2018 NBA Finals: Warriors survive Cavs, win Game 1 despite LeBron James' 51-point effort

The time we've all been waiting for has finally arrived. The NBA Finals tipped off on Thursday night with Game 1 between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, and it was a thriller. After a bizarre final few possessions, which saw a charge call on Kevin Durant reversed, and J.R. Smith not know the score, the game went to overtime, and the Warriors pulled away for a 124-114 win.

The first half was entertaining and well played as both teams shot over 50 percent from the field. And in what was likely a surprise to most people, the game was tied at the break. And the Cavs actually would have led were it not for a deep 3-pointer at the buzzer by Steph Curry. 

The second half was just as even. Although it started out with the Warriors looking like they would go on one of their typical third-quarter takeovers, the Cavaliers were able to withstand the pressure thanks to the efforts of LeBron James. Even though the Warriors entered the fourth quarter with a six-point lead, it certainly didn't feel like the game was over, as it often does following third quarters involving the Warriors. The fourth quarter was back and forth, as the two teams traded baskets right down to the wire. 

In the end, we went to overtime after a bizarre final few seconds that saw Smith try to dribble out the clock despite the fact that the game was tied. The Warriors then pulled away in OT, winning 124-114. The final few seconds were marred by a Tristan Thompson ejection, which led to a minor scuffle. 

LeBron James finished with 51 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Steph Curry led the Warrriors with 29 points, while Draymond Green added 13 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists, five steals and three blocks. 

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Game 1: Warriors 124, Cavaliers 114

The first game of the 2018 Finals got off to an interesting start as it was the Cleveland Cavaliers who led, 30-29 after the first 12 minutes. Both teams were red hot, as the Warriors shot 60 percent from the field, and the Cavs weren't far behind at 55 percent. There was also a scary moment as Klay Thompson's leg bent awkwardly after a collision with J.R. Smith, but the Warriors guard was able to make his way back to the bench, and eventually back into the game, after a trip to the locker room. 

The strong shooting on both sides continued in the second quarter, as each team's shooting percentage remained about 50 percent. 

At one point, the Cavaliers extended their lead to nine points, but the game was tied at 56-56 at the break, thanks to a buzzer-beating three from way behind the arc by Steph Curry.  

The Warriors got off to a nice start in the third quarter, as they looked ready for one of their patented third-quarter takeovers. But the Cavaliers were able to weather the early run and bounce back. They even had the lead with just over four minutes to play thanks to a DEEP LeBron 3. But the Warriors used a late burst in the final few minutes of the frame to take a six-point lead into the fourth quarter. 

The fourth quarter was just as close as the rest of the game had been, with the two teams trading baskets back and forth. After a Steph Curry 3 put the Warriors up by six with just a few minutes to play, it seemed the Warriors might pull away, but the Cavs came right back. LeBron James converted an and-one to give the Cavs a two-point lead with under a minute to play. 

After a controversial reversal of a charge call, Kevin Durant hit two free throws to tie the game. LeBron James then scored to put the Cavs back in front, but Steph Curry got an and-one at the other end to put the Warriors back in front. Back down the other end, George Hill got fouled, and hit one free throw to send the game to overtime. 

The overtime was all Warriors, as they pulled away for the 124-114 win.

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