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Warriors Classics: NBA Finals Return to Warriors Ground
First Finals Game in Bay Area in 40 Years was an Instant Classic
The Warriors’ 40-year NBA Finals drought, the longest time between Finals appearances in NBA history, came to an end on June 4, 2015, when the Dubs hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first game of what would turn out to be four straight NBA Finals matchups between the two clubs. And what a return it was, as Game 1 of the NBA Finals earned instant classic status with the Warriors earning a 108-100 win in overtime.
Warriors radio broadcaster Tim Roye relives that game in the Warriors Sound Flashback below (at the 9:25 mark), but not before we catch up with NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors sideline reporter Kerith Burke, who reflects on her experiences on the job so far.
Game 1 of the 2015 NBA Finals will be remembered for several reasons. A back-and-forth affair that featured 13 lead changes and 11 ties before the Warriors took the lead for good with a 10-0 run to open overtime, the game was within four points for the final 19 minutes and 22 seconds of regulation, and right up until a Harrison Barnes 3-pointer, the Dubs only field goal in the extra period, three minutes into overtime.
Marreese Speights had some big baskets off the bench, Andre Iguodala ended multiple quarters with buzzer-beating dunks and Stephen Curry scored four of his team-high 26 points in the extra period, all via free throws. Put it all together, it was just enough to beat a Cavs team that got what was then an NBA Finals career-high 44 points from LeBron James, and 23 from Kyrie Irving, who exited the game with a knee injury suffered just prior to the Barnes’ 3-pointer.
The Warriors would go on to win the 2015 NBA Finals in six games, marking this first of three titles in four seasons, but there’s no doubt that this first game of this first Finals run in 40 years will go down as a pivotal moment in Dubs history.
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