Friday, June 5, 2015
Stephen Curry had 26 points and eight assists, and the Golden State Warriors held off LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers for a thrilling 108-100 overtime victory in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.
In the finals for the first time in 40 years, the Warriors gave their long-suffering fans quite a treat. They rallied from an early 14-point deficit, absorbed a Finals-best 44 points from James and shut down Cleveland in the extra session.
James shot 18 of 38 from the field and had eight rebounds and six assists in 46 minutes. But the four-time MVP missed a long jumper at the end of regulation, and Cleveland missed its first eight shots of overtime.
Adding to the Cavs’ frustration, point guard Kyrie Irving limped to the locker room after aggravating his troublesome left leg in overtime. He did not return.
There were 13 lead changes and 11 ties in a game tightly contested across the board. There was little edge in shooting (Warriors 44.3 percent, Cavaliers 41.5 percent), rebounding (Warriors 48, Cavaliers 45) or assists (Warriors 24, Cavaliers 19).
In the end, it came down to the NBA’s top teams and biggest stars making plays — or not.
James and Curry carried their clubs through the fourth quarter, trading scores and assists in a back-and-forth duel that had a sellout crowd of 19,596 — most wearing those blinding, golden yellow shirts. Both also had a chance to win the game in regulation.