The Finals Stat: Game 1 - Warriors get moving in overtime

NBA.com Global on Jun 01, 2018 01:44 PM
The Finals Stat: Game 1 - Warriors get moving in overtime
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrates during overtime of Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals between the Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, May 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com

OAKLAND - The Golden State Warriors survived a 51-point performance from LeBron James to outlast the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of The Finals.

The Warriors' attack was more balanced, with Stephen Curry (29 points), Kevin Durant (26) and Klay Thompson (24) leading the way. Both teams led the game by 11 points at one point, but this one went down to the wire.

One stat stood out though from the Warriors' 124-114 overtime victory.

The stat

6 -- Consecutive possessions the Warriors scored on to start overtime.

The context

After building a six-point lead with less than five minutes to go in regulation, the Warriors got stagnant, going to Durant and Curry isolations and scoring on just one of their next five possessions to allow the Cavs to take a two-point lead. But a reversal of a block/charge call, a Curry drive, and J.R. Smith's mental error in the closing seconds allowed the Warriors to get to overtime, where they found themselves -- and found Thompson.

On their first possession of OT, Durant backed George Hill down late in the clock and drew a foul. Then, off a Cleveland miss, Draymond Green found Thompson circling to the right corner for a three, his first field goal attempt since the 10:07 mark of the fourth quarter.

One possession later, Curry ran pick-and-roll, got into the paint to draw an extra defender, and tossed the ball over his head to Shaun Livingston to put the Warriors up seven. Then, when the Cavs got mixed up on an off-ball switch, Green found Livingston cutting to the basket for a dunk.

Green saved the Warriors with a buzzer-beating three on the next possession, and then Green slipped to the basket, caught a Curry pass, and found Thompson in the left corner for another three that put the champs up 11 with just a minute to go.

Going into The Finals, the Warriors ranked second (behind Philadelphia) in both ball movement (361 passes per 24 minutes of possession) and player movement (10.9 miles traveled per 24 minutes of possession) in the playoffs, according to Second Spectrum tracking. After struggling through some stagnant offense late in the fourth, bodies moved and the ball moved in overtime, where the Warriors assisted on all five of their buckets.

They finished with 31 assists and just seven turnovers on the night. Thompson finished 5-of-10 from three-point range.

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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