MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – What was a masterful Game 1 of the 2015 NBA Finals needed an extra 5-minute session to decide a winner, but come overtime, the Western Conference Champions displayed why they were considered heavy favorites entering the series.
Limiting the Cleveland Cavaliers to only two points in OT, the Golden State Warriors escaped with a 108-100 victory to draw first blood in the Finals on Friday, June 5 (Thursday, June 4 US time) at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
League MVP Steph Curry was superb in the second half and finished with 26 points to go with 8 assists and 4 rebounds, while Klay Thompson had 21 points and 6 boards.
LeBron James was magnificent on Friday, finishing with 44 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. Kyrie Irving also looked healthy for the most part – registering 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists – but hurt his injured left knee in overtime and limped to the locker room as the final minutes of game went by.
"I hate to see that. I hope he's OK," Warriors coach steve Kerr said of Irving. "You want to see everybody healthy and everybody play."
The Warriors outscored Cleveland 10-2 in the extra 5-minute period, while the Cavaliers made 3 turnovers and missed 9 shots.
The first NBA Finals opener in 14 years to require overtime was deadlocked at 98-98 after regulation.
Curry, the NBA's most accurate free throw shooter this season, went 4-for-4 from the line to open the extra frame.
Harrison Barnes followed with a 3-pointer and the rout was on for a Golden State squad that trailed most of the night.
Andre Iguodala came off the bench to score 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting for the Warriors, who also had 12 from Draymond Green and 11 from Barnes.
Russian center Timofey Mozgov added 16 points and Tristan Thompson pulled down 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers.
Game 2 is on Monday, June 8. – with reports from Jim Slater, Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com