It's not all Kevin Durant - the Warriors are dominating the Cavaliers in other areas

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Football News

Through two games of this year's NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, it's hard to blame fans if they have a sense of deja vu.

Last year, the Warriors won the first two games at home before dropping Game 3 in Cleveland. This year, the Warriors have won the first two in Oakland in convincing fashion, and will try to avoid a Game 3 repeat when they head to Cleveland on Wednesday night.

The biggest difference between this year's Finals and last year's is the presence of Kevin Durant, who joined the Warriors last offseason after spending the first part of his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

He scored 38 points in Game 1 and followed up with 33 points in Game 2 on Sunday and has also contributed to the Warriors' success defensively.

However, he's not the only reason Golden State has continued its run of playoff dominance. Here are three other areas of the game the Warriors have dominated through the first two games of the series.

Ball movement

Through two games, the Cavaliers have recorded 42 total assists - not a bad number. However, the Warriors have combined for an impressive 65 dimes thus far - 31 in Game 1 and 34 in Game 2.

Sometimes assists don't tell the whole story, as they can be an unreliable measure of ball movement, but the 23-assist disparity through two games is definitely significant.

Durant has contributed to the Warriors' success in this department, recording 14 assists so far, but this is more a testament to Steph Curry (who has 21) and the Warriors as a whole, as they have shown they're willing to make the extra pass to find a teammate with an open look at the basket.

That willingness to pass up a good shot for a great shot puts extra strain on the Cavs' defense and forces them to expend more energy on that end of the floor.

Three-pointers made

With two of the best three-point shooters in the history of the game in Curry and Klay Thompson, it's no surprise that the Warriors are leading this category.

Durant is no slouch from long-range either, having knocked down seven of his 14 attempts from beyond the arc so far this series.

However, the Cavaliers actually made more threes during the regular season than the Warriors (1,067 to 982) so Cleveland was expected to be able to hold its own from deep.

Instead, the Warriors have made 30 threes so far, while the Cavs have only made 19. With shooters like J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver and Channing Frye struggling to get going, the Cavaliers haven't been as lethal from behind the arc as they were during the regular season, and it has cost them dearly.

Bench play

When you look at the numbers, the Golden State and Cleveland benches have been pretty even. The Warriors have scored 55 bench points in 168 minutes, while the Cavs' bench has scored 51 points in 166 minutes.

However, the way the teams have utilized their benches has been very different, as Golden State coaches Steve Kerr and Mike Brown have been able to play the Warriors backups during more important moments in the game.

Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and Ian Clark have been bright spots for Golden State, while the Cavaliers' bench (other than Richard Jefferson) has struggled to keep the Warriors in check.

Getting more important minutes from the bench will be crucial for coach Tyronn Lue and the Cavaliers if they want to even the series at 2-2 over the next two games in Cleveland.

Kevin Durant
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Western Conference

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