Home Sports Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers

Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers

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			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers		

	
	

	
				
			Warriors ride their two MVPs to Game 1 rout of the Cavaliers

OAKLAND — Klay Thompson’s shooting woes worsened, Draymond Green didn’t score until late in the third quarter, Zaza Pachulia led a brigade of first half missed layups, but the Warriors, while not perfect, were still dominant in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, blasting the Cavaliers 113-91 on Thursday night in Oracle.

How? They transformed their two typical flaws into major advantages and rode their two MVPs — one dunking on the world, the other bombing away deep 3s — to a 13th straight playoff win, the 11th by double-digits, upping their average postseason margin of victory to 16.7 per game

“They’re the best I’ve ever seen,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “I mean, no other team has done this, right? 13-0.”

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To beat the Warriors this season, and it’s only been done 15 times in 95 games, you need to turn them over and beat them up on the glass. The Cavaliers did that on Christmas, grabbing 18 offensive rebounds and forcing 19 turnovers, which helped them edge the Warriors by one.

But in Game 1, the Warriors had more second chance points (18 to 13) and won the turnover battle by an astounding 20-4 margin. Those four turnovers were the fewest the Warriors have committed all season. Their previous low was seven.

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“When you turn the ball over against this team, they become impossible to guard,” Draymond Green said. “It’s LeBron (James) coming downhill, Kyrie (Irving) coming downhill with a bunch of shooters around them. So we knew coming into this game, we had to value the basketball.”

That monster advantage gave the Warriors 20 more shot attempts than the Cavaliers (106 to 86). And when you give the Warriors’ historically efficient offense that many more chances, even when all parts are not operating optimally, the mountain is too steep to climb. Especially when Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry are standing at the top drop-kicking you off.

“You can not simulate what they bring to the table,” James said. “No matter how many days you have off, you can’t simulate that.”

Durant served as the night’s star in his loud return to the NBA Finals. The Cavaliers’ defense, bottom-10 in the league this season and not that much better in the playoffs, helped get him going. Twice in the first half, with  Curry flanking and spreading out to the wing on a fastbreak, Durant galloped up the floor with those long limbs, looked toward Curry and a Cavalier defender — once Irving, the other time J.R. Smith — completely fled the lane, parting the sea as Durant cruised in and soared for unharmed dunks.

“Our gameplan was backwards,” Lue said. “When Kevin Durant has the ball, you don’t want to leave him.”

But Durant dunked plenty of times against slightly more imposing defensive efforts. Off a tricky inbound pass from Curry, Durant shook LeBron to the ground on a quick-twitch pump and go move for a slam, then later powered through Irving for a layup — his first eight makes were all at the rim — and forced his way to the free throw line a few times late in the first half, putting up 23 in the first 24 minutes.

“He just did what we expect of him,” Green said. We’re going to seek him out, get him the ball, and guys got to defend him. He was amazing tonight, and I expect nothing less in the rest of the games.”

Durant finished with a game-high 38 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and zero turnovers — finally busting out his 3-point shot late to cap his huge night.

But Curry never had to get hot from 3 because he just stayed hot, carrying over his scorching stroke from the last round to plant six of his 11 threes on Thursday, giving him an NBA-high 59 made 3s in 13 playoff games. Kevin Love is the next closest shooter, with 41 makes in 14 games.


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Curry finished with 28 points and 10 assists — he didn’t have more than six assists during any Finals game last year — giving him 66 combined points with Durant, as the two catapulted some of their struggling teammates to this Game 1 rout.

Pachulia either passed up or butchered three first half layups, before making a pair of circus shots in the second half. Klay Thompson played terrific defense, but shot 3-of-16 and missed all five of his 3s as his massive shooting slump worsened. Green only made three of his 12 shots.

But the Warriors are up 1-0, dominantly, because they protected the ball, won the battle on the glass and let their two stars shine.

“We could be a lot better than we were tonight,” Durant said. “But in The Finals, you take the W.”

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