The Warriors, as they always do, came out hot in the third quarter. The Cavs, as they too often do, came out cold. But LeBron kept the Cavs in it, and he's having one of his finest Finals performances from the field, with 36 points through three quarters.
LeBron didn't take a shot until five minutes into the quarter, which hurt with Kevin Love and George Hill unable to get it going. But the Warriors were unable to bury the Cavs the way they did in 2017. James hit a big three to tie it at 68. He followed it up a few minutes later with a deep three to take a short-lived lead.
This one's going to have an exciting finish.
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, looking spry, 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.
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