The reigning MVP, Stephen Curry scored 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting while Klay Thompson was limited to just 9 points on 4-of-12 from the field and for the visiting Cavaliers, LeBron James got 23 points, Kevin Love logged 17 points and Kyrie Irving led all scorers with his 26 points.
By looking on that stats it seems that the Cleveland Cavaliers stopped the surging Golden State Warriors by playing a good defense against the “Splash Brothers“, their main two best scorers. However, the Cavs forgot that there are other players in Warriors bench who are also capable of taking over the game and that’s exactly what happen in Game 1 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
Shaun Livingston took over the scoring slack for the Golden State who also provided the needed spark in the third quarter when Cleveland was about to take over the game. The rest of the Warriors bench players followed Livingston‘s path and logged a total of 45 points compared to the Cavs‘ 10 bench points. The NBA’s 2016 Coach of the Year, Steve Kerr ignited the Warriors intensity by breaking a clipboard sometime in the third quarter.
“We lost our intensity,” Kerr said between the third and fourth quarters. “It felt like a November game and not a June game.” Kerr said.
LeBron James was almost beast-mode in Game 1 with a 1 assist shy for another NBA Finals triple-double (23 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists) but struggled to provide the needed points to answer the Warriors run. Kevin Love who played his first NBA Finals was also impressive by logging 17 points and 13 rebounds but wasn’t enough to steal a win in Oracle Arena.
“I thought our guys did a great job of locking into those guys,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “Their bench played well. So we’ve got to go back to the drawing board and try to figure out how to take those guys out of the game.”
Game 2 of the 2016 NBA Finals is scheduled on June 5, 2016 (June 6, 2016 in Philippines) and will still be played in Golden State Warriors homecourt.
Warriors (104): Livingston 20, Green 16, Barnes 13, Iguodala 12, Curry 11, Barbosa 11, Bogut 10, Thompson 9, Ezeli 2,
Cavaliers (89): Irving 26, James 23, Love 17, Thompson 10, Smith 3, Shumpert 3, Jefferson 3, Frye 2, Dellavedova 2