OAKLAND, Calif. — The Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Golden State Warriors 124-114 Thursday night in Game 1 of the NBA Finals in mind blowing and controversial fashion that made this series that much more intriguing.
As shocking as it is to say, the Cavs were in control for most of the first half and went into halftime tied at 56. After withstanding multiple Warrior runs in the third quarter, they only trailed by six heading into the fourth quarter. The Cavs played Golden State about as good as any Cavs fan could’ve expected, and had the ball down one point with under a minute to play.
LeBron drove on Steph Curry and scored and got fouled to put the Cavs up two with a minute to play. LeBron was ridiculous last night with 51 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists and accounted for over 70 of the Cavs’ points. This is when things got very controversial. Kevin Durant drove in on the ensuing possession and James took a charge that was called a charge on the court. The officials went to review to see if James was in the restricted area. After clearly seeing that he was not in the restricted area under the basket, the officials, to everyone’s surprise, changed the call to a blocking foul and Durant went to the line and made two free throws.
James scored again on the next possesion, and then Curry scored and got fouled to put Golden State up one. With less than ten seconds remaining, George Hill had two free throws to try to put the Cavs up one. He made the first and missed the second. J.R. Smith got the rebound and inexplicably ran the ball near half court, almost as if he thought the Cavs had the lead. The clock ran out and the game went to overtime.
Here’s a look at the play:
Golden State dominated in overtime, going on a 7-0 run to close the game out. Curry had 29 points to lead the Warriors.
There is so much to digest in this game that the Cavs were so close to stealing on the road. To start with positives, the Cavs were right there with a chance to win at the end and played Golden State very well for 48 minutes. To add onto LeBron’s 51, Kevin Love had 21 points and 13 rebounds while J.R. Smith had ten points to help the Cavs stay in it.
As for negatives, this one is really going to hurt going into Game 2 on Sunday. The Cavs were so extremely close to winning the first game of the Finals and lost in a way that is going to be hard to swallow. Coach Ty Lue and players all voiced their displeasures with the officiating after the game and felt as if they were somewhat robbed of some calls late in the game. “It ain’t right,” said Lue after the game.
The Cavs competed with the “unbeatable” Warriors for 48 minutes on Thursday night. It took an officiating blunder, a missed free throw by George Hill, J.R. Smith not knowing the time and score, and overtime for the Warriors to beat the LeBron James-led team. That is something the Cavs can lean on going into a Game 2 that will surely have fireworks on Sunday night. The Cavs will look to bounce back and even the series before heading back to Cleveland for Game Three.
Game 2 is scheduled for Sunday night at 8:00pm ET and will be broadcast on ABC.
Be sure to follow EBSN Online for more news and updates on your Cleveland Cavaliers!