Golden State Warriors beats Cleveland in Game 1 of NBA Finals
The Golden State Warriors on Thursday beat current champions Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals
The Warriors' 113-91 victory appeared effortless as they dominated on their home turf at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, maintaining a 20-point first-half lead through the final whistle.
Kevin Durant made a spectacular return to the Finals after a five-year hiatus with a game-high 38 points. He added eight assists and eight rebounds.
The former Oklahoma City franchise player seemed to enjoy chemistry with the rest of the Golden State roster that went up 3-1 against the Cavs in last year's Finals before losing the title.
A number of mismatches and defensive mix-ups allowed Durant to score easy baskets in the first half before finishing on 14-of-26 shooting, while Stephen Curry added 28 points and 10 assists.
Superstar LeBron James had 28 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists in a losing effort. Kyrie Irving add 24 points for the Cavs.
But the rest of the team shot an anemic 25 percent from the floor, with five players not able to make a single shot, and the team suffered an atypical 20 turnovers to surrender the game to a ruthless Warriors offense.
With four minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue sidelined his stars in the hopes of a better start in Game 2 as the teams return Sunday to Oracle Arena.
The Cavs began last year's finals in similar fashion when they lost two in a row, but Durant's formidable presence will make any comeback even more difficult this time around.
The 2017 NBA Finals is the third straight year these two teams will face each other for the championship.
Golden State won its first title in 2015, only to relinquish the throne a year later to a Cleveland team that won that city's first major sports championship in decades.