Durant powers Warriors rout over Cavaliers in NBA Finals opener

Kevin Durant scored 38 points to lead Golden State to a 113-91 rout against Cleveland in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, but the postgame buzz was about his apparent stare down of musician Rihanna, ESPN reported.

LeBron James, seeking his fourth National Basketball Association title, led the scoring for the Cavs with 28 and Kyrie Irving managed 24 - but the defending champions were far from their best and suffered heavily with turnovers.

The Warriors are set to embark on their journey to reclaim the National Basketball Association title against the current defending champs, starting with Friday's (AEST) Game 1, and Golden State might get a familiar face back on the sidelines very soon.

Cavaliers star LeBron James, who sparked the fightback last year to bring his beloved Cleveland its first major sports crown in 52 years, knows the Warriors have extra motivation.

Stephen Curry started the game wearing a sleeve over his elbow, then got rid of it quickly - and made two 3-pointers late in the quarter, including one officially from 31 feet that looked much deeper. He's seeking his first title and is second for the Warriors in scoring with 25.2 points per game this postseason. I think it'll be cool. "But it was a reward because when you set out a goal and you're able to achieve that reward or achieve that goal, like all of us, then it's rewarding and you feel good about it".

Golden State, it seems, has a bit of an issue, and a score to settle, with the defending champ Cavs.

Durant replaces Harrison Barnes, whose offensive struggles played a big role in the Warriors' failure to repeat as champions in 2016. "And we got a long way to go, for us as a society and for us as African-Americans, until we feel equal in America".

"But, yeah, I don't want to feel what I felt previous year".

Silver says that "from a league standpoint, you always want to see great competition".

"They stepped it up a level in the playoffs defensively", Durant said of the Cavaliers.

Not to the Cleveland Cavaliers - but to Shaquille O'Neal.

It's the Warriors' biggest challenge. And against a very good Cleveland team. "My heart goes out to him", NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. This is the Dubs' third straight Finals, and they might not even have reached their zenith.

The first half of Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals has concluded, so let's discuss halftime adjustments that both teams have to make.

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Curry made a point to do everything necessary for Durant to make a smooth transition incorporating into the offense, even if that meant his own numbers were down a year after his second MVP and another record 402 3-pointers as Golden State topped the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' wins record going 73-9.

  • Julie Sanders