Last year’s title. This regular season’s record setting 73 Ws. Besting OKC for the West title, after being down 1-3. Consecutive MVPs. All significant. All boffo.
But, besting rough and ready Cleveland, led by a seriously voracious LeBron James, when the Splash Brothers couldn’t even find the pool let alone cannonball off the high dive . . . by 15 points no less . . . now that’s a statement.
The Cavs were ready to thwart Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, with an effective game plan, and equally impressive execution. Thompson was 4/12, picked up three fouls early on, and was hardly a factor. Curry was 4/15, threw it away 5 times and was a -1 for the tilt.
No real contributions from the stars.
Andre Igoudala was +21. And he did as good a job of shutting down LeBron as is possible. With more than a little help from his friends.
Shaun Livingston, 8/10 from the field, after netting only 11 FGs in the entire OKC series, was +20, and Leandro Barbosa tallied 11 points, draining all five of his FG attempts, and was +14 in 11 minutes of action.
GS Bench (94 minutes of court time) 45, Cavs’ Bench (57 minutes of action) 10.
One of GS’s Terrific Trio was present. Draymond Green grabbed 11 boards, dished out 7 assists and scored 16.
Harrison Barnes, often mysteriously nowhere to be found, added a solid 13, and some steady D on James.
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Notwithstanding all that, the Cavs made up a double digit deficit, caught the Dubs, forging ahead thrice late in the 3d. Only to have Golden State immediately respond each time. The last was a blistering 13 point response, with Thompson and Curry acting as cheerleaders from the bench.
When it came time for punctuation, GS went Star Time. Cleveland was not ready for star time.
The Warriors were up 11 with 2:54 to play. The Cavs had hope.
Until Steph Curry splashed in a 28 foot !!!.
Followed seconds later by a 27 foot !!! by Klay Thompson.
The benches played out the clock from there.
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One guy’s opinion here is that Matthew Dellavedova intentionally chopped Andre Igoudala in the balls. Inadvertent common foul, my ass.
Did his dirty play affect the outcome? You tell me.
On GS’s ensuing possession, Igoudala hit an early in the shot clock trey. Which was the beginning of GS’s 33-21 finish to the game.
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Cleveland had a great defensive game plan. Which worked against Curry and Thompson. But failed miserably when they were on the sidelines.
The Cavs O also fell apart, even though LBJ got help from his partners, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. They reverted to Old School isolation play. A guy would post up, get the ball, head fake this way and that with his back to the basket, while teammates stood and watched with their thumbs up their butts.
It reminded of the boring years of yesteryore, when that was the game for guys like Adrian Dantley and Mark Aguirre.
It was BORING. It was INEFFECTUAL.
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So Golden State is up 1 nil. How effectual that is remains to be seen.
Game Deux is Sunday night.
— Seedy K