Defending champion Golden State, showing the teamwork and depth that helped produce a record 73 regular-season wins, routed the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-89 in Thursday’s opening game of the NBA Finals.
Game two in the best-of-seven series will be played Sunday at Oakland before the scene shifts to Cleveland for two games.
Warriors reserve guard Shaun Livingston scored a season-best 20 points, his career playoff high, while Draymond Green added 16 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and four steals to lead seven double-figure scorers.
For all the talk of Stephen Curry and Cleveland’s LeBron James stealing the show, the Warriors reserves produced their share of the points when it mattered most, something that Curry was quick to pay reference to after the game.
“(I’m) Just really proud of the way everybody contributed. You don’t win championships without the entire squad making an impact,” Curry said.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr admitted it was a strange game with both Klay Thompson and Curry off with their shooting.
Kerr said: “If we defend and take care of the ball then we will always have someone to score enough points for us.”
On the losing team, talisman James notched 23 points and said his side need to improve ahead of game two: “We got to be much better in game two. Defensively we had a game plan and followed it as much as possible… Offensively we’ve got to be much better.”
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