The opening of the potential seven-game series at the Oracle Arena in Oakland saw the Golden State Warriors run out 124-114 winners in overtime over the Cleveland Cavaliers in their fourth consecutive NBA Finals match-up.
The game had been relatively even throughout the game before the Fourth Quarter. Warriors’ Steph Curry shot a memorable three-pointer at the sound of the Second Quarter buzzer to match Cleveland to 56.
However, the Cavs had a chance to win the tie in California seconds right before the final buzzer with the score matched at 107, and record an imperative win, but George Hill missed his second free throw after being fouled under the basket.
The rebound came to JR Smith who squandered the opportunity to shoot, apparently thinking that Cleveland had already sealed the win, to gift the vital tie to the Cavaliers, and his failure to do so prompted talisman LeBron James’ fury. James’ visible reverberations were apparent on court as the game went into overtime.
James had scored an incredible 51 points for his side- the first in a finals since 1993- but was let down by the majority of the supporting cast. Smith in particular had a poor game, managing less than a third of his shooting into point conversion.
Once into overtime, Golden State didn’t look back and Klay Thompson’s three-pointer right after play restarted led the Warriors to an 11-point cushion. The Cavaliers had run out of ideas, and frustration mounted seconds when Draymond Green received a swipe to the face by the Cavs’ Tristan Thompson, who was subsequently ejected.
The second game will be again at the Warriors home- the oldest stadium in the NBA- on Sunday.
You can watch the final seconds of normal time of Golden State Warriors versus the Cleveland Cavaliers as LeBron James vents his frustrations below.