The Golden State Warriors are now 13-0 in the postseason and have taken a commanding 1-0 series lead in the 2017 NBA Finals, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-90 behind Kevin Durant's 38 points and 8 rebounds.
The third installment of these two teams meeting in The Finals was an extremely physical one, with refs letting the players play right from the tip, many players banging down low for loose balls and rebounds.
The fast pace of play also contributed to the physicality of the game, as both teams combined for 64 three-point attempts, leading to many rebounding opportunities.
The battle of the small forwards, LeBron James and Kevin Durant, was what everyone expected plus more, as the two forwards went at each other, both scoring and rebounding-wise. In Kevin Durant's first Finals appearance since 2012, he was easily the best player on the floor for the Warriors, posting 38 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists, shooting 14-26 from the field as no one could contain the seven footer.
For LeBron, he was unstoppable when driving to the basket, collecting 28 points and racking up 12 free throw attempts, converting on 8 of them. James also added 15 rebounds and 8 assists, mixing it up in the paint with the big men.
Speaking of rebounds, the Cavaliers won the rebounding game 59-50, with LeBron contributing, and Love leading the game with a whopping 21 of his own. Tristan Thompson was unusually inactive on the boards, only pulling down 4.
For Cleveland, their troubles can be pinned down to ball security, as many Cavs players were careless when handling and passing the ball, something that will come back to haunt you when playing the transitional-savvy Warriors. LeBron committed a game-high 8 turnovers as the Warriors had 16 less turnovers than the Cavs, and a 12-1 steals discrepancy.
Outside of Cleveland's Big 3, the Cavs did not have much production on the offensive end, as the rest of Cleveland's squad combined for 23 points, compared to the Big 3's 67.
Due to their care with the ball, Golden State were extremely efficient passing and shooting the ball, posting 31 assists as a team, and shooting a combined 45-106 from the field, compared to Cleveland's 30-86.
Steph Curry was up to his usual tricks, scoring 28 points and dishing out 10 assists, going 6-11 from deep, something which the Cavaliers were unable to contain.
Game 2 will also be in Oakland on Sunday, as James and the Cavs look to bounce back and level the series at one a piece.