Curry, Durant power Warriors past Cavs

Modesto Morganelli
Giugno 3, 2017

Kevin Durant scored a game-high 38 points and Stephen Curry hit six three-pointers as the Golden State Warriors cruised to a lopsided 113-91 win in the first game of the NBA Finals on Thursday. The Warriors were just 3 of 13 (23.1 percent) on 3-pointers in the first half, not the sort of output that made this team popular.

Cleveland got its usual strong performance from James, who put up 28 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists.

Look out for the Bajan singer becoming the game one MVP towards the bottom right corner of the screen.

The Warriors arguably could have repeated as champions past year if it weren't for Green's suspension in Game 5, or shooting slumps from Curry and Klay Thompson in the series.

"Just get focused on Game 2", James said.

3-Point Goals: 12-33, .364 (Curry 6-11, Durant 3-6, Barnes 1-1, Iguodala 1-1, Green 1-5, McCaw 0-1, Clark 0-3, K.Thompson 0-5).

We're going to hear about the Cavaliers' potential adjustments ad nauseam between now and Game 2, but it doesn't feel like there's any way that the Cavaliers can solve the essential workload advantage that Durant now has over James.

But with Durant added to a mix that includes fellow All-Stars Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, this year's Warriors proved to be too tough for James and Cleveland to handle in Game 1.

Both teams walked away from this Game 1 believing Game 2 would be even more important.

Tristan Thompson, whose rebounding is such a huge key for the Cavaliers, was scoreless with just four boards and when he wasn't being exposed defensively, J.R. Smith was invisible and Kyle Korver provided nothing off the bench for the Cavaliers, who committed 20 turnovers.

A pair of double-digit scoring runs in the third quarter has Golden State in full control of Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

The game opened with both teams looking rusty after the lengthy layoff - but with Golden State, in particular, looking like a group feeling the weight of the moment.

James and Kyrie Irving shot 19 for 42 between them but the sloppy ball handling allowed the Warriors to take almost as many shots - 106 - as they had points, and 20 more attempts than the Cavs' 86. "But we can play better". The Warriors looked invincible in Game 1; Durant dominated and the Warriors are still undefeated so far this postseason.

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. This was a reference to how floor spacing and limiting turnovers on offense was important to keeping the Golden State Warriors out of their deadly transition. The Cavs would make mistakes, turn the ball over and fade.

"That's when they become very unsafe because those guys, they sprint down the lane, they sprint to the 3-point line, they put a lot of pressure on your defense", James said.

For the game, Golden State scored 18 points on seven-of-15 shooting after pulling down their 14 offensive rebounds. Turnovers happen when you get away from the simple play.

Cleveland might be thinking the same thing a day after that startling Game 1 defeat that featured 20 turnovers and Durant driving to the basket at will with nobody even close as he dunked again and again - six times in the first half alone. They did a particularly excellent job keeping LeBron James in front and then playing him for the pass. This year's NBA Finals represents the third consecutive time Golden State and Cleveland have met.

The 2017 NBA Finals is one-part trilogy between the Warriors and Cavs and one-part Kevin Durant seeking redemption.

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