Here are three big takeaways from the Warriors' 113-91 thrashing of LeBron James and the Cavs in Oakland on Thursday night, moving Golden State to an unprecendted 13-0 during the 2017 playoffs. Reminder: Game 2 of the NBA Finals begins Sunday at 5 p.m. on ABC15!
1. Welcome to the party, K.D.
The Warriors were already great, and then they added former NBA MVP Kevin Durant after the 2016 Finals. He's the main reason why most experts (and Vegas) are picking Golden State to defeat the Cavs this time around.
Well, on Thursday, Durant made his NBA Finals debut with Golden State, and he lived up to the hype, pouring in a game-high 38 points along with eight rebounds and eight assists He also made LeBron look silly on this play in the first half.
All of LeBron James' numbers looked fantastic Thursday (28 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists) except for one, big glaring number: seven. That's the number of times LeBron turned the ball over in Game 1 (all in the first half).
For the game, the Cavs committed 20 turnovers to the Warriors' four. (The latter number ties an NBA Finals record.) That number needs to be much more even in Game 2 in order for Cleveland to even the series.
3. Don't count out LeBron yet
LeBron has now played in seven straight NBA Finals series. Remarkably, his teams have lost each of the last five Game 1s. And teams that win Game 1 of the NBA Finals have gone on to win the series 70 percent of the time.
However, LeBron's teams have come back to win three of those five series, including last season's dramatic seven-game triumph vs. these same Warriors.
As the saying goes: a playoff series doesn't truly begin until the home team loses a game. If LeBron and the Cavs can come back and win Game 2 on Sunday, this NBA Finals script will be flipped upside-down as the series shifts to Cleveland for Game 3.