National Basketball Association
Golden State 108, Cleveland 100
When: 9:00 PM ET, Thursday, June 4, 2015
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
#23 Jason Phillips, #13 Monty McCutchen, #19 James Capers
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Five minutes after he was sure his team had lost Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr was watching his team celebrate.
After the Warriors held their collective breaths as LeBron James and Iman Shumpert missed shots in the final 3.8 seconds of regulation Thursday night, Golden State dominated the overtime defensively en route to a 108-100 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers and an early lead in the best-of-seven series.
Game 2 is scheduled for Sunday night, also on the Warriors' home court.
Small forward Harrison Barnes hit a 3-pointer from the left corner to highlight a 10-0 spurt to start the extra session as the Warriors finally figured out a way to slow down James, the game's leading scorer with 44 points.
"I thought we came out of the regulation flat and without the kind of energy that we had displayed throughout the game," Cavaliers coach David Blatt said. "It seemed like once they got a basket or two, we kind of dropped and they took the momentum."
While Golden State was holding Cleveland without a point until 8.9 seconds remained in the extra session, Warriors point guard Stephen Curry made four free throws before Barnes buried his 3-pointer off an assist by reserve swingman Andre Iguodala for a 105-98 lead with 2:02 to go.
Iguodala added one free throw 22 seconds later and power forward Draymond Green dropped in a pair with 1:16 to go, capping the Golden State scoring.
Just getting to the overtime was a welcome relief, Kerr admitted.
After Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving brilliantly blocked a Curry layup from behind to preserve a 98-98 tie with 24.9 seconds left in regulation, the Cavaliers went to James, who misfired on a tough 20-footer from the left side.
The rebound deflected into the right corner, where Shumpert grabbed it and quickly fired up a buzzer-beating attempt that appeared to be right on target. However, it came up a bit short and bounced off the rim, producing the sixth overtime in a Game 1 in the Finals.
"I thought Iman's shot was going in. It looked good the whole way," said Kerr, who had a good view from the nearby Warriors bench. "It was right on line. I thought the whole bench thought it was going in.
"We were lucky."
James said he got the shot he wanted.
"I got to where I wanted to get. Made them before," he said. "We had our chances."
Iguodala, the defender on the play, had pretty much the same view as James.
"Last year, he beat us on a shot similar to that at home in the regular season," Iguodala said. "I kind of knew what play he wanted to get into. I was right there on him, and he was still able to get off the shot. So at that point, you just want the percentages to kick in and help you out."
James capped his career-best scoring effort in a playoff game with a layup in the final seconds, Cleveland's only points of the extra five minutes.
James missed a pair of 3-pointers as Cleveland went 0-for-8 with three turnovers to start the overtime.
"At the end of the day, we gave ourselves a chance, man," James said. "I missed a tough one."
Curry hit half his 20 shots en route to a team-high 26 points for the Warriors, who made their first Finals appearance in 40 years.
Shooting guard Klay Thompson, who was considered questionable due to a concussion for much of the eight-day break following the conference finals, added 21 points, hitting all eight of his free throws. Golden State went 20-for-22 from the line.
Iguodala contributed 15 points, and backup center Marreese Speights, who hadn't played since May 9 because of a calf injury, added eight as the Warriors outscored the Cavaliers 34-9 off the bench.
Iguodala also did most of the defensive work on James, who needed 38 shots to produce his 44 points. James also committed a team-hig
Top Game Performances
LeBron James 44
Stephen Curry 26
Kyrie Irving 6
Stephen Curry 8
Tristan Thompson 15
Andrew Bogut 7
LeBron James 6
||Free Throws Made
Klay Thompson 8
Kyrie Irving 4
Stephen Curry 2
Kyrie Irving 2
Andrew Bogut 2
Team Stats Summary
Golden State will play their next game at home against Cleveland. The Warriors have a W/L % of .836 after a win and .733 after a loss.
Cleveland will play their next game on the road against Golden State. The Cavaliers have a W/L % of .731 after a win and .500 after a loss.