OAKLAND— The Golden State Warriors are very tough to beat at home.
Their latest win, a 108-100 overtime victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday, June 4, improved their home record to 47-3 and 8-1 in the playoffs inside Oracle Arena.
After a slow start and a three-point deficit at halftime, Dub Nation used a 10-0 run in the extra five minutes to overcome a 44-point effort by LeBron James to run away with the win.
“It was just a classic five minutes that we needed to get that win,” Steph Curry said about the extra period.
In the Finals for the first time in 40 years, the Warriors gave their sellout crowd of 19,596—most wearing bright, golden-yellow shirts—plenty to cheer about on the biggest stage in the world.
There were 13 lead changes and 11 ties in a game tightly contested across the board. There was little edge in shooting (Warriors 44.3 percent, Cavaliers 41.5 percent), rebounding (Warriors 48, Cavaliers 45) or assists (Warriors 24, Cavaliers 19).
The biggest difference might have been the benches. The Warriors’ reserves outscored the Cavs’ 34-9, and J.R. Smith, the only Cleveland reserve to score, was 3-of-13 from the field.
In the end, it came down to the biggest stars making plays — or not.
Curry scored 26 points—including four free throws to start the run in overtime—and dished out eight assists, while James, needed 38 field goal attempts to score his personal best in a NBA Finals game and disappeared in overtime, scoring just two points, missing three of four shots and committing two turnovers.
“We couldn’t get a good look, couldn’t get nothing to drop, including myself,” James said.
The Warriors host Game 2 on Sunday, June 7 at 5 p.m. PST.