Game 1 of the NBA Finals was Thursday, May 31 in Oracle Arena in Oakland.
The series pits the defending champion Golden State Warriors against the Cleveland Cavaliers for the fourth consecutive season.
The entire staff of The Crossover gave its predictions on how the series will go down. Rob Mahoney explained why the Cavaliers don't have a chance in the series. Ben Golliver broke down why this series will be the biggest test in LeBron James's career. Rohan Nadkarni discussed how Stephen Curry is even more amazing of a shooter than we have really thought about. And Andrew Sharp talks about why nobody needs Warriors-Cavs IV even though it is the series we have.
Injuries could potentially play a major role as Cavaliers All-Star Kevin Love is returning to the court for Game 1 after missing essentially the last two games of the Eastern Conference finals with a concussion and the Warriors will be without 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala for Game 1 due to a leg injury that kept him out of the last four games of the Western Conference finals.
And on the lighter side of things, LeBron wore shorts with his suit to the game so who knows just what he has in store for everybody when he gets on the floor.
The first quarter was close from start to finish.
James scored the first bucket of the series, but Curry answered shortly after with the first three of the series. Neither team built a lead larger than four during the quarter.
The biggest moment of the quarter was a scary collision between Klay Thompson and J.R. Smith. Smith fell on the ground while trying to pick up Thompson on defense and slid into Thompson's left leg while he was receiving the ball. Thompson sat out the rest of the quarter after going to the locker room and then returning to the bench at the end of the quarter.
The team announced he hag a left leg lateral contusion.
The Cavaliers led 30-29 at the end of the quarter.
Thompson returned to the game to start the quarter, but the the Cavaliers came out strong and started to extend their lead.
A bucket from Love gave Cleveland its largest lead of the night at 51-40 with about five minutes remaining in the quarter, but from there it was all Golden State. The Warriors' big four went on a 16-5 run to close out the frame and a bomb from Curry as time expired had the game knotted up at 56.
During that run, Draymond Green also picked up a technical foul after arguing another call, when he was given a foul after hitting James in the face on a drive to the basket.
Curry has 18 points and six assists through two qaurters but James is the game's leading scorer at the half with 24 points.
Golden State seemed like it was on the verge of its signature run, but Cleveland kept it close the entire time.
James stepped up big and knocked down a handful of ridiculous threes, but the Warriors kept finding answers.
Despite the most hilarious missed dunk of the postseason from JaVale McGee and 12 points from LeBron in the quarter, the Warriors were still able to build up a lead and held a six point-advantage heading into the fourth at 84-78.
The Cavaliers battled back and refused to let the Warriors pull away.
James put the Cavaliers ahead at 92-91 with about seven and a half minutes late, but then the Warriors immediately answered. Golden State took a 100-94 after a Curry three, and then Cleveland went on a 10-2 run to take a 104-102 lead with less than a minute left.
From there the game got even more wild. There was a controversial block called on James during a Kevin Durant drive with 36.4 seconds left. It was origianlly called a charge, but the officails reviewed it to see if James was in the restricted area. Although he was not, the call was reversed and Durant tied the game at the free throw line.
James then went down and put Cleveland ahead with a layup, and then Curry put Golden State back on top with an and-one layup.
Then, on the Cavaliers' final possession, James hit George Hill with a pass on a backdoor cut, and Thompson fouled him. Hill made his first free throw, but missed the second. J.R. Smith collected the rebound over Durant, but instead of putting up a shot, he dribbled out the clock with the game tied at 107.
The Warriors had no trouble taking complete control of the game in the extra period. A pair of threes from Thompson along with another from Green helped seal the 124-114 win.
As the game was coming to an end though, Tristan Thompson was called for a late flagrant-2 against Shaun Livingston and a scuffle broke out between the teams to close the game.
Noteable Stat Lines
LeBron James: 51 points, 19-for-32, eight rebounds, eight assists
Stephen Curry: 29 points, nine assists
Draymond Green: 13 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists, five steals, two blocks, 2-for-5 from three
Kevin Love: 21 points, 13 rebounds
Kevin Durant: 26 points, 8-for-22, nine rebounds, six assists
Klay Thompson: 24 points, 5-for-10 from three
Make sure to check out all of The Crossover's Finals coverage here.