The NBA Finals this year got off to the same start as last year. We saw the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in dominating fashion to open up the series.

The first half of the game was very competitive and exciting. At times it felt like a heavyweight bout, with both teams trading tough blows, but never really landing the knockout punch. LeBron James was spectacular in the first half with 19 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. He kept them in the game despite Golden State being so overwhelming offensively. He arguably had the play of the game as well.

Despite LeBron playing an all-around spectacular first half, and Kyrie Irving adding 17 points of his own, the Warriors were still up by eight points. Kevin Durant’s play in the first half was equally as good as LeBron’s. He 23 points in the first half, to go along with six assists and four rebounds. He was aggressive from the tip, and looked to attack the basket every time he had the opportunity.

The second half saw the Warriors blow the game open with a quick 13-0 run that Cleveland could never recover from. Steph Curry was excellent in the quarter with 14 points. His energy offensively was the driving force behind the early run, which helped ice the victory early in the second half.

After the third quarter, the game was never in doubt and the Warriors cruised to a 22-point victory.

Takeaways for Golden State

Game 1 proved yet again what should have already been solidified as a fact; Kevin Durant is the best player on this Golden State roster. When he is in attack mode, there isn’t any person on the planet that can guard him. Going forward, Golden State must continue to feed the beast. Durant took 26 shots, and that should be the order of the day in every game from now on.

The Warriors have been the best defensive team in the playoffs so far, and they proved why in Game 1. The Cavaliers shot only 34.9-percent from the field, and committed 20 turnovers. Those turnovers that Golden State forced led to many transition buckets on the other end of the floor. Golden State must continue to force turnovers and push the pace to get easy buckets.

Takeaways for Cleveland 

The “Big 3” for Cleveland were solid. Despite Kevin Love’s struggles from the field. He still provided 15 points, and showed tremendous heart on the glass with 21 rebounds. Irving and James combined for 52 of Cleveland’s 91 points. The role players have to play a part if Cleveland wants to have any chance of beating this Golden State team. Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson, Deron Williams, and Iman Shumpert combined for 8 points in total. Those are all key role players for Cleveland who produced next to nothing for them offensively. That must change going forward if Cleveland is going to win this series.

Turnovers were a killer for Cleveland in this game as well. They committed 20 which is the most they’ve have had in a playoff game since LeBron returned to Cleveland. This allowed Golden State the opportunity to take 20 more shots than Cleveland did. With a team with the kind of offensive firepower Golden State has, giving them 20 more shots is pretty much a death sentence. Look for Cleveland to make adjustments that will help them be more secure with the ball.

Player of the Game: Kevin Durant (38 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 0 turnovers)

Honorable Mention: Stephen Curry (28 points, 6 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals)

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