OAKLAND, Calif. — The Latest on Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night (all times local):
Kevin Durant scored 38 points in his first NBA Finals game with Golden State, Stephen Curry added 28 and the Warriors rolled to their 13th straight win this postseason by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-91 in Game 1.
With Durant on board, the opener of Cavs-Warriors III was a mismatch as Golden State scored the first 13 points of the third quarter to take a 21-point lead and never looked back.
LeBron James had 28 points and 15 rebounds for the Cavs but also finished with seven turnovers.
Cleveland has lost the opener in the Finals to Golden State for three straight years but did rally to win the championship in seven games last year.
LeBron James’ night looks to be over.
Cleveland’s biggest star went to the bench with 4:06 remaining in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, with his Cavaliers trailing Golden State 105-84. James had a huge night, with 28 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists.
With the Cavaliers apparently about to lose, this will be familiar territory for James. Once this game ends, his teams in Cleveland and Miami will be 1-7 in Game 1s of the NBA Finals.
He got a Game 1 win in 2011 — when Miami lost to Dallas.
He lost Game 1s in 2012, 2013 and last season, but he and the Heat (the first two years) and the Cavs (last year) rallied to win the title.
And he lost Game 1 in 2007, 2014 and 2015, then went on to lose the series as well.
Here’s some good news for Cavs fans: James might be 1-7 in Game 1s, but he’s 4-3 in Game 2s.
Golden State is on the brink of tying an NBA record.
With a big lead over Cleveland in the fourth quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the Warriors are poised to move to 13-0 in these playoffs. That not only extends the best start in any single postseason in NBA history, it would tie the league mark for consecutive playoff wins.
The Los Angeles Lakers won 13 straight over the 1988 and 1989 postseasons. And the Cavaliers won 13 straight — starting with the last three games of last season’s NBA Finals against the Warriors, followed by a 10-0 start to these playoffs.
A pair of double-digit scoring runs in the third quarter has Golden State in full control of Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Kevin Durant is up to 30 points, Stephen Curry has 26 and the Warriors lead Cleveland 93-72 with 12 minutes left in regulation. The Warriors have the big lead even on off nights for Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
Green and Thompson are a combined 5 for 21.
LeBron James has 26 points and 15 rebounds, Kyrie Irving has 22 points and Kevin Love has 11 points and 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who have been outscored in every quarter and are shooting 37 percent.
James missed a layup, well-guarded by Durant, that would have cut it to 14 late in the third. Curry connected seconds later on his sixth 3-pointer of the night, and just like that Golden State’s lead was back to 87-68.
On the next possession, Green scored against James in the post and got the foul call. So after starting the half on a 13-0 run, the Warriors then added a 10-0 run later in the third.
Whatever got said in the Golden State locker room at halftime worked.
The Warriors opened the second half of Game 1 of the NBA Finals on a 13-0 run, opening up a 73-52 lead over Cleveland early in the third quarter. Cleveland answered with an 8-2 run, with LeBron James scoring five of those to help get the Cavaliers back within 15.
Playing from behind is a new thing for the Cavs in these playoffs: In the Eastern Conference finals against Boston, Cleveland trailed for a grand total of zero seconds on the road.
Kevin Durant and LeBron James put on a show in the first half of Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
But a look inside the numbers shows that Cleveland and Golden State both need to correct some things in the second half.
Cleveland has 12 turnovers, Golden State only one.
But the Cavs are down by just eight at the break, 60-52.
Golden State has 61 shots to Cleveland’s 43. But Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are a combined 2 for 15 for the Warriors, including 0 for 5 from 3-point range. And the Warriors, as a team, are 3 for 13 on 3s.
Cleveland has turned the ball over 12 times, seven of those charged to LeBron James. Golden State has only turned those 12 giveaways into 10 points, however.
Welcome back to the NBA Finals, Kevin Durant.
Back on the league’s championship stage for the first time since 2012, Durant has 23 points on 10 for 18 shooting and Golden State leads Cleveland 60-52 at halftime of Game 1.
Durant has been showcasing much of his offensive weaponry — dunks, 3-pointers, and backing Kyrie Irving down the lane with ease while being fouled. He also has six assists, and he even took a charge against LeBron James late in the half.
Stephen Curry has 12 points for the Warriors.
James has been his usual brilliant self for Cleveland, with 19 points and 11 rebounds already. Kyrie Irving has 17 points and Kevin Love has 12 rebounds for the Cavaliers.
Golden State is shooting 43 percent, Cleveland 40 percent.
Kevin Durant can dunk. And he is doing it often.
Durant has six dunks in the first 20 minutes of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, and his Warriors have 38 of their first 55 points inside the paint. The Warriors are already 17 for 30 in shots at the rim — meaning Golden State has left plenty of points on the board.
They still lead Cleveland, 55-45 late in the first half.
This is what fans wanted.
A shaky first few minutes are long forgotten, and Golden State leads Cleveland 35-30 after one quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
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.
The Warriors had four consecutive dunks in one stretch of the first, Kevin Durant finished the period with 10 points and five assists, and Andre Iguodala’s 3-pointer at the buzzer of the quarter gave the Warriors their biggest lead.
LeBron James had 13 points and five rebounds in the quarter for Cleveland, playing all 12 minutes. The Cavaliers gave up 22 points in the paint, and let the Warriors turn eight offensive rebounds into 12 second-chance points.
Draymond Green picked up two fouls in the first 4-1/2 minutes.
This is not the start to Game 1 of the NBA Finals that Golden State wanted.
After long layoffs for both sides after the conference finals, the first few minutes of the opener of this Golden State-Cleveland series has been more about working through a bit of rust more than anything else.
Andre Iguodala came off the bench for Green — who got his second foul after charging into Cleveland’s Kevin Love — and got his first points of the Finals on a dunk, knotting the game at 12-12. The Cavaliers have made three 3-pointers already, but are 1 for 7 inside the arc. The Warriors are 0 for 4 from long range.
Cavaliers-Warriors Part III of their NBA Finals trilogy has begun and Golden State guard Stephen Curry is wearing a sleeve on his right arm in Game 1.
Curry started wearing the black sleeve in Game 4 of the Western Conference final after a fall the previous game led to a flare up of bursitis. Curry made 14 of 24 shots with the sleeve and scored 36 points.
So even with nine days off before the series began against Cleveland, Curry is sticking with it.
“It’s just a little bit of swelling but has nothing to do with my performance,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt or anything like that. So I don’t really think about it much. It’s just trying to control that. So we’ll see. It worked pretty well in Game 4 of last series.”
NBA fan Adam Silver wants to see more competition in the league.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is applauding how Golden State and Cleveland have made it to the NBA Finals for the third consecutive year.
At his annual state-of-the-league address at the Finals, Silver spoke on a number of topics before Game 1 — including what’s perceived as a lack of parity. These are the first Finals featuring a threematch, with the Warriors and Cavaliers splitting their first two title matchups in 2015 and 2016.
Silver says that “from a league standpoint, you always want to see great competition.
But mindful of how the Cavaliers and Warriors went a combined 24-1 in the playoffs before colliding in The Finals, Silver says “we should also celebrate excellence.”
It’s unclear if JaVale McGee was trying to send a message when he arrived at Oracle Arena for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Not to the Cleveland Cavaliers — but to Shaquille O’Neal.
The Golden State center sported a “SHAQ” hat . It was strange choice considering McGee’s very public spat with O’Neal three-plus months ago.
The former NBA star-turned TNT analyst posted on his verified Twitter account a disparaging photo of McGee with the words, “America meet Javale “BUM” McGee.”
O’Neal also responded angrily to McGee, saying he would “smack” McGee after the Warriors big man reacted to yet more mockery.
Kevin Durant backed McGee at the time in February, calling Shaq “childish” and criticizing his free throw shooting.
McGee has emerged as a significant contributor off the bench during the playoffs for the Warriors.
Mike Brown expects to coach the Golden State Warriors as planned in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Steve Kerr will likely watch again from behind the scenes as he deals with continued complications following back surgery nearly two years ago.
Brown addressed the media pregame on Thursday and said he hadn’t yet spoken to Kerr.
The 51-year-old Kerr had left open the possibility he might feel well enough to return to the bench by Thursday’s opener against the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena. Yet he hadn’t felt well enough in the previous days to feel like he was ready.
Kerr hasn’t coached Golden State — 12-0 heading into its third straight Finals against LeBron James and the Cavs — since Game 2 of the first round against Portland. He underwent a procedure to repair a spinal fluid leak on May 5 at Duke University but said he is still ailing and in debilitating pain.
After a 346-day wait, the NBA Finals are back and it’s as if nothing has changed.
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are back in Oakland at the scene of their Game 7 victory last June to take on Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors in this year’s highly anticipated NBA Finals.
This is the first time in NBA history teams have met in three straight Finals. The last time it happened in any major North American team sport came in 1954-56 when Detroit and Montreal squared off in three straight Stanley Cup Finals.
This will be star-studded affair with Golden State’s Kevin Durant joining the mix as one of seven 2016 All-Stars in the series. In all, 11 players in the series have been All-Stars in their careers, tying the 1983 Finals between Philadelphia and the Lakers for the most in NBA history.
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