OAKLAND, Calif.– Despite an inconsistent performance in the postseason, Kevin Love had the first points of the NBA Finals.
Love hit a three-pointer to put the Cavs on the board. But Cleveland struggled with turnovers early on in Game 1.
In the first quarter, LeBron James had 8 points and 2 assists, while Kyrie Irving had 6 and Love had 5. Iman Shumpert came off the bench to put up 3.
At the end of one quarter, the Cavaliers trailed 24-28.
The turnovers continued, allowing Golden State to spread the ball around and go on a run. Cleveland cut that lead down, thanks to another three from Love.
The Warriors were ahead of the Cavs at the end of the half, 52-43. Irving had 13 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Cleveland was shooting about 35 percent from the field.
In the third quarter, the Cavaliers went on a 7-point run, aided by big plays from Irving. Love gave the Cavs a quick lead, followed by a dunk from LeBron. The Warriors took it back to end the third.
The Cavs were able to keep Steph Curry and Klay Thompson quiet for much of the game, but struggled with the Warriors bench. Golden State won, 104-89.
When LeBron James announced he would be returning to Cleveland, he said it would be a long process to win a championship.
The Cavaliers ended last season with a 53-29 record and were Eastern Conference Champions. Now, they have another shot at the title.
“It’s great to have a rematch,” point guard Kyrie Irving told reporters on Tuesday.
“It’s not about revenge,” head coach Tyronn Lue said about the Golden State Warriors.
James knows the importance of this series to Northeast Ohio.
“I’m going to give it everything I have,” the All-Star power forward said. He is only the eighth player in NBA history with six straight Finals appearances and the first to do so in 50 years.
“I’ve exceeded expectations in my life as a professional,” James said. “I’m a statistic that was supposed to go the other way. You know, growing up in the inner city, having a single-parent household, it was just me and my mother. So everything that I’ve done has been a success.”
“As far as the game of basketball, I just go out and play it, and have fun, and love it, and be true to the game and my teammates, and live with the results.”