On the road, facing staggering odds, the Cavs opened the first half of Game 1 of the NBA Finals playing like a team with nothing to lose. Which is what they are. LeBron James made his first six shots, and the rest of the supporting cast looked sharp as the Cavs took an 11-point lead before letting Golden State back in the game late in the second quarter.
For the first time since the 2016 Finals, the Warriors looked vulnerable. Steph Curry was Steph Curry, but Draymond Green and Kevin Durant didn’t contribute much. The Cavs controlled the tempo in a way teams seldom do at Oracle Arena. James led the way with 24 points.
Late in the second quarter, Green (surprise) mashed his hand into James's face on a drive. James took his time getting up.
The Warriors suffered a bigger scare. Klay Thompson left the game in the first quarter after J.R. Smith accidentally slid into his legs while chasing down a pass. The Warriors are already shorthanded with Andre Iguodala out. Smith, who did not slide intentionally, was booed by the Golden State crowd. Thompson suffered a left lateral leg contusion, according to the Warriors. He reentered the game in the second quarter.
Now we’ll see if the Cavs can survive the usual third quarter Warriors onslaught.