It took an extra period - and a whole lot of drama - but the Warriors managed to escape Game 1 of the NBA Finals with a 124-114 victory over the Cavs on Thursday night.
Cleveland and Golden State traded the lead back and forth in the final minutes with Stephen Curry and LeBron James hitting big shots down the stretch. After an off-ball foul by Klay Thompson, George Hill stepped to the free throw line with an opportunity to win the game. He made the first attempt to tie things up at 107, but he missed the second only for JR Smith to recover the ball. Smith inexplicably dribbled the ball out to halfcourt, killing the rest of the clock as though the Cavs had the lead.
The play that decided Game 1. pic.twitter.com/e1UeOv57Rn- ESPN (@espn) June 1, 2018
The Warriors took advantage of the second chance in overtime, dominating the final five minutes and taking the extra period, 17-7. Curry scored 29 points and dished out nine assists, and Kevin Durant added 26 points of his own in 46 minutes of action.
The Cavs could not take advantage of James' huge night. The four-time MVP finished with a playoff career-high 51 points on 19-of-32 shooting, but the rest of his teammates combined to go 25-of-66, including 7-of-30 from 3-point range.
Check out the best highlights from Game 1 of the NBA Finals below...
Game 1 box score | Play-by-play
End of overtime: Warriors 124, Cavs 114
11:45 p.m. ET - A chaotic ending, but the Warriors capture a 1-0 lead. The Cavs are going to be kicking themselves after that loss.
11:40 p.m. ET - With this one essentially over, Tristan Thompson and Draymond Green get into a heated altercation. Thompson is immediately ejected from the game.
11:35 p.m. ET - Golden State kicks off overtime with a 7-0 run. Given another chance, they have seized momentum.
Warriors 114, Cavs 107 with 2:48 remaining.
Klay Thompson.. 3-ball, corner pocket! #DubNation 114 | #WhateverItTakes 107- NBA (@NBA) June 1, 2018
3:01 left on #NBAonABC pic.twitter.com/yZQEe9CUKA
End of fourth quarter: Cavs 107, Warriors 107
11:28 p.m. ET - LeBron James makes a tough layup, but Stephen Curry answers with an and-one finish. George Hill is fouled on a cut on the ensuing possession, and he hits one of two free throws. But JR Smith comes up with an offensive rebound, only to dribble the ball out to halfcourt and kill the clock. He must have thought the Cavs were ahead. Tough break for Cleveland.
11:25 p.m. ET - Kevin Durant is called for a charge, but upon further review, the officiating crew changes it to a block on LeBron James. Durant hits both free throws to tie the game.
Cavs 104, Warriors 104 with 32.1 seconds left. Cleveland ball.
11:19 p.m. ET - LEBRON. JAMES. The Cavs superstar takes it to the rim and finishes through contact. Oh my, we have ourselves a game here.
Cavs 103, Warriors 102 with less than a minute to go.
11:11 p.m. ET - Draymond Green and Stephen Curry drill back-to-back 3-pointers to push Golden State ahead by six. That could be the turning point.
Warriors 100, Cavs 94 with 4:37 left on the clock.
11:04 p.m. ET - When LeBron James is coming down the lane, just get out of the way.
Mama there goes that man. #WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/6oObLII92R- Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) June 1, 2018
10:57 p.m. ET - Jeff Green scores his first points of the game off a beautiful bounce pass from LeBron James.
End of third quarter: Warriors 84, Cavs 78
10:52 p.m. ET - The Cavs managed to survive the third quarter, only losing the period by six points. Golden State played some classic Warriors offense, incorporating multiple players and moving the ball. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant each have 21 points with 12 minutes to go...
Shaun to Kevon! #NBAFinals #StrengthInNumbers- Golden State Warriors (@warriors) June 1, 2018
📺 #NBAonABC pic.twitter.com/VIJwOAMTAH
10:42 p.m. ET - LeBron James refuses to go down quietly. He's got 36 points with four minutes to go in the third.
LeBron James is feeling it tonight! 🔥🔥🔥- NBA (@NBA) June 1, 2018
31 PTS on 11-13 shooting for The King! #WhateverItTakes #NBAonABC pic.twitter.com/q0YoyP4H3U
10:34 p.m. ET - Celtics legend Bill Russell is enjoying some NBA Finals action.
Never a doubt in my mind that was going in. @StephenCurry30 Big 3 to end the half. What a game #WarriorsvsCavs #NBAFinals @NBA @ABCNetwork @warriors @cavs https://t.co/RyL7liIL22- TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) June 1, 2018
10:27 p.m. ET - Well, that was fast. Kevin Durant kicks off a 10-3 run for the Warriors to open the third. We should just expect it at this point.
Kevin Durant sinks the jumper to open half #2! #DubNation x #WhateverItTakes- NBA (@NBA) June 1, 2018
📺: #NBAonABC pic.twitter.com/4nz1pIydem
Halftime: Cavs 56, Warriors 56
10:12 p.m. ET - Stephen Curry's 30-footer at the buzzer ties the game before halftime. The two-time MVP has 18 points and six assists in 21 minutes. LeBron James is once again doing it all for the Cavs with 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting and four assists. Let's see if Cleveland can avoid being smothered in the third quarter like so many other Golden State opponents.
10:01 p.m. ET - OK, so maybe Klay Thompson is fine.
Extra pass to Klay Thompson for 3!- NBA (@NBA) June 1, 2018
Quick @warriors burst on #NBAonABC #DubNation 40 | #WhateverItTakes 44 pic.twitter.com/xI7YxU7Sh9
9:55 p.m. ET - LeBron James cannot be stopped. He's got 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting, and he's attacking the basket any time a driving lane opens up.
Make that 18 for LeBron James!- NBA (@NBA) June 1, 2018
There's still 7:48 remaining in the 1st half on #NBAonABC #WhateverItTakes 42 | #DubNation 35 pic.twitter.com/eYI7M5r6qZ
9:47 p.m. ET - Get out of his way. LeBron James with authority.
End of first quarter: Cavs 30, Warriors 29
9:40 p.m. ET - The Cavs take a one-point advantage to the bench after 12 minutes. LeBron James already has 12 points (4-of-4 shooting) and three assists, and Kevin Love looks good in his return from a concussion with nine points and four rebounds. Stephen Curry leads the Warriors with 11 points, including two deep 3-pointers.
Droppin' dimes on #NBAonABC ! #WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/jqlFTkUGHJ- Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) June 1, 2018
9:30 p.m. ET - Uh oh. Klay Thompson goes down after an awkward collision with JR Smith. He appeared to hurt his knee on the play. He's heading back to the locker room.
Klay Thompson (left lateral leg contusion) is being re-taped. Hopeful to return to tonight's game.- Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) June 1, 2018
9:21 p.m. ET - The Curry-to-Durant connection is just fine, but the Cavs have an early three-point advantage midway through the first quarter.
Steph tosses, KD slams in transition! #DubNation #NBAFinals- NBA (@NBA) June 1, 2018
WATCH on #NBAonABC pic.twitter.com/nynJFZ156D
9:15 p.m. ET - The first points of the 2018 NBA Finals go to... LeBron James.
LeBron James scores the first bucket of the #NBAFinals ! #WhateverItTakes x #DubNation- NBA (@NBA) June 1, 2018
📺: #NBAonABC pic.twitter.com/baPHqNezGI
9:02 p.m. ET - The defending champs are ready to roll. Tipoff is almost here. Who ya got?
Western Conference Champs... the @warriors take the floor for Game 1 of the #NBAFinals !- NBA (@NBA) June 1, 2018
📺: ABC pic.twitter.com/a5Y3yYQMgm
8:45 p.m. ET - Your Game 1 starters...
Cavs: George Hill, JR Smith, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson
Warriors: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney
8:30 p.m. ET - These Cavs fans are not afraid to enter hostile territory. Game 1 coming up in 30 minutes!
We see you out here. #WhateverItTakes pic.twitter.com/0gPo1nYkG9- Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) May 31, 2018