The Cleveland Cavaliers couldn’t buy a basket in overtime, and the Golden State Warriors won its first NBA Finals game in 40 years with a 108-100 overtime victory in game one.
In the history of the NBA Finals, home teams to win game one go on to win the series 78 percent of the time.
Cleveland missed 12 straight shots from the 2:38 mark in the 4th quarter, until there were 8.9 seconds left in overtime when Golden State allowed LeBron James to hit an uncontested lay-up for two of his game high 44 points. Game 2 is set for Sunday night at 8pm ET.
In even worse news for the Cavs, Kyrie Irving’s status for the rest of the series is up in the air after he was forced to leave the game with 2:01 remaining in overtime after re-injuring his left leg.
Prior to getting hurt, Irving looked as healthy as can be, scoring 23 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists. He was also extremely active on the defensive end finishing the game with four steals and two blocks.
Things were looking great for Cleveland early, leading by as many as 14 points in the first quarter, but the Warriors responded with a 22-7 run to get back into the game. Then with the game tied at 48 and the clock winding down in the half, J.R. Smith hit a three give Cleveland the lead heading into the locker room.
The 3rd quarter was a back and forth affair, and a LeBron James turnover with seconds remaining resulted in a Andre Iguodala uncontested dunk to tie the game a 73 entering the 4th.
The 4th quarter was much the same, and it stayed that way thanks to Kyrie Irving who momentarily saved the game by blocking a Steph Curry lay-up attempt. LeBron James and Iman Shumpert both missed at the end of regulation to send the game to overtime.
In overtime, the Warriors ceased control outscoring Cleveland 10-2 to seal the win. LeBron James was at his worst in OT, missing his first three shots of the session, and turning the ball over twice.
Along with Cleveland’s inability to score the basketball in overtime, Golden State’s dominance on the glass, and J.R. Smith’s disappearance in OT contributed to the Warriors game one triumph.
The Warriors out-rebounded the Cavs 48-32, and Smith went scoreless in the 2nd half and into overtime after he scored nine first half points. If Cleveland wants to get back in this series, they’re going to have to be exponentially better rebounding the basketball, and J.R. Smith cannot disappear for any stretch of the game, especially when you consider Kyrie Iving’s status.
For Golden State, Steph Curry led the way with 26 points, Klay Thompson added 21, and Andre Iguodala had 15 points on 6/8 shooting off the bench. Iguodala’s defense on LeBron James down the stretch was exceptional and his timely offense was vital to Golden State walking away with the win.