Despite 44 from LeBron, Golden State’s Bench Goes Deep In Game 1 to Beat the Cavs 108-100 in OT

dre

Difference maker…

Some cats dream of moments so hard that when the moment happens, they become them. Andre Iguodala was always the glue guy here in Philly. He was a player I didn’t want the Sixers to get rid of regardless of what fans and media said. He just needed a more balanced team. He was never afforded that chance, and you know what they say about one man’s trash. Now that he’s on the big stage, Dre came through like the champ he is. Anthony Gilbert and I have covered some great battles between Dre and LeBron and it always seemed like Iguodala got up big for the best player on the planet. He’s athletic and strong enough to stay in front of James and never gives up on the play especially when he knows LeBron is hot. He has everything physically to be a great defender, and last night, when checking the King in big moments, he worked like it was his last ever game. His 15 points led a great Golden State bench effort, and in overtime, the Warriors outscored the Cavs 10-2, to take Game 1 of the NBA Finals 108-100.

Iguodala held LeBron to 7 points on 13 shots, and bothered him the most on the last shot in regulation. Thought LeBron could have gotten a better shot going to the rim, but he must have felt he could hit it as he has before in that same spot when the Heat were in Oakland last year for the game winner. The Warriors came out tight on the center stage, and Cleveland shot out the box hot and got up by as much as 13 (26-13) before Festus Ezeli gave his team confidence by unexpectedly hitting two free throws with 1:14 left in the first and the Warriors took off from there.

Golden State was down 29-19 at the end of the 1st, and then went on a 17-7 run to tie it up at 36 on a 3 by the MVP, Steph Curry. Mo Speights, another former Sixer, had 6 of his 8 points in that spurt, and Golden State knew they could win at that time. It seemed like everyone was clicking for the Warriors with the exception of Klay Thompson, who was coming off a concussion suffered  vs. Houston in the Western Conference Finals. He ended up with with 21 on 5-14 shooting and made 3 of 9 three point attempts. Chef scored 26 and hit 10-20 with 2 threes made. He had a chill game, but during that run, when he began dribbling behind his back and that hunger for buckets became apparent, you could feel the Oracle crowd sense this could be done. Draymond Green did his thing with 12 and 6 rebounds, but got into foul trouble. He shot 4-13 (0-3 from the arc), but you sensed he felt good and won’t have a bad game from the field in Game 2. Harrison Barnes is a player that affects the game without lighting up the box score, and hit a big weak side three to put GS up 105-98 in OT, and the game was a wrap. Cleveland didn’t score in overtime until the game was over on a James lay in, and after Kyrie Irving went down with 2:02 to go in the extra frame, the wind was gone.

In his 43 minutes of action, Irving and LeBron kept the Cavaliers in it. Coming off so much time sitting out in the Eastern Conference Finals, dude was stellar all over the place. He’s just a clutch player who wants the ball on every play because he can’t be guarded one-on-one. He ended up with 23 points, 6 dimes, 4 steals, 5 boards and 2 blocks. One of those blocks was a great play at the rim after Curry got free off a great play call by Kerr. He managed to get his off hand fingertips on the rock when it seemed Curry would score easily. That kept the game at 98 apiece, and gave the Cavs a chance to win the game in regulation. That’s when Iguodala’s big defensive play as well on a LeBron fadeaway three occurred, and Iman Shumpert barely missed a put back from the corner (off a long rebound) to send the game into overtime. Once the home team holds on in regulation, it usually wins in the extra period.

I saw many say the series is a wrap after Game 1 and thought are they crazy? The Warriors did what they were supposed to do, and yes, the Cavs lost a great chance to steal Game 1 and put mad pressure on Golden State, but they still have a chance to steal a game on the road, and head back to Cleveland on Sunday night. The Dub’s bench was outstanding led by Andre Iguodala’s aforementioned 15. Speights had 8 points total in a little over 8 minutes. Golden State outscored Cleveland’s bench 34-9 and that was the key stat of the night.

The King of Rock was 18-38 on the way to his 44 points. He was unstoppable, and it seemed like he and Kyrie were scoring for three. Don’t be surprised if Bron pops a 60 point game in this series because Golden State is not going to double him much up top and dare his teammates to beat them. They’ll help at the rim to bother him on lane jump hooks and layups, but unless his teammates step up and give him some help, this is now a one man show. J.R.Smith after 9 hot points in the first half went scoreless the rest of the game on 3-13 shooting. Tristan Thompson was gigantic on the boards with 15 rips (he will play in this league for a long time with the way he gets after the ball), Timofey Mozgov had a few dunks, and hit 6-8 deftly from the line on the way to his 16 and 7 boards. LeBron had 8 boards as well, and because the Cavs went cold in the extra time, Golden State out-rebounded Cleveland 48-45. Don’t let that stat fool you because Thompson was getting to everything that got loose. Golden State has obviously shot the ball great all season, and if they keep this up, coupled with the absence of a team shooting effort for the Cavs, this will be over quickly.

But…

When Kyrie was out in the last series, LeBron became the primary ball handler. He got his teammates in it early by finding them off drives and pick and rolls. In any other instance, I’d say losing such a dynamic dude like Irving is a series ending moment, but y’all know sure as hell that LeBron is not going out like that. Yes, I was a little disappointed he didn’t go to the cup late, but after putting up 40 plus, maybe dude was tired and settled. He won’t do that again. It was crazy to see folks criticize James for his play in overtime, and the usual BS comparisons to Mike Jordan ran aloud, but what’s a brotha got to do when he kept his team in the game with a shot to win it on the game’s final possession?

What is this LeBron hate? Check that good people.

Yo Chef, where was Riley maaaaan? We needed that fix. Can she get some time on the mic next game good sir?

Steve Kerr coached a great game.

The Cavs iso’s gotta be thrown in the trash. Run an offense David Blatt.

Seeing Mark Jackson do Warriors games still seems weird.

Get well Kyrie…

This ain’t over.

 

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (53-29)
FIELD GOALSREBOUNDS
POS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A +/- OFF DEF TOT AST PF ST TO BS BA PTS
L. James F 45:46 18-38 2-8 6-10 -3 0 8 8 6 2 0 4 0 1 44
T. Thompson F 47:09 1-4 0-0 0-0 -6 6 9 15 1 3 1 2 1 0 2
T. Mozgov C 33:12 5-10 0-0 6-8 +3 3 4 7 2 1 0 1 1 1 16
I. Shumpert G 34:27 2-6 2-4 0-0 -7 1 1 2 0 2 4 2 1 0 6
K. Irving G 43:37 10-22 2-8 1-1 +5 2 5 7 6 5 4 1 2 2 23
J.R. Smith 34:21 3-13 3-10 0-0 -8 0 4 4 0 2 0 0 0 1 9
J. Jones 17:05 0-1 0-1 0-0 -11 0 1 1 1 4 1 1 0 0 0
M. Dellavedova 09:23 0-0 0-0 0-0 -13 1 0 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 0
J. Harris DNP – COACH’S DECISION
B. Haywood DNP – COACH’S DECISION
S. Marion DNP – COACH’S DECISION
M. Miller DNP – COACH’S DECISION
K. Perkins DNP – COACH’S DECISION
Total 265 39-94 9-31 13-19 13 32 45 19 20 10 11 5 5 100
41.5% 29.0% 68.4% TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 12
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (67-15)
FIELD GOALSREBOUNDS
POS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A +/- OFF DEF TOT AST PF ST TO BS BA PTS
H. Barnes F 39:15 4-9 3-5 0-0 +11 2 4 6 1 2 1 0 0 1 11
D. Green F 38:55 4-13 0-3 4-4 +3 2 4 6 3 5 2 1 0 0 12
A. Bogut C 28:28 2-5 0-0 0-0 -6 3 4 7 3 2 1 1 2 1 4
K. Thompson G 38:46 5-14 3-9 8-8 +5 1 5 6 1 1 1 1 2 0 21
S. Curry G 42:39 10-20 2-6 4-4 +4 0 4 4 8 1 2 4 0 2 26
A. Iguodala 31:39 6-8 2-3 1-2 +8 0 3 3 2 2 1 1 1 0 15
S. Livingston 15:33 2-6 0-0 0-0 +2 1 4 5 3 0 0 0 0 1 4
F. Ezeli 12:11 1-1 0-0 3-4 +3 0 5 5 1 1 0 1 0 0 5
L. Barbosa 09:02 1-4 0-1 0-0 +5 0 3 3 1 0 0 2 0 0 2
M. Speights 08:32 4-8 0-0 0-0 +5 2 1 3 1 2 0 1 0 0 8
J. Holiday DNP – COACH’S DECISION
D. Lee DNP – COACH’S DECISION
J. McAdoo DNP – COACH’S DECISION
Total 265 39-88 10-27 20-22 11 37 48 24 16 8 12 5 5 108
44.3% 37.0% 90.9% TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 12

INACTIVE

  • Cavaliers: Love, Varejao
  • Warriors: Kuzmic, Rush

TECHNICAL FOULS

  • Cavaliers:
  • Warriors:

SCORING

  • Lead Changes: 13
  • Times Tied: 11

ARENA STATS

  • Arena: ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA
  • Officials: #19 James Capers, #13 Monty McCutchen, #23 Jason Phillips
  • Attendance: 19596
  • Duration: 2:41

 

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