11:46 p.m.-GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS TAKE GAME 1 OF NBA FINALS AGAINST CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
Timing is everything, and unfortunately for the Cleveland Cavaliers, they chose the wrong times to make mistakes against the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
The Cavaliers had their chances late in the fourth quarter to steal away home-court advantage early in the 2018 NBA Finals, but the Warriors made the right plays at the right time to claim a 124-114 overtime win in Game 1.
Despite a career-best 51 points in the NBA Finals from Cavaliers small forward LeBron James, the Warriors started the overtime period on a 7-0 scoring run and never looked back on the way to the Game 1 win.
PHOTOS: Cleveland Cavaliers battle Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of 2018 NBA Finals
11:28 p.m.-CAVALIERS, WARRIORS HEADED TO OVERTIME IN GAME 1
Forty-eight minutes was not enough for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors to decide Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals and the teams headed to overtime at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, Thursday night.
A late three-point play from Stephen Curry put the Warriors ahead of the Cavaliers by a point, but Cleveland point guard George Hill split a pair of free throws to even the score at 107 all with 4.7 seconds remaining.
Cavaliers shooting guard JR Smith caught the rebound after Hill missed the second of his two free throws, but dribbled out the clock instead of using Cleveland’s final timeout of regulation to reset the offense or going up for a shot after dribbling his way through the lane and out to the three-point line.
10:59 p.m.-CAVALIERS GET RIGHT BACK INTO GAME 1 WITH THREE-POINT SHOOTING
The Golden State Warriors took a seven-point lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers early in the fourth quarter of Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals, but the Eastern Conference champions had an answer in a form very familiar to the “Best from the West”: the three-point shot.
Known for their quick releases on three-pointers, the Warriors got caught on their heels defensively and surrendered back-to-back triples that saw the Cavaliers cut down the deficit to a single point, 89-88, with 8:52 to play in the fourth quarter.
First, power forward Jeff Green caught a pass from small forward LeBron James on the left side of the floor and sunk the uncontested three-pointer after the Warriors had a miscommunication in a rotation. Then, on the next possession, James set up shooting guard Kyle Korver for his first-three-pointer of the game.
10:08 p.m.-CAVALIERS, WARRIORS TIED AT 56 ALL AT THE HALF
Thanks to a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers went into their respective locker rooms tied at 56 all at halftime of Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
The Cavaliers and Warriors each made 22 field goals in the first half, and while Golden State knocked down three more three-pointers, Cleveland made three more free throws over the first 24 minutes of action in Game 1.
Small forward LeBron James led the way for the Cavaliers with 24 points on nine-of-11 shooting, with a five-for-six mark at the free-throw line to go along with two rebounds, four assists and one steal over 21 minutes of play.
In addition to James, the Cavaliers got solid offensive performances from power forward Kevin Love (12 points), shooting guard JR Smith (seven markers) and four baskets off the bench from reserve center Larry Nance Jr.
Nance Jr. needed just 10 minutes to score eight points, corral seven rebounds, including three on the offensive end of the floor, and one steal.
Curry led the Warriors with 18 points, and small forward Kevin Durant added 11 markers despite a four-of-11 showing in the first half.
9:48 p.m.-LARRY NANCE JR. SPARKS CAVALIERS’ RUN
Cleveland Cavaliers center Larry Nance Jr. saw inconsistent minutes and had a difficult time making an impact on any game in the first three rounds of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, but early in the second quarter of Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, Nance made his presence known.
Over the first four minutes of action in the second quarter, Nance converted all three of his shots from the field on the way to a bench-high six points and corralled four rebounds, including one on the offensive end of the floor that led to a put-back.
With Nance’s effort and three baskets from small forward LeBron James, the Cavaliers stormed out to a 42-35 lead over the Warriors with 7:48 to play in the first half at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
9:38 p.m.-CAVALIERS LEAD WARRIORS, 30-29, AFTER FIRST QUARTER OF GAME 1
The Cleveland Cavaliers shot, hustled and fought their way to a 30-29 lead over the Golden State Warriors after the first quarter of play in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, Thursday night.
Cavaliers small forward LeBron James led the way with a game-high 12 points on four-of-four shooting from the field and a three-for-four showing from the free-throw line.
In addition to James, the Cavaliers got nine and seven points, respectively, from returning power forward Kevin Love and starting shooting guard JR Smith over the first 12 minutes of play against the Western Conference Champion Warriors.
As a team, the Cavaliers shot 55 percent from the field (11 of 20) and knocked down two of their six attempts from three-point range.
Despite spending much of the first quarter without shooting guard Klay Thompson because of a leg injury, the Warriors still shot 57.1 percent (12 of 21) from the field, but went just two of eight (25 percent) from beyond the three-point arc.
9:18 p.m.-CAVALIERS LEAD WARRIORS NEAR MIDWAY THROUGH FIRST QUARTER
The Cleveland Cavaliers came out firing against the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, and took a 15-12 lead into a timeout with 6:50 remaining in the first quarter of play.
Cavaliers small forward LeBron James led all scorers with nine points, and returning power forward Kevin Love added four markers to go along with three rebounds and one assist over the first five-plus minutes of action.
James was three of three from the field, and knocked down a step-back three-pointer that put the Cavaliers back in front after the Warriors took their first lead of the game.
As a team, the Cavaliers made six of their first nine attempts at the basket and were one of two beyond the three-point arc.
8:45 p.m.-CAVALIERS, WARRIORS OPEN 2018 NBA FINALS TONIGHT
For the fourth consecutive year, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors won their respective conference championships and will meet in the NBA Finals.
With the Warriors holding a better regular-season record than the Cavaliers, they earned the right to host Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals, and the best-of-seven series gets underway tonight at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
The Cavaliers earned their fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals after winning a seven-game series against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavaliers and Celtics defended home court over each of the first six games of the series before Cleveland went into TD Garden and won Game 7 last Sunday night.
For the second time in three years, the Warriors had their backs proverbially against the wall in the Western Conference Finals. This time, the Warriors had to win the final two games of the series against the Houston Rockets, including Game 7 on the road, and that is exactly what they did in come-from-behind fashion in both Games 6 and 7.
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