This probably has been said a thousand times in the past week, but let’s make it a thousand and one: The moment we’ve all been waiting for is finally here.
Episode 3 of Warriors vs. Cavs finally got underway and we could not be more excited. We all know about the historic Lakers-Celtics rivalry and this could be the closest that we’ve gotten to that level of rivalry. No other two teams had met three straight times in the Finals…until now.
I can bore you to death and talk about all the storylines going into this series, but let’s focus on the quarter breakdown for Game 1. In case you missed the game, here is how it went down:
What if I told you out of all these all-stars, JR Smith and Zaza Pachulia would get the first bucket for their respective teams. Both teams, coming off the long layoff missed a lot of shots to start the game, including Steph Curry and LeBron James. Both teams were comfortably shooting the long ball, but only the Cavs were actually hitting them. Early on they led 12-8. Unfortunately for the Warriors, Draymond Gren picked up two early fouls and had to come out of the game. Andre Iguodala came in and right away infused the team with energy. Things started to settle down after the timeout and the Warriors finally seemed like they were getting in a rhythm. When the Warriors were in transition and driving to the basket, they were most effective. JaVale McGee checked into the game and brought great energy off the bench, creating second chance opportunities and protecting the rim. As the quarter was winding down, the Warriors were gaining momentum and shots started to fall. The defense could have improved, but they ended with a five point lead heading into the second. Andre Iguodala was the stand out player in the first, scoring 7 points in a short span.
Draymond was back in game to start the second and the Cavs tried to go at him right away to draw his third foul. After a couple of missed jumpers, David West finally got on the board by scoring on the low post. Still a lot of missed shots, but the Warriors were hanging on to that lead. After about five minutes, LeBron, Curry and Durant were all back in the game. With about half of the quarter gone, Durant started to feel it. He kept driving to the basket and finishing around the rim. The Warriors started extending the lead and it was 35 leading the charge. No offense to Harrison Barnes, but Durant just makes this team un-guardable at times. Before you knew it, it was a double digit lead for the Warriors. Kyrie Irving was the only bright spot for the Cavs, hitting a three and getting the foul as well. The Cavs looked frustrated, but they were able to cut the halftime deficit to 8. Although the Warriors are up, they missed a lot of easy baskets, this game could easily be a 20 point game.
Durant picked up where he left off and drained a triple to start the second half. After a Zaza Pachulia and-one, the Cavs kept forcing turnovers and it felt like the Warriors were going to run away with this game. It was a 13-0 run to start the third and it looked like they were about to blow this game wide open. The Warriors were simply playing beautiful basketball and they definitely looked like the better team. The Oracle crowd was fantastic and after shots from Curry and Durant, the lead was now 20. LeBron was the only Cleveland player who played well. Kyrie had flashes but quiet overall. Kevin Love shot well from three but that was about it. The Warriors are enjoying themselves and it shows on the court. LeBron was doing everything in his power to at the very least keep it close, but he just couldn’t do it on his own. With about three minutes and a half left, the Cavs got it down to 12, but it didn’t last long. The Warriors kept pushing the pace and the lead once again ballooned back to 22 in the final minutes. You could tell the Cavs were discouraged and although you never want to jinx your team, you could feel this game was already over.
It was a 21 point lead going into the final quarter, but once again it was a rough start to a quarter for both teams. Both were unable to score in the first couple of minutes. For the first part of the court quarter, they were just trading baskets and the Cavs could never get within striking distance With only about six minutes left in the quarter, the Warriors continued to press. The 20 point lead would only swing as long as 15-18 points, the Cavs just didn’t have any answers. Curry and Durant were too much too handle and we are not even mentioning Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. They both had an off night offensively, but it didn’t matter. Curry and Durant kept on attacking offensively and the lead went up to 23, the highest of the game. The Cavs really made this too easy for the Warriors with all these turnovers, expect them to clean it up the rest of the series. It’s only one game and while it feels good, rest assured LeBron and company will come back with a vengeance. With about three minutes left, the Cavs emptied their bench, but Mike Brown left his guys in there for another minute, which makes no sense at all. Nobody was injured, but it was not necessary at all. The Warriors take Game 1 with a final score of 113-91.