Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry combined for 20 points on 27 shots and the Golden State Warriors still took Game 1 of the NBA Finals by 15 points. The Cleveland Cavaliers, who visit the Warriors for Game 2 on Sunday, are searching for answers after being outscored on the bench and outworked on the offensive end in the setback.
Cleveland is down one game to Golden State in the Finals for the second straight season but came away from Game 1 pleased with how it played on the defensive end and confident going forward. “Game 2 will be different,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue told reporters. “Gotta make a couple of adjustments and do a few things better, but overall if you have a chance to hold Steph and Klay to 20 points combined and outrebound this team also, get to the free-throw line double the amount of times they get to the free-throw line. Those are some good things that we did so we’ve just got to build off of that.” The Warriors’ motto for the playoffs is “strength in numbers,” and the team showed off their depth with big games from reserves Shaun Livingston, Leandro Barbosa and Andre Iguodala. “Those guys have an ability to elevate their game to the situation, which is hard for many players on the bench,” general manager Bob Myers told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s harder to rise up in the bigger moments. That’s usually left to the stars. But they’re pros, they’ve been in the league a long time and they’ve been through a lot, so they’re aware of the situation.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ABC
LINE HISTORY: The Warriors opened as 6.5-point home favorites over the Cavs for Game 1 and have yet to move off that number at publication time of this preview. The total hit the board at 207 and has been bet all of the way up to 208.5. Check out the complete line history here.
SERIES PRICE (Per Pinnacle):
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (69-28, 46-48-3 ATS, 48-49 O/U): LeBron James went for 23 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists in Game 1 but committed four turnovers and was honest in his assessment the team’s performance. “When you’re outscored 45-10 in bench points and give up 25 points off turnovers, you’re not winning that game,” James told reporters. The Cavaliers are averaging 13.9 made 3-pointers in the playoffs – tops in the NBA – but went 7-of-21 from beyond the arc in Game 1 as Channing Frye (0-of-1 in seven minutes off the bench) and J.R. Smith (1-of-3 in 36 minutes) struggled to get into the flow on offense.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (86-14, 57-41-2 ATS, 52-47-1 O/U): Golden State held the Cavaliers to 38.1 percent from the field and only turned the ball over nine times in Game 1, with just one of those turnovers coming from the reserves. Iguodala, Livingston and Barbosa combined to shoot 18-of-24 from the field to pick up the slack for their star teammates, who appreciated the effort. “Regardless of how the night’s going shooting for me or Klay, we definitely get a boost when our bench guys come in and change the game,” Curry told reporters. “We rely on that pretty much every night, whether it’s 45 points off the bench or just playing aggressive and continuing what we start.”
* Cavaliers are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 NBA Championship games.
* Warriors are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 NBA Championship games.
* Under is 5-1 in Cavaliers last 6 vs. Western Conference.
* Under is 5-0 in Warriors last 5 vs. Eastern Conference.
* Cavaliers are 1-5 ATS in the last 6 meetings.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The Warriors are picking up 59 percent of the Covers Consensus wagering as of Saturday night. In totals picks, Over is grabbing 58 percent of the action. Click here for full up-to-date consensus data.
MVP ODDS (Per Sports Interaction):
DANCE TEAM BATTLE:
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