Game 1 of the NBA Finals finished on Thursday night with a win for the Golden State Warriors over the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Oracle Arena.
The Warriors won 113-91 against the Cavaliers, taking a 1-0 lead in the series to decide which team truly is the most dominant team in the modern NBA after playing each other in the Finals for the past three seasons in a row.
Kevin Durant was the top performer on the night, as after 38 minutes of action, he scored 38 points with nine rebounds and eight assists in Golden State's victory. LeBron James was the top player for Cleveland with 28 points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists after 40 minutes.
Durant and James were battling each other all night long and, as you can tell from the scoreboard and how effective both players were on offense, it was the Golden State star who clearly came out on top. You can see the highlights of all the possessions the two defended each other in the video below.
Just by watching the highlights, you can tell the Cavaliers star was being very lazy when it comes to defense.
In fact, he committed eight of his team’s 20 turnovers that led to 21 Warriors points. Golden State only won by 22, so if the Cavaliers had been more disciplined on turnovers, this game could have been a lot closer than what it was.
The four-time MVP even commented about this after the game, pinpointing the reasons behind the Cavaliers loss being turnovers and how Durant has made a huge difference to a team that won 73 games without him the season before.
The breeze of almost going undefeated on their way to the NBA Finals may have relaxed Cleveland too much, as they're obviously not playing like a team that has just gone 12-1 through the postseason to their third Finals appearance in a row. Nor did they play like a side that wants to retain the NBA Championship.
Things need to change for the Cavaliers if they want to be the first time to win back-to-back NBA titles since LeBron did it himself with the Miami Heat during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. So if anyone knows about stepping up for your team to achieve greatness, it's him.