Warriors' Durant makes his mark in Game 1
- Author: Arturo Norris Jun 03, 2017,
Jun 03, 2017, 9:49
Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala (9) and forward Kevin Durant (35) react after scoring against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, June 1, 2017.
Durant was the story, setting the early tone and then finishing up with a solid fourth quarter with a team-high eight points in the final frame to quash any thoughts of a Cleveland comeback. His message as the NBA Finals began: be yourselves.
Cleveland's comeback previous year was keyed by James and Kyrie Irving and both were on point again - through three quarters James had 26 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists on his way to 28 for the game, and Irving had 22 of his 24 through 36 minutes as the Cavs waved the white flag early.
Golden State realizes it might not get quite the open lanes and looks that Durant had Thursday as the Cavs try to adjust in the paint, yet the pass-happy Warriors are more than capable of opening up the game in other ways as efficiently as they move the ball.
Golden State did not play a ideal game but got great performances from its best players in Game 1.
James finished with 28 points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists. "They capitalized", James said.
Durant punished Cleveland for leaving him free, taking the ball to the hoop for emphatic dunks as a man on a mission to deliver what he came for: a championship.
For context, the Warriors are a flawless 13-0 - never been done before in the National Basketball Association playoffs - are blowing out teams more so than any in playoff history on a nightly basis.
Lue: "Yeah, they're the best I ever seen". "They're 13-0. They're constantly breaking records every year".
"[LeBron] always loses Game One in the finals", Pluto says.
Once his night was finally done, Durant found mother Wanda at the end of the Warriors bench and held her in a warm embrace.
- The first came off a great cut to beat James. "We got to figure out how to combat that, which is going to be a tough challenge for us". "Are you kidding me?" He shot 14 for 26 in his fifth 30-point performance this postseason, receiving a rousing ovation when he sat down for good with 2:16 remaining.
At the start of the night, Curry was wearing a long compression sleeve on his right arm. He shot 11 for 22, 6 of 11 on 3s. Win one game. Now we look to Sunday to try to do it again. How well is this team playing?
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Stephen Curry spoke up, just in case his Golden State Warriors needed another reminder from their MVP and leader.
The negative narrative will always be Kevin Durant came to Golden State to join a slew of all-stars to help pave the way to his first National Basketball Association title.
Golden State's four turnovers tied an NBA Finals low. Problem is, they only had him for 58 seconds.
But the intrigue and beauty of this matchup goes beyond the considerable talents of Cleveland's Lebron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. and Golden State's Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.
Kerr still has two days to make a decision on whether he will return to the sidelines on Sunday. Curry became the fifth player in National Basketball Association history with 300 career playoff 3s after coming in with 295. It's just trying to control that.