The Golden State Warriors took a 1-0 lead in Game 1 of the NBA Finals in dramatic fashion with a 124-114 overtime win over Cleveland Cavaliers.
The 2016 champions fell short in the end despite re fact that star player LeBron James became the first player to ever score 51 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists in the NBA Finals.
James’ 51 points is the best points haul in the playoffs since the legend Michael Jordan scored 55 points in 1993.
Stephen Curry topscored for the defending champions with 29 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists during the game played at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.
This represents the fourth year in a row that the Cavaliers have been beaten by the Warriors in the first game of the finals and would be hoping to get back into reckoning in Game two of the best-of-seven series scheduled to take place in Oakland on Sunday night.
The normal time of Game 1 ended in a controversial way after JR Smith of the Cavaliers grabbed the offensive rebound off a missed George Hill missed throw and then ran down the clock rather than attempt a game-winning shot.
Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronne Lue while speaking in his post-match media briefing addressed the issue and the game in general.
In his words, he said: “It was epic, and he did enough to carry this team to a victory.”
“To do what he did tonight and come out robbed, it’s just not right.” he added.
On the Smith matter, Lue was quoted as follows: “He thought we were up one.”, although his player revealed that he knew the scores were tied.
Smith said: “I tried to bring it out and get enough space to maybe get a shot off.”
“I looked over at LeBron and he looked like he was trying to get a timeout. So I stopped, and the game was over.
“For our team to come out and play their hearts out and compete the way we did, man, it’s bad.” he stated further.
On his own part, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said: “It’s not going to be easy. We’re playing a great team.
“They’ve been to the finals four years in a row, just like we have, for a reason. They have a guy who is playing basketball at a level that I’m not sure anybody’s ever seen before.” he concluded.