After a competitive first quarter, Game 1 could not have played out worse for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On Thursday in Oakland, the Cavs fell 113-91 to the Warriors and trailed by as many as 24. 20 turnovers — compared to just four for the Warriors — and a 34.9 percent shooting night left the Cavs unable to mount any sort of comeback once the game got out of hand in the second quarter and into the third.
LeBron James lead the Cavs with 28 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. But he also had eight turnovers as part of 20 turnover night for the Cavs. Kyrie Irving added 24 points with Kevin Love scoring 15 points and pulling down 21 rebounds.
For Golden State, Kevin Durant scored 38 points, dished out eight assists and pulled down eight rebounds. Stephen Curry added 28 points, 18 of which came from three.
The first quarter was tightly contested. J.R. Smith scored the first basket of the Finals with a three-pointer and two teams, seemingly both anxious, spent the first few minutes trying to feel each out. The Warriors, after a Curry three-pointer put them up three with 2:05 to play, pulled slightly ahead to take a 35-30 lead after one. LeBron lead the Cavs with 13 in the quarter with Irvign adding nine. The Warriors started to pull away late in part due to eight offensive rebounds In the opening quarter.
The second is where the game started to unravel for the Cavs, as they turned the ball over eight times in the quarter. Complicating it further was LeBron — almost always the team’s stabilizing, controlling presence — had six of the Cavs’ eight turnovers on his own. The Warriors had eight points off turnovers in the quarter as well. And when Durant and Curry both sat, the Cavs were unable to capitalize; Golden State outscored Cleveland by two points in those crucial moments.
The Warriors’ lead hit double digits in the quarter, but the Cavs cut the lead to eight and trailed 60-52 at the half.
Golden State opened the third with a three-pointer and, from there, the Cavs continued to fall further and further behind. Back-to-back Curry threes put the Warriors up 18 with 9:04 to go. Cleveland’s offense also stalled out in the beginning of the period until James hit a three-pointer with 7:56 left in the third.
The Cavs did claw back for a moment and were down by 12 with 3:07 in the third. Durant, though, kicked off a 10-0 Warriors run on with a basket on the next possession and the Warriors were back up by 22 with 1:28 to play. Golden State lead Cleveland 93-72 after three. James, Irving and Love exited for good with 4:05 left in the game and the Cavs down 21.
Game 2 is Sunday at Oracle Arena. Tipoff is at 8 p.m.