Warriors win in OT despite 44 from LeBron

Listen to this article

Game One of the NBA had its opening jump ball Thursday Night and for the first half the fans of the Golden State Warriors thought they might see a repeat of playoffs from the past.

Cheerleaders1We are at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California for the start of the 2015 NBA Finals. The Playoffs are finally over, after two months of great drama, with great individual and team performances from all the teams in the NBA playoffs.

But now we are down to these two: the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James and the Golden State Warriors, led by the newly crowned MVP of the league, Stephen Curry. You only need to see Curry play one time to understand why he is the NBA MVP. The fact that he does it night after night is the amazing fact about Steph Curry.

Around him are a group of very talented teammates who will add double-digit scoring, rebounding and assists, which is exactly what Curry will provide. Many current and former players think Curry is the best shooter ever in the NBA.

Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors
Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors

Across the court from Curry was LeBron James, the King of the NBA since he joined the league in 2003. James has a great team around him as well. They swept two teams in the playoffs, the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks. That last series they did it without their second best player, point guard Kyrie Irving. Although Irving was iffy before the start of the Finals, he was suited up and ready to play for Game One.

Common sense says this is Golden State’s year, but the Cavaliers were counted out more than once in these playoffs so all bets are off. It’s unlikely one team will sweep the other or even win it in five games. This will be an NBA Finals to remember.

The Cleveland Cavaliers came to play and Kyrie Irving, who sat out the last two games of the Eastern Conference Finals, started for the Cavs, making them an explosive offensive team that plays excellent defense. With LeBron James leading them, they seem almost destined to win it all.

Andrew Bogut of the Golden State Warriors
Andrew Bogut of the Golden State Warriors

But on the other side of the ball, the Warriors have Steph Curry, the current MVP of the league. We’ve seen Golden State do this a lot during the season: have a team get out to a big lead but then Golden State would begin to claw their way back and make it a game.

When the first quarter ended the Cavaliers were ahead by 10, 29-19. LeBron James scoring 14 points. In the second quarter Golden State started to regain some of the ground it lost, with better play from Curry and Marreese Speights. Draymond Greene had a pretty solid first half for Golden State as well. When the first half ended the Warriors were just three points behind.

The Cavaliers know how to close out games too and they battled with Golden State through the second half, but the Warriors out-scored the Cavaliers by three points in the third quarter, just enough to tie the game.

As if to prove what a great series this will be, both teams scored 25 points in the fourth quarter and regulation play ended with a tie.

Golden State fans
Golden State fans

In those extra five minutes the Warriors would prove to be too much for Lebron and the Cavaliers though. Cleveland had a shooting slump at the end of the game, carrying over to overtime. And Golden State started hitting their shots, out-scoring Cleveland 10-2 in OT and that gave the game to Golden State.

Kyrie Irving injured his left knee in the OT and after the game we learned he has a broken kneecap and would not be back for the rest of the series. This will put extra pressure on the Cavaliers. For a good part of the game he was doing a good job of covering Curry and even stuffed one of the MVP’s shots from the side of the basket during the first quarter.

James finished the night with 44 points, his personal best in the playoffs, but it wasn’t enough to carry his team to victory. Steph Curry finished with 26 points. The final score was 108-100, Golden State Warriors.

Game two will be Sunday, June 7, at 5 p.m. Pacific Time, here at the Oracle Arena.

 (All photos by Claudia Gestro)