GOLDEN State’s bench came through in a big way when its star backcourt went cold, as Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston carried the Warriors to a 104-89 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).
Livingston led the Warriors with his playoff-career high 20 points off the bench, while Iguodala added 12 with some sterling defensive plays to help Golden State fend off Cleveland’s third quarter surge and build a comfortable lead early in the final period.
The Warriors and Cavaliers were in a tight contest from the start, before Golden State increased their 4-point first quarter lead to 9 at the break, 52-43.
The Cavs, however, fought back and took the lead at times near the end of the third before Iguodala and Livingston led the Warriors to 21-4 run bridging the third and fourth periods, 17 of those points from the bench.
Reigning MVP Steph Curry and his All-Star backcourt mate Klay Thompson both had cold shooting nights, combining for just 20 points on 8-of-27 shooting. Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes, though, stepped up with 16 and 13 points, respectively.
Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 26 points while LeBron James contributed 23 markers in a losing effort. The Cavs bench was outscored 45-10.
Game 2 is on June 5 (June 6, Manila time) still at Oracle Arena.