LeBron James was fantastic to open the NBA Finals, and Stephen Curry hit shots worthy of his MVP recognition.
But in the end, free throws in overtime decided the first game of the championship round more than anything else, and Golden State came way with the 108-100 victory to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
James did all he could for his Cavaliers, finishing with 44 points, eight rebounds and six assists. But Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 47 points, and Andre Iguodala was huge off the bench with 15 points on eight shots, and the Warriors pulled away for the win in the overtime session.
This was a critical opportunity for Cleveland to steal home court advantage, but the Cavaliers ultimately couldn’t take control. Kyrie Irving’s knee was a concern heading into the series, but he largely played as though it wasn’t an issue, until he aggravated the injury and was forced to sub out with only a couple of minutes to play in the contest.
Irving played well until that point, and finished with 23 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals in almost 44 minutes of action. His status is uncertain for the remainder of the series.
The Cavaliers had a chance to steal this one in regulation. After Irving blocked a layup attempt from Stephen Curry, LeBron missed a long jumper on the ensuing possession, and Iman Shumpert missed a chance at a follow. Cleveland failed to score in overtime until James drove for a layup with only nine second left, when the game had already been decided.