The Latest: Warriors lead 35-30 after 1st quarter of Game 1
OAKLAND, Calif. — The Latest on Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night (all times local):
This is what fans wanted.
A shaky first few minutes are long forgotten, and Golden State leads Cleveland 35-30 after one quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Stephen Curry started the game wearing a sleeve over his elbow, then got rid of it quickly — and made two 3-pointers late in the quarter, including one officially from 31 feet that looked much deeper.
The Warriors had four consecutive dunks in one stretch of the first, Kevin Durant finished the period with 10 points and five assists, and Andre Iguodala’s 3-pointer at the buzzer of the quarter gave the Warriors their biggest lead.
LeBron James had 13 points and five rebounds in the quarter for Cleveland, playing all 12 minutes. The Cavaliers gave up 22 points in the paint, and let the Warriors turn eight offensive rebounds into 12 second-chance points.
Draymond Green picked up two fouls in the first 4-1/2 minutes.
This is not the start to Game 1 of the NBA Finals that Golden State wanted.
After long layoffs for both sides after the conference finals, the first few minutes of the opener of this Golden State-Cleveland series has been more about working through a bit of rust more than anything else.
Andre Iguodala came off the bench for Green — who got his second foul after charging into Cleveland’s Kevin Love — and got his first points of the Finals on a dunk, knotting the game at 12-12. The Cavaliers have made three 3-pointers already, but are 1 for 7 inside the arc. The Warriors are 0 for 4 from long range.
Cavaliers-Warriors Part III of their NBA Finals trilogy has begun and Golden State guard Stephen Curry is wearing a sleeve on his right arm in Game 1.
Curry started wearing the black sleeve in Game 4 of the Western Conference final after a fall the previous game led to a flare up of bursitis. Curry made 14 of 24 shots with the sleeve and scored 36 points.
So even with nine days off before the series began against Cleveland, Curry is sticking with it.
“It’s just a little bit of swelling but has nothing to do with my performance,” he said. “It doesn’t hurt or anything like that. So I don’t really think about it much. It’s just trying to control that. So we’ll see. It worked pretty well in Game 4 of last series.”
NBA fan Adam Silver wants to see more competition in the league.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is applauding how Golden State and Cleveland have made it to the NBA Finals for the third consecutive year.
At his annual state-of-the-league address at the Finals, Silver spoke on a number of topics before Game 1 — including what’s perceived as a lack of parity. These are the first Finals featuring a threematch, with the Warriors and Cavaliers splitting their first two title matchups in 2015 and 2016.
Silver says that “from a league standpoint, you always want to see great competition.
But mindful of how the Cavaliers and Warriors went a combined 24-1 in the playoffs before colliding in The Finals, Silver says “we should also celebrate excellence.”
It’s unclear if JaVale McGee was trying to send a message when he arrived at Oracle Arena for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Not to the Cleveland Cavaliers — but to Shaquille O’Neal.
The Golden State center sported a “SHAQ” hat . It was strange choice considering McGee’s very public spat with O’Neal three-plus months ago.
The former NBA star-turned TNT analyst posted on his verified Twitter account a disparaging photo of McGee with the words, “America meet Javale “BUM” McGee.”
O’Neal also responded angrily to McGee, saying he would “smack” McGee after the Warriors big man reacted to yet more mockery.
Kevin Durant backed McGee at the time in February, calling Shaq “childish” and criticizing his free throw shooting.
McGee has emerged as a significant contributor off the bench during the playoffs for the Warriors.
Mike Brown expects to coach the Golden State Warriors as planned in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Steve Kerr will likely watch again from behind the scenes as he deals with continued complications following back surgery nearly two years ago.
Brown addressed the media pregame on Thursday and said he hadn’t yet spoken to Kerr.
The 51-year-old Kerr had left open the possibility he might feel well enough to return to the bench by Thursday’s opener against the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena. Yet he hadn’t felt well enough in the previous days to feel like he was ready.
Kerr hasn’t coached Golden State — 12-0 heading into its third straight Finals against LeBron James and the Cavs — since Game 2 of the first round against Portland. He underwent a procedure to repair a spinal fluid leak on May 5 at Duke University but said he is still ailing and in debilitating pain.
After a 346-day wait, the NBA Finals are back and it’s as if nothing has changed.
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are back in Oakland at the scene of their Game 7 victory last June to take on Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors in this year’s highly anticipated NBA Finals.
This is the first time in NBA history teams have met in three straight Finals. The last time it happened in any major North American team sport came in 1954-56 when Detroit and Montreal squared off in three straight Stanley Cup Finals.
This will be star-studded affair with Golden State’s Kevin Durant joining the mix as one of seven 2016 All-Stars in the series. In all, 11 players in the series have been All-Stars in their careers, tying the 1983 Finals between Philadelphia and the Lakers for the most in NBA history.
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Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) dunks against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half of Game 1 of basketball’s NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, June 1, 2017.