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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 16 December, 2019

Warriors overpower Cavs in game one of NBA Finals

The Golden State Warriors and their bench stepped up as Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson struggled.

Golden State Warriors in action against Cleveland Cavaliers
Golden State Warriors in action against Cleveland Cavaliers

Source: NBA/YouTube

DEFENDING CHAMPIONS THE Golden State Warriors showed they are the complete team after powering past the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-89 in game one of the NBA Finals.

In a rematch of last year’s Finals, the Warriors came out on top in Golden State on Thursday, despite a subdued display from ‘Splash Brothers’ Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

After lighting up the Western Conference finals, Curry (four-of-15 for 11 points) and Thompson (four-of-12 for nine points) were limited in their output, as bench player Shaun Livingston (20 points), Draymond Green (16, 11 rebounds), Harrison Barnes (13), Andrea Iguodala (12), Leandro Barbosa (11) and Andrew Bogut (10) saw off Cleveland, just like the Warriors did in game one 12 months ago.

James and his double-double of 23 points and 12 rebounds were not enough for the Cavs, while Kyrie Irving’s game-high 26 points led Cleveland on the road.

With Oracle Arena swamped in a sea of yellow as MVP Curry went head-to-head against James, the Warriors started well on the back of 14 quick points, eventually taking a four-point lead into the first break.

The Warriors continued to be a class above in the second quarter, with Green extending the buffer to nine points just as the Cavs threatened to go on a run.

Golden State’s depth was on display throughout the first two periods, with Curry and Thompson not among the top scorers.

Barnes, Bogut, Barbosa and Livingston starred as the Warriors led 52-43 at half-time.

NBA Finals Cavaliers Warriors Basketball LeBron James faces the media after the game. Source: Ben Margot

The Cavs stepped it up in the third period, quickly erasing the deficit to four points, before a three-point play from Kevin Love (17 points, 13 rebounds) saw the Warriors’ lead whittle down to just one.

Cleveland then regained the lead for the first time since the opening minute but after trading dunks, Golden State come out on top heading into the final period, thanks to arch-enemy number one Matthew Dellavedova, who spurred Iguodala into action.

The menace of last year’s Finals, Dellavedova was in the thick of it, catching Iguodala in the groin, which proved costly as the Warriors star drained a three-pointer following the foul to see Golden State to a six-point lead.

And the Warriors never looked back, scoring 15 straight points to blow the game wide open in the fourth and final period and they held on, despite a late nine-point run from the Cavs.

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