Despite a career playoff-high 51 points from LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers couldn’t steal Game 1 Thursday against Golden State, losing 124-114 in overtime.
“It is a Finals game, and I’m going to do everything I possibly can to play”, he said.
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Cavs guard J.R. Smith, whose late-game blunder in the opener denied Cleveland a potential winning shot, was greeted with a standing ovation by Warriors fans and chants of “M-V-P” when he went to the free throw line. He was seen walking around Oracle Arena gingerly, with a noticeable limp.
Because the Cavs ended up not scoring on the possession, the pass went mostly unnoticed, with announcer Jeff Van Gundy mentioning it briefly long after the play had ended. After the game Smith described his performance in one word: “terrible”. Klay Thompson added 20 points playing on a tender left leg to put the defending champions two victories from a repeat title they have talked about since the season began last fall.
He said the pain level and swelling increased overnight into Saturday, when he was working to get it loose and eliminate some of the stiffness.
Curry’s seventh 3 pointer came from behind the timeline as the shotclock expired – nothing short of a desperation heave – and of course splashed with 7:54 left for a 103-89 lead. I took risky looks.
“Just because we’re going home doesn’t mean we can relax”, LeBron James said. “They called the foul”.
Officiating will likely be even more closely scrutinized than usual in Game 2.
Klay Thompson also started 2 for 2, showing no signs of trouble with his ankle that was sore after a Game 1 collision. “He was remorseful. I’ve got to do all I can to be right for tomorrow”.
The Splash Brothers could occupy two of the top three spots in that category by the end of the game.
Cleveland made a nice push, but Golden State takes a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter. I’m happy he only got a $25,000 fine.