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Curry, Thompson lift Warriors to Game 1 triumph over Cavs
OAKLAND (NBA) - LeBron James poured in 44 points but a pair of champions from the United States' FIBA Basketball World Cup squad, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, fired the Golden State Warriors to a 108-100 overtime victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.
Curry, who beat James to league MVP honors, led the Warriors with 26 points and eight assists and Thompson added 21 points.
Thompson, an all-NBA Third Team selection, was not cleared to play in the game until Tuesday because of a concussion he suffered in the Western Conference Finals Game 5 win over the Houston Rockets.
He and his teammates took a tremendous shot from James and the Cavs but got a vital win.
That's what we've been doing the whole year, wearing down teams - Thompson
The backcourt tandem of Curry and Thompson is going to be extremely difficult to contain.
The players have enjoyed the best years of their careers and their confidence will be soaring after the opening victory.
Curry played 43 minutes and Thompson 39.
While they shot a combined five of 15 from three-point range, Curry was 10 of 20 inside the arc.
The Splash Brothers made a combined 12 of 12 free-throws.
The status of FIBA Basketball World Cup MVP Kyrie Irving of the United States is unclear because he aggravated a knee injury in the extra period.
Before leaving the Cleveland locker room on crutches, he said: "Obviously you can see in the tone of my voice I'm a little worried."
If Irving is unable to go in Game 2, Matthew Dellavedova of Australia is likely to get most of the minutes at point guard.
The 24-year-old Dellavedova played a lot in Cleveland's Eastern Conference Finals sweep of the Atlanta Hawks and excelled, but he logged just nine minutes against Golden State in Game 1.
James was terrific, but he missed a potential game-winning shot at the end of regulation and the Warriors then cruised to the win in overtime.
"I thought we came out of the regulation flat and without the kind of energy we had displayed throughout the game," Cleveland coach David Blatt said.
"The first minute, minute and a half no one scored but it seemed like once they got a basket or two we kind of dropped and they took the momentum and we sort of dropped off the map a little bit."
Game 2 is on Sunday night.