (86-82, 87-84)Yes
1975: GSW vs. WSB7 (101-95, 92-91)Yes

There was history for teams coming back after getting routed in Game 1. Obviously, no team has come back in the Finals after getting beaten this badly twice to start a series – because nobody had ever gotten beat this badly twice to start a series.

But the three teams to overcome 2-0 deficits in the Finals – 2006 Heat (vs. Mavericks), 1977 Trail Blazers (vs. 76ers) and 1969 Celtics (vs. Lakers) – fared much better in their opening losses. Miami and Portland lost by a combined 24, and Boston lost by a combined seven.

How do these Cavs come back after losing by a combined 48?

No team has ever won any series after losing the first two games by so much. The record was set by the 1995 Rockets, who beat the Suns after losing Game 1 130-108 and Game 2 118-94 – a combined 46 points.

The Cavaliers have already made Finals history. It will take playoff history to dig themselves out of this hole.