The Golden State Warriors took game one of the 2015 NBA Finals, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-100 in overtime at Oracle Arena. In a back-and-forth game between two evenly matched teams, the Warriors depth proved to be the difference.Reigning MVPStephen Curry dropped in 26 points and Klay Thompson added 21 for Golden State. The “Splash Brothers,” being the Warriors’ leading scorers for the regular and postseason, provided the scoring punch, but sixth-man Andre Iguodola should receive the game ball.
“Offensively he got going,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters after the game. “He made a big three in the corner late in the game. Andre has been fantastic all year. The numbers don’t always show it, but he’s been a great player for us.” He finished the game with 15 points. Iguodola was given the task of guarding LeBron James, because leading defender Draymond Green was strapped with foul trouble. He did as well as any mortal man could, making the two-time champion work for his points. Down 86-82 halfway through the fourth quarter, Iguodola lost his shoe in the midst of a Warriors offensive possession. He continued to run to the corner, where Curry found him, and he sank a three to bring Golden State within one. Iguodola would not be denied.
James scored a finals career-high 44 points in the loss. The Warriors whipped the ball around the perimeter, found the best shot, and stayed in the game despite James imposing his will at the other end. This was the story of the second half. Cleveland had only three players score after intermission--James, Kyrie Irving, and Timofey Mozgov--while Golden State seemed to find a different contributor each possession. The Warriors won the bench scoring battle 34 to nine.
Iman Shumpert could’ve been the fourth Cavalier in that group, but his last second heave at the end of regulation just grazed the rim.The extra session was a complete Golden State domination. They outscored Cleveland 10-2 with the Cavaliers going one for nine from the field and carelessly turning the ball over three times.In their defense, the Cavaliers looked out of sorts after Irving left the game at the beginning of overtime. He appeared to re-aggravate a left knee injury that has forced him to miss time during these playoffs. He had 23 points, six rebounds, and seven assists for the game.“Obviously you can see in the tone of my voice I’m a little worried,” Irving told reporters after the game. His head buried in a towel and a pair of crutches at his side, there is grave cause for concern.
If Irving can’t return to action, game one might be Cleveland's closest taste of victory in the series. Game 2 is Sunday June 7 at 8 pm ET.
By Kyle Edwards