FULL HIGHLIGHTS: Cavs Fight, But Fall To Warriors In Overtime of Game 1, 100-108
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After more than a week of wait, the NBA Finals tipped off in Oracle Arena as the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors clashed to draw first blood in their best of seven series. The Warriors welcomed back Klay Thompson who suffered a concussion in their last game against the Houston Rockets while the Cavaliers have given hazy updates on the status of Kyrie Irving’s knee.
Interestingly, Kyrie Irving was the one guarding Stephen Curry to begin the game. Tristan Thompson scored the first basket of the series via a jump hook over Draymond Green. The Warriors established their presence on defense early as Andrew Bogut had two blocks in the first three minutes. Cleveland got into early foul trouble with four fouls in the first four minutes.
LeBron James started off aggressive, scoring seven of the Cavs’ first nine points, and visitors looked to slow down the pace early on with James’ frequent post ups. The Cavs went on a 10-0 run with their bigs controlling the boards and the Warriors’ Splash Brothers still quiet. J.R. Smith contributed to their hot start going 2-for-2 from distance and Tristan Thompson was all business off the glass grabbing three early offensive boards for a total of seven caroms.
Golden State finished the first quarter rather strong to cut five points off the Cavalier lead, 29-19, but they shot a measly 29% from the field.
The two MVPs started the second quarter on the sidelines and Golden State finally woke up its crowd with two straight buckets, cutting the lead to six. Mo Speights entered the game to instantly contribute to the Warriors’ cause, converting on two straight field goals.
David Blatt saw enough as he put LeBron James back into the game and the Cavs returned to their deliberate pace to up the lead to seven points. However, Speights and Draymond Green combined to cut the lead to three and Oracle Arena erupted when Stephen Curry tied the game with a three ball from the left corner.
The regular season MVP went berserk to score on another three and a tough drive to give the Dubs a five-point led. Klay Thompson also joined the party with his own version of long bomb but Iman Shumpert kept the Cavaliers’ head above water with two threes during the Warriors’ run. LeBron James gave the lead back to Cleveland with four straight points.
Off a Blatt designed play, James inbound the ball to find J.R. Smith for a long three-pointer to end the second quarter, which was all about the Warriors’ strength which are Curry and their bench, 51-48. James led the Cavalier attack with 19 points while Curry had 14 for the Warriors.
Coming out of the dugout, Kyrie Irving scored two early buckets to begin the third quarter, giving the Cavs a seven point lead. It was a back and forth affair from then on as the Cavalier lead lingered around two points with both teams giving it their all underneath. Klay Thompson carried the Dubs through this stretch while James and Irving carried Cleveland.
The defense for both teams upped its level and as a result Irving got his third foul as he locked in on the active Klay Thompson for an extended period while Draymond Green was called for his fourth foul past the three-minute mark of the quarter.
Cleveland went to LeBron James at the post almost the entire time and it resulted in The King garnering point after point to reach 31 before the end of the third. Golden State ignited the crowd as Andre Igoudala stole the ball for a slam with a second remaining in the third quarter and the scored was tied at 73 entering the final twelve minutes.
Andre Iguodala began the fourth quarter with a string of big plays. After a three-ball to give the Warriors the lead, Iggy found Shaun Livingston underneath for a dunk, and he blocked a J.R. Smith three in the ensuing play.
LeBron James gave the the lead back to Cleveland with elbow jumper and converted on fadeaway, again off the post up, to increase their lead to four points. James already had a finals high of 37 points. Iguodala once again drained a three, with only one shoe, to cut the lead to a single point.
Klay Thompson went on a mini-run with five straight points to bring back the deficit to one point. Draymond Green picked up his fifth foul off a rebound play with four and a half minutes left. Stephen Curry, while being guarded by James, knocked down a jumper to give Golden State the lead once more.
LeBron James converted on a three pointer to even the score with two and a half minutes left in the game. Cleveland had a chance to grab the lead but Timofey Mozgov, who was the owner of a number of nasty slams all game long, was called for a traveling underneath and his bucket was waived off.
Stephen Curry again gave the lead to Golden State with a clutch jumper and in the next play found himself guarding LeBron James who then found a cutting Mozgov for another dunk attempt. Mozgov got fouled by Bogut and he went on to hit his free throws to tie the game with 31 seconds left in the game.
With the ball on Curry’s hand, he surprisingly found an open lane but Kyrie Irving was able to bother his shot from behind. The next possession was another cardiac one as LeBron James missed on what could have been a game winning step back jumper but Shumpert was able to hoist another attempt off a long rebound but also missed its mark.
In overtime, both teams bled for good looks until Steph Curry broke the ice with two free throws off a Tristan Thompson foul. Curry, once again, was able to fish for a foul and visited the stripe for two more free throws giving the Warriors a four point lead.
Kyrie Irving seemed to hurt his knee off a turnover which allowed the Warriors to go virtually five-on-four and Harrison Barnes drained a for a seven point Warrior lead. The Cavaliers seemed to have broken down as Iguodala was able to get another steal off a James turnover.
Kyrie takes himself out of the game and is heading to the locker room with the Cavs trainer, limping badly. Dellavedova checks in.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 5, 2015
Cleveland was simply terrible in overtime, failing to score until an irrelevant basket by LeBron James, and Golden State came away with the Game One win, 108-100.
LeBron James led the Cavs with 44 points but got no help from his usual snipers, Kyrie Irving left for the locker room after hurting his knee, and Stephen Curry was golden for the Warriors with 28 points and eight assists.
Game Two in Oracle will be on Sunday at 8:00 PM EST.
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