OAKLAND — The Golden State Warriors used a 29-8 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to take control of Game 1 of The Finals, their sixth straight win over Cleveland, going back to Game 4 of last year’s series.
One stat stood out from the rest in the Warriors’ 104-89 victory on Thursday.
54 – Points in the paint scored by the Warriors.
That tied both the third-highest mark that Golden State has registered and the third-highest mark that Cleveland has allowed this season.
This is a matchup of the most prolific 3-point shooting team in NBA history and what was the most prolific 3-point shooting team of the first three rounds. But Game 1 was won inside, where the Warriors had their way early and often.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were quiet most of the night, combining for just 20 points on 8-for-27 shooting. The Cavs avoided the long-distance splashes for the most part, but were beaten by drives and cuts and layups in transition, where they were too slow to match up.
And there was a lot of Shaun Livingston in that big run that decided the game. The Warriors’ back-up point guard used his size advantage to bully the Cavs’ guards into the paint, where he drained several pull-up and turnaround jumpers.
Cleveland has turned into a potent offensive team, using only Channing Frye, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson as their bigs. But the flip side of that is that they have no rim protection, and the Warriors took advantage in Game 1.
Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
EFG% = (FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA
OREB% = Percentage of available offensive rebounds obtained
TO Ratio = Turnovers per 100 possessions
FTA Rate = FTA / FGA