NBA Finals: A third straight overtime game too long to ignore

It was hardly surprising to read reports of LeBron James grimacing as he rose from his locker, ice strapped to his knees, just hours after singlehandedly levelling the NBA Finals at 1-1.

James played all but 2 minutes and 40 seconds of the 53 required between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors in Game 2 at the Oracle Arena, just 48 hours after logging near-on 46 in the series opener.

With the 30-year-old taking such a central role in his short-handed franchise’s efforts to claim their first ever NBA title, and the city’s first in major sports history, James’ body is already starting to creak.

While he continues to perform at his optimum, however, the Cavaliers always stand a chance of keeping this series close.

Game 2 was all about the multi-MVP winner, who scored 39 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and dished 11 assists in the 95-93 victory. Ladbrokes make it a 4/1 chance that the former Miami Heat star registers a second consecutive triple double back in Ohio.

Such is the closeness of this battle that both of the previous two encounters in the series required overtime to be decided. A whopping 10/1 looks well-worthy of attention that the first matchup at the Cavs’ Quicken Loans Arena follows suit.

From Golden State’s perspective, they know that a return to form for Steph Curry, who missed an NBA Finals record 13 three-pointers last time out, will likely get them past the winning post.

With their star man out of sorts, the stronger, deeper Bay Area franchise managed to stay with their opponents throughout Game 2 and 4/5 in the money-line market remains the sensible option overall.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.