The Warriors improved their postseason record to an unprecedented 13-0 while the Cavaliers suffered just their second loss since the playoffs began in mid-April.
Cleveland committed 20 turnovers Thursday, while the Warriors committed just four, which was tied for the lowest amount of turnovers for a team in Finals history.
The highly-anticipated meeting betweeen the defending champion Cavaliers and the top-seeded Warriors did not disappoint initially, with sensational dunks by the Cavaliers' LeBron James as well as the Warriors' Durant and JaVale McGee during a see-sawing first quarter.
Durant poured in a team and game-high 38 points. He dished off even when he could have slammed it home, and did it all on defense.
After long layoffs for both sides after the conference finals, the first few minutes of the opener of this Golden State-Cleveland series has been more about working through a bit of rust more than anything else. Still, that's a huge ask for a 36-year-old forward who contemplated retirement last June. He had 28 points, including 6 3-pointers, 10 assists and 6 rebounds on the night.
Durant played well in his first Finals trip but didn't have the help he has now with a two-time MVP in Curry, one of the league's best two-way players in Thompson and a do-it-all demon like Green.
He chipped in with 28 points and 15 rebounds.
The Warriors pursued him to ensure that they didn't have a repeat of what happened previous year, when Cleveland stormed back from that 3-1 deficit behind a trio of spectacular performances from James and Irving to hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy here. The Cavaliers would get closer. "You know they're not going to give up at all", he said on court.
Durant punished Cleveland for leaving him free, taking the ball to the hoop for emphatic dunks as a man on a mission to deliver what he came for: a championship. Now, the former Longhorn is three games away from claiming his first ring. I know they want me to be miserable, but I'm not.
"They constantly break records - last year being 73-9 [a regular season record]; this year starting the playoffs 13-0".
The teams will meet again in Oakland on Sunday for Game Two of the best-of-seven series.
If there is a bright spot for the Cavs it is that rarely do James' teams start out the finals with a win.
"We're just going to have to dig our feet in and be able to guard the basketball", guard Kyrie Irving said.
"We can continue to get better". He became the first player since Shaquille O'Neal in 2000 to score at least 38 points without committing a turnover. Kevin Love scored 15 points and grabbed 21 boards, while the rest of the roster scored a combined 21 points.
Pint-sized amusing man Kevin Hart was also in attendance too.
Durant signed with Golden State to win an NBA Title.
Last year's Cavs team was good enough last year, in that series, vs. that Warriors team. "So I just tried to stay locked in on that, at the same time have some fun". Kyrie Irving also played a role, scoring 24 points.
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