Warriors Defeat Cavs in Game 1

The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers have developed a competitiveness because of their shared supremacy in their respective conference. Cleveland hung around for the first 24 minutes only because the Warriors missed a lot of shots they normally make.

The scene shifts to Cleveland for Games 3 and 4 on June 7 and June 9. The Warriors are the best first quarter team in the postseason in terms of net rating (+32.1 points per 100 possessions) and are +112 in point differential in first halves.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors Part III begins Thursday night, as the two teams match up in the NBA Finals for the third year in a row. With all this said, James is still listed as the third favorite (+240) to win the finals MVP behind Durant (+200) and Stephen Curry (+210).

While LeBron kept scoring, it was Durant that was the difference - he was getting to the rim for dunks and attacking in ways the Cavaliers could not stop. Durant finished with 38 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.

This Warriors team, however, is better. This will be an extremely short series unless the Big 3 gets some degree of help.

Durant is shooting 89 of 160 (55.6 percent) so far in the playoffs, connecting on at least half his shots in each of his past six games. Curry would also have 10 assists, eight rebounds and three steals. Then on the other end, he guarded LeBron James for long stretches and held his own there. Korver ranks second among all active players with 104 playoff games without a Finals appearance, trailing only Joe Johnson's 112 games.

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James became the first player to lead an NBA Finals in every major statistical category with 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 2.6 steals and 2.3 blocked shots a game a year ago.

James carried a loathsome burden of the Cavaliers' offense in Game 1.

Durant and James matched each other in a feisty duel.

James had 19 points and 11 rebounds in the first half, the first time in his career he managed a playoff double-double before halftime. Cleveland's Tristan Thompson had just four total rebounds, one on the offensive glass.

Meanwhile, Steph Curry contributed 28 points as the Warriors sank 11 dunks in the first half. Golden State Warriors' JaVale McGee dribbles during an NBA basketball practice, Wednesday, May 31, 2017, in Oakland, Calif.

Overall, Cleveland was careless with the basketball and nobody outside of its big three was stepping up. Either way get ready for hopefully a great game.

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But with Durant added to a mix that includes fellow All-Stars Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, this year's Warriors proved to be too tough for James and Cleveland to handle in Game 1.

Cleveland superstar LeBron James, as versatile and risky as any NBA player, is a focus of the Golden State Warriors as they prepare for tomorrow's start of the NBA Finals.

No one said it's easy to guard Golden State. He's become the odd man out in Golden State with Durant being fully integrated in how the Warriors do things.

Go back and look at any Finals preview, and you'll hear the Cavs talk about the need to limit Golden State's ability to run with the basketball. Without it, he's just a rotation player.

"We talked about going into the series, a lot of us have been through both sides of a championship run and a finals - kind of back and forth - and you're not going to see insane celebrations".

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