3 big takeaways from Game 1 of the NBA Finals

Posted at 8:44 PM, Jun 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-03 00:30:09-04

Three observations from the Golden State Warriors' 104-89 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on ABC15:

1. What a team effort

Consider this: Warriors star guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson hadn't combined for fewer than 29 points in a single game all season. On Thursday, they combined for just 20 points.

And yet...

Thanks to an incredible team effort that featured seven players in double figures, the Warriors beat the Cavs going away Thursday night. Shaun Livingston led the way with 20 points on 8 of 10 shooting from the field. If Golden State's role players keep it up, the Warriors will cruise to a second straight NBA title.

See also: Watch Warriors coach Steve Kerr destroy a defenseless whiteboard

2. Cavs can't get going from outside

Coming into Game 1, the Cavs had been the NBA's best playoff team from 3-point range (43.4 percent). On Thursday, they never got it going from behind the arc, shooting 7 of 21 (33.3 percent) from distance and under 40 percent from the field overall.

LeBron James did his part (23 points on 9 of 21 shooting with 12 rebounds and nine assists), but Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love combined for just 14 of 39 shooting from the field. Captain Obvious says: Both men will have to be better if the Cavs are going to win this series.

See also: Warriors forward Andre Iguodala slapped in groin during Golden State's win

3. The Brazilian Blur is back

Former Phoenix Suns guard Leandro Barbosa made quite an impact off the bench for the Warriors. The Brazilian Blur helped the Warriors pull out to a double-digit lead in the second quarter by reeling off seven quick points. When the Cavs made a run in the third quarter, Barbosa battled through back pain to give Golden State another spark.

Barbosa (11 points on 5 of 5 shooting) and the Warriors bench was the story on Thursday, as Golden State's reserves scored a total of 45 points, while the Cavaliers got only 10 points from their bench players.