Extra Dribbles commentary: Warriors rise up at home to take Game 1 of NBA Finals

June 1, 2017

Golden State Warriors, NBA

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of Game 1 of basketball’s NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, June 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

OAKLAND, Calif — Kevin Durant scored a game-high 38 points and was clearly the best player on the court as Golden State finished tied for an NBA Finals record-low four turnovers in taking a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 NBA Finals with a 113-91 win Thursday night in Game 1 in front of a sold out Oracle Arena crowd over the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

Game 2 is Sunday at 5:00 p.m. PDT back at Oracle Arena on ABC.

This match-up marks the first time in NBA history that two teams have met each other in the Finals in three consecutive seasons.

Durant finished the game 10-of-18 from the floor to go along with eight assists and eight rebounds in his first NBA Finals game since Game 5 of the 2012 series against the Miami Heat as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Miami denied Durant and the Thunder a championship by taking the championship in five games and it took Durant five years to get back to the NBA’s ultimate stage.

Durant and the Warriors got anything they wanted in the paint, outscoring the Cavaliers 56-30 inside. There were times that Cleveland’s defense just parted the seas for a Durant dunk as the defense would collapsed on Golden State’s deadly shooters, allowing Durant to easy access to the basket.

”I think the start of the game, we were a little too anxious and we missed some layups, we gave up some open shots,” Durant said after the game. ”I think we just locked in from the second quarter on.”

Golden State would outscore Cleveland 53-38 in the second half to go along with 31 assists for the game.

Stephen Curry was locked in for Game 1, scoring  28 points with six 3-pointers on 11-of-22 from the field. Curry added 10 assists and six rebounds for a Warriors that improved to 13-0 during the playoffs this year.

LeBron James poured in 28 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists for Cleveland, who had 20 turnovers in Game 1. James’ southern California home was vandalized and had the N-word spray painted on the gate on Wednesday.

“At the end of the day, we had 20 turnovers,” James said. “We got to clean that up.”

James’ teams drop to 1-7 all-time in Game 1s of the NBA Finals.

The Cavaliers’ forward is making his league-record seventh Finals appearance this year.

Kyrie Irving scored 24 points on 10-of-22 shooting from the field, while Kevin Love finished with 15 points and a game-high 21 rebounds. Love shot 4-of-13 from the field.

The Warriors had a 60-52 lead at halftime thanks in large part to the 27-9 fastbreak edge and committing just one turnover in the first half.

Curry’s 14 points in the third quarter prove to be the difference-maker for Golden State Thursday night.

Golden State out-shot Cleveland (42.5-percent to 34.9-percent) for the game.







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