CHICAGO - It's time to hide the women and children. This 2017 NBA Finals is getting ugly.
After being blown out in Game One, 113-91, the Cleveland Cavaliers waged a more aggressive and physical onslaught in Monday's Game Two. They forced 20 turnovers, produced 15 steals, and got a triple-double from LeBron James.
But the Golden State Warriors still won anyway, 132-113, thanks to a 40-point first quarter and a 65-49 second-half surge.
This championship is over. The games go on only because the rules require four wins to decide a best-of-seven series. The Cavs are in pretty bad shape, feeling the brunt of Golden State's power with no relief in sight.
Despite his team's much improved performance and his phenomenal effort that netted 29 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists, a dismayed LeBron confessed to reporters, "They still beat us pretty good."
If you examine the cause of Cleveland's Game Two demise at the Oracle Arena, you'll find out that it was a confluence of many factors.
The Warriors shot 51.7 percent from the field and made 10 more threes. The Warriors grabbed more rebounds, 53-41, and with 34 assists, Golden State's high-octane offense was more giving than the Little Sisters of the Poor.
But the mortal blow was delivered by Kevin Durant.
After a 38-point Game One explosion, Durant tormented the Cavaliers for 33 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, five blocks and three steals in Game Two. He sank 13 of 22 field goals, 4-of-8 threes, and 3-for-3 from the free throw stripe.
So how good is Kevin Durant?
Well, if you ask Miley Cyrus she'll probably tell you that Durant is a Wrecking Ball.
But if you ask me, I say please somebody call the Pope and demand that pontiff put KD on the saint ballot. The man can do no wrong.
OUTFOUGHT, OUTNUMBERED. Cleveland's woes were exacerbated by the continued excellence of Steph Curry, the awakening of Klay Thompson and the strength of the Warriors' supporting cast.
Curry rolled out a triple-double with 32 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, and he put a cherry on top of it by disrobing the King in a one-on-one third quarter sequence in which LeBron almost lost his shoes chasing Steph, who eventually escaped with a nifty lay-up.
Thompson, meanwhile, rattled in eight of 12 field goals for 22 points while Draymond Green registered 12 points, six boards and six dimes. Shaun Livingston and Ian Clark combined for 20 off the bench.
The Cavaliers are shaken. And stirred.
Iman Shumpert needed an I.V. infusion after the Game Two beating while an ornery LeBron did not go to the podium for the post-game press conference and instead answered questions in the locker room where he verbally tangled with a reporter.
Kyrie Irving, meanwhile, was in denial and insisted that the Cavs' offense "was not the problem."
EMPTY TANK. If there is some fight left from these weary Cavs, I don't see where it's going to come from beyond LeBron.
Kevin Love has been solid, racking 36 points and 35 rebounds in Games 1 and 2. Still, it would be difficult to try to pry more from him. If Love were an onion, all the layers have been peeled.
Irving, the Game Seven hero of the 2016 Finals, is a prisoner of last year's expectations. He has shown flashes of brilliance, blowing by people and making a few jelly lay-ups, but those feats are eclipsed by poor shooting (40 percent), careless ball handling, and porous defense.
The word "shooting guard" is an oxymoron when referred to Cavs guards these days. They can't shot.
Shumpert is 3-for-12, JR Smith is 1-for-6 while point guard Deron Williams, who also moonlights as a 2-guard, is 0-for-9.
At 14-0 in these playoffs, there's simply no stopping the Warriors.
I'm not so musically inclined but I'm sure I heard the fat lady sing.