Warriors' Curry taking it game by game after last year's collapse

Hope Soto
June 3, 2017

And that's exactly what they did in Game 1 of the 2017 Finals - transforming a competitive contest at intermission into a second-half blowout.

Cleveland went just 23-23 after January 10 and was ranked in the bottom third statistically on defense all season.

And while the Cavs rallied from 3-1 down to win last year's crown in the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history, it's not a hole they want to get into again, especially with the Warriors on a 13-0 run to match the NBA's record playoff long win streak.

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) is defended by Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) in the first half of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena.

"We talked about it before we come into this series, that our best defense is going to be our offense, of taking care of the basketball, not a lot of turnovers", lamented Lue. He outplayed James. You can argue it's because of the superior team he put around him himself, but he learned that from James, too.

The sleeve didn't feel right, but Curry joked of his arm wear, "As a little kid I always wanted to be like Allen Iverson and that was the only way I could really come close".

Iguodala got the Warriors going when after a basket from James, he caught a pass from veteran David West and threw down a dunk.

James was of course talking about Kevin Durant, who erupted for 38 points in the Warriors' 113-91 win over the Cavs.

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Durant, seeking his first National Basketball Association crown after leaving Oklahoma City for Golden State last July, hit 14-of-26 from the floor and added eight rebounds and eight assists, his early domination including six first-half dunks, more than in any prior full playoff game.

The highly-anticipated meeting between the defending champion Cavaliers and the top-seeded Warriors did not disappoint initially, with sensational dunks by LeBron James and Durant during a see-sawing first quarter.

When asked why Durant was so open so often in the first half, Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue implied there were mistakes on defense. "Just go out there and hoop". It was the worst of those seven Game 1 losses (the previous worst was 15-point defeats in 2016 at Golden State and 2014 at San Antonio). "You know they're not going to give up at all", he said on court. "We're real tough to beat when he's doing that". "And that's one of the things that we need, a guy who can go get a bucket, get to the foul line". He also committed eight of the Cavaliers' 20 turnovers. Kyrie Irving has 17 points and Kevin Love has 12 rebounds for the Cavaliers.

But like many of his teammates, Love struggled to shoot the ball - connecting on just 4-of-13 from the floor. Meanwhile, the other Longhorn in the Finals, Tristan Thompson, did not fare well.

Image: Celebrity Spot! Rihanna looks on as the action unfolds in Game 1. For the Warriors, however, the wait to get another shot at the Cavaliers has been much longer - nearly a year, in fact, going back to June 18 of last year, when they watched Cleveland celebrate a championship on Golden State's floor. Green added two assists to go with nine points and a team-high 11 rebounds. There were 56 Warriors points in the paint. "Just play as hard as you can and follow the game plan".

No team had ever won 12 straight games during a single postseason. The Warriors are already 17 for 30 in shots at the rim - meaning Golden State has left plenty of points on the board. The Cavaliers had 72 points after the third.

They'll each make for fine picks in the draft, regardless of where they're taken.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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