24 — Just one more reminder of how long the droughts are for both teams: When the Warriors won their last championship (1975), the No. 1 song on the Billboard chart at this time of year was Before the Next Teardrop Falls by Freddy Fender. The last time any Cleveland team won a title (1964), The Beatles led the way with Love Me Do.
23 — Tough act to follow. After a full week of preparation and rest, can the Cavs and Warriors match the stirring performance of 10-year-old Nayah Damasen on the Game 1 national anthem?
22 — Uh-oh. How much is Steve Kerr worrying when the jump shot by LeBron James that’s been shaky all through the playoffs goes down smooth on the first two attempts?
21 — Two words: Tristan Thompson. Two more: Big problem.
20 — Kyrie Irving isn’t 100 percent? Don’t tell that to Draymond Green after that steal, crossover, shield-the-ball and strong finish at the other end. And that was after his block on Steph Curry earlier.
19 — Are they planning the parade route yet in Cleveland? Perfect first quarter and a 29-19 Cavs lead. Warriors not only shooting badly (6-for-21), but have taken a lot of bad shots. Looking like a team with not a minute of Finals experience.
18 — How far back do you have to go to find a midseason pickup who fits better than Timofey Mozgov on a Finals team? I’m thinking Rasheed Wallace to the 2004 Pistons.
17 — Welcome back, Marreese Speights. While he was out for the last eight games with a calf injury, coach Steve Kerr said the one thing that didn’t concern him was his shooting touch. So Mo Buckets comes off the bench and buries his first two shots.
16 — That Golden State bench that’s been so vital and potent all season long is keeping Warriors in the game with an 18-6 advantage midway through the second quarter. Buys them time to get Curry heated up.
15 — Just address Steph Curry’s Christmas cards this year to “Left Corner.” It might as well be his home. Now he’s up to 13-for-14 there in the playoffs. Honest. Shooting the basketball really isn’t as easy as Curry makes it look.
14 — Usage rate for LeBron in first half was high and you wonder if it will take a toll over a long series. Hmmmm, have the maintenance folks at Oracle Arena thought about unplugging the air conditioner?
13 — Yes, the Warriors are making LeBron work for everything he gets. And he’s working them over.
12 — Plan A: LeBron bully-ball. Plan B: Tristan Thompson offensive rebound. Plan C: See Plan A
— ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) June 5, 2015
11 — Sometimes you just don’t play by the book. That foul taken by Draymond Green at the end of the first half just because the Warriors had one to give looks pretty costly — not to mention foolish — now that he’s on the bench with four.
10 — Mike Breen: “Dellavedova trying to get the Cavs into the offense.” Passes to LeBron. “There’s the offense.”
9 — The little things that can win championships? Those two hustling out-of-bounds saves by Harrison Barnes that led to a Leandro Barbosa 3 out of the corner.
8 — Somebody needs to tell the five Cavs on the court for start of the fourth quarter that LeBron is over there sitting on the bench. It’s time to be moving the ball around, not looking for isolation plays.
7 — LeBron’s 37 ties his Finals high with more than six minutes left. As James himself said when somebody asked if he thought he was an underdog in this series: “Me? An underdog? Never.”
6 — 758 consecutive starts to begin career, now off the bench all season and Andre Iguodala’s sacrifice continues as he gives up his body to try to defend James. At both ends, perhaps Iggy’s best game as a Warrior.
5 — Can we give Kyrie Irving his own MVP — Most Valuable Possum? All this talk about being less than full strength and then he makes that tremendous block on Curry drive.
4 — Iguodala’s done everything but sink his teeth into one of LeBron’s shoulders. Great contest on LeBron jumper for the win.
3 — Small ball Warriors with Green playing center in OT have not given Cavs anything at the rim and take control.
2 — Just when we’re all gearing for a humdinger Finals with hope of it going the seven-game distance with a lot more of these classics, there goes Kyrie Irving limping to the locker room. In four rounds of playoffs, the Warriors have faced four teams with point guard injuries — Jrue Holiday, Mike Conley, Pat Beverley and Irving.
1 — If 44 points, eight rebounds, six assists by LeBron wasn’t enough, can the Cavs hope to have a chance if Kyrie can’t go in Game 2? The winner of Game 1 is 48-20 all-time to win series in NBA Finals history.