Basketball

Warriors rout Spurs despite being not at their best

It wasn't bad enough that the Golden State Warriors overwhelmed defending champions Cleveland Cavaliers in winning yesterday morning's (Singapore time) NBA Finals opener 113-91.

The worse news for the Cavaliers and LeBron James was that it wasn't even the best effort for an undefeated squad whose 13-0 play-off win streak matches the longest in NBA play-off history.

"We could be a lot better than we were tonight but, in the finals, you get the W (win), we'll take it," Warriors forward Kevin Durant said.

Durant scored 38 points on 14-of-26 shooting, grabbed eight rebounds and passed off eight assists while Stephen Curry added 28 points, sinking six-of-11 three-pointers as Golden State dominated Cleveland in almost every area in the first game of the best-of-seven series.

The Warriors had 12 steals to none by Cleveland, outscored the Cavaliers 56-30 in the paint and 27-9 on fast breaks.

They scored 21 points off 20 Cavaliers turnovers while making only four giveaways, tying the fewest by any team in any NBA Finals game.

"We feel like we can play much better, especially offensively, just finishing better around the rim," Curry said.

"The best thing was just our defensive presence and effort for 48 minutes.

"They're going to make tough shots, so you've got to just keep pressing, sticking to the game plan but focus what's in front of you."

The Warriors host Game Two in Oakland on Monday morning.

James made eight of 20 Cleveland turnovers that led to 21 Warriors points, seven of them coming in the first half, the second-most in any half of his epic career.

"We were victims of ourselves," James said. "There's no way you're going to win a game with 20 turnovers against this team and on the road.

"I pride myself on not turning the ball over and I did it too much." - AFP

NBAGOLDEN STATE WARRIORS