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Warriors win thrilling Game 1 108-100, in overtime

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What a start to the NBA Finals. Golden State staved off a Cavaliers burst to begin, exhaled as the Cavaliers missed two shots at the end of regulation, and finally blasted Cleveland in overtime to take a 1-0 series lead.

Andre Iguodala dominated the second half and overtime defensively, and helped the Warriors to a 1-0 series lead.
Andre Iguodala dominated the second half and overtime defensively, and helped the Warriors to a 1-0 series lead.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

How about that for a Game 1?

The Warriors dominated the Cavaliers in overtime to take a 1-0 Finals lead.

LeBron James had his way with Harrison Barnes in the first two quarters as Cleveland took a 14-point lead at one point. Tristan Thompson and Timofey Mozgov were killing the boards, grabbing every rebound in sight.

But Golden State rallied back thanks to its bench, especially Marreese "Forgot about Mo" Speights, who had six key points off of jump shots to keep the game close. Speights didn't play throughout the Conference Finals, but was able to be inserted right back into Steve Kerr's rotation to play a giant role in The Finals.

Kyrie Irving had the game of his life defensively, and he had a critical block on MVP Stephen Curry at the end of regulation that gave the Cavs a chance at a victory. Irving -- after being hounded with questions about his health throughout the seven-day hiatus -- had four steals and two blocks to go with 23 points on offense.

However, he appeared to aggravate his knee injury with 1:30 left in overtime, and missed the last few possessions for Cleveland. There are three days before Sunday's Game 2, and you can be sure that he'll do whatever it takes to play. Not only for Cavs fans, but for us collectively as basketball fans, Kyrie Irving not playing would be such a dismay. Postgame, he was quoted as saying:

Andre Iguodala absolutely changed the game for the Warriors. For much of the game, the Warriors trailed, and then Iguodala killed it on defense and hit some big shots as well. He matched up with LeBron and gave him no room to breathe.

"I thought he was absolutely fantastic, absolutely brilliant," Steve Kerr said postgame. "He's one of the smartest defenders I've ever seen."

The outside shots that James had comfortable room to shoot against Barnes were now fiercely contested. Iguodala couldn't have played better defense on James's step-back jumper in the final seconds of regulation, forcing him to miss. (Iman Shumpert had a chance to win it and nearly did at the buzzer, but his shot rimmed out.)

James finished with 44 points, a Finals high for him, but it took him 38 shots to get to that number. If Iguodala and the Warriors can limit James' effectiveness, that bodes tremendously well for the rest of the series.

In overtime Kerr broke out the super-small lineup, with tremendous success. The lineup of Draymond Green at center, with Iguodala, Barnes, Klay Thompson and Curry scored the first ten points of overtime and held Cleveland without a point -- a single point! -- for the first 4:51 of the five-minute extra period. Golden State blitzed the Cavs, forcing misses on twelve straight shots at one point.

With the 108-100 victory, Golden State staved off what may have been Cleveland's best attempt at a win in Oracle Arena, and grabbed a 1-0 Finals advantage.

"Just win, baby," Kerr said.

Three wins to a title.