NBA Finals Game 1: Who Strikes First?
Game 1 of the 2016 NBA Finals. Steph Curry vs. LeBron James, Draymond Green vs. The entire city of Cleveland. These are the storylines.
The first half was very surprising. Golden State lead by nine at halftime while Curry and Thompson had a combined 10 points, which is the lowest combined total for the Splash Brothers at halftime this year. And the Dubs STILL lead by nine at the half.
This surprised Dickie V. Any time Dickie V is surprised you know it’s something real.
Like, tell me you can’t picture this guy sitting on his couch yelling, “This is unbelievable baby! The Warriors are awesome baby, with a capital A!”
How did they do this? 9 of their 11 players scored in the first half. Everyone touched the ball. The only players who didn’t score were Ian Clark and Varejao.
Varejao, meanwhile, is the first player in NBA history to play for both finals teams in the same season.
JR Smith was held scoreless in the first half, but only took one single shot, which alone is shocking.
Meanwhile, Mo Buckets hadn’t even entered the game!
Cleveland shot 35% in the first half, while the Warriors shot 52%.
Golden State managed just one trip to the charity stripe in the first half. The Cavs had 11 free throw attempts, making nine.
By the way, Steve Kerr is not playing around. He’s out here breaking whiteboards. (Hulk voice): Kerr angry, Kerr smash!
Brilliant back and forth exchanges near the end of the 3rd quarter, big dunks on both sides, physical play, lead changes (Cavs taking the lead for the first time since the beginning of the game), the whole nine yards.
Playoff basketball at its core.
Iguodala was showing why he was the Finals MVP last year. After a seemingly endless deliberation about a possible technical foul at the end of the third, he turns around a hits a three.
That discussion was so long I ate an entire hamburger while they were discussing the foul.
Warriors by six at the end of three. 38 combined for Uncle Drew and Bron, 14 combined for the Splash Bros.
A key matchup here was Barbosa vs. Delly. Barbosa schooled Delly the whole game. “Barbosa was great tonight,” Shaun Livingston said.
The Warriors’ bench outscored the Cavs bench by a mile.
Warriors came out “Fuego” to start the fourth quarter. Livingston was pouring it on, and the Cavs saw the game slipping out of their hands. Six players in double figures for Golden State after Tyronn Lue’s second timeout of the fourth. Neither of those six was Curry or Klay.
Unbelievable is right. Curry and Thompson 14 combined points and the Dubs lead by 16.
Livingston finished with a season-high 20 points, almost doubling the MVP’s point total on the night. Curry finished with 11.
4:43 in the fourth. That was J.R.’s first made basket of the evening.
Curry and Thompson with back to back threes to put the exclamation mark on the game with a little over three minutes left in the fourth.
“That’s a wrap baby! He’s pulling the starters. It’s over baby!”
Game over, Curry and Klay combine for the lowest point total of the entire year, and the Warriors still managed to win by 15.
Golden State’s bench, as I mentioned earlier, made a mockery of Cleveland’s bench. They outscored them 45-10.
The Warriors finished with seven players in double figures. LeBron was an assist away from a triple-double, but I don’t think he cares about a stat line as he does getting the victory.
Kevin Love finished with 17 points and 13 boards.
Livingston was the star of the show, with what he called his “bread and butter” midrange game.
On Iguodala’s Defense: “Kevin Durant last series, LeBron this series, just about says it all. He’s our most valuable piece with Steph and Draymond,” Livingston said.
The Warriors were spectacular tonight, but they cannot be complacent in game two. The Cavs are a fantastic basketball team, and the Warriors cannot overlook them and be too arrogant, or they will steal a game at Oracle Arena.
Your final score, Golden State-104, Cleveland-89.