Golden state warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-89 to take a vital 1-0 series lead in the NBA finals last night.
Warriors bench amassed 45 points in a game Warriors key players Shaun Livingston (20 points, four rebounds), Andre Iguodala (12 points, seven rebounds, six assists) and Leandro Barbosa (11 points) put the Cavaliers to the sword as coach Steve Kerr persisted with a second five that looked as strong as an NBA playoff team all on its own.
On the contrary, Cleveland’s stars stood up. LeBron James (23 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists), Kyrie Irving (26 points) and Kevin Love (17 points, 13 rebounds) all had periods of dominance, most notably on that third quarter run that threatened to bust the game open and angered Kerr enough to smash his clipboard with his fist.But the Cavaliers bench, including Australian Matthew Dellavedova, combined for only 10 points.
They executed that plan and then some. Curry and Klay Thompson struggled mightily, going a combined 8-of-27. Curry ended the night with 11 points and Thompson only scored nine. But they had lots of help.
The question mark was how would Love match up with the versatile Draymond Green. We still don’t know. Lue shuffled his defensive assignments around. Love started out guarding center Andrew Bogut and Tristan Thompson took Green. But the Cavs’ constant switching on pick-and-rolls left plenty of open space.
Cleveland shot 38 percent for the game. They did a phenomenal job on the Splash Brothers, but were burned by the Warriors’ much-touted “strength in numbers.”