OAKLAND, Calif. — LeBron James sat down on the bench in the fourth quarter as the game slipped away. He threw up his hands and grimaced in frustration.
His Cleveland Cavaliers had done everything right against the Splash Brothers. Yet everything still went so wrong as this highly anticipated NBA Finals rematch kicked off. The Cavaliers shot 38 percent and couldn’t find a way to stop the Golden State Warriors’ supporting cast in a 104-89 loss on Thursday night.
“They got to the point where they were last year and won a championship because of their whole team and their bench,” James said. “And they’re here once again in the Finals because of their whole team.
“So, you know, nothing has really changed. They’re a team that has another year under their belt, and they’ve exceeded what they did last year.”
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined for just 20 points on 8-for-27 shooting, but the Warriors’ bench outscored Cleveland’s reserves 45-10 and the Cavaliers coughed up 17 turnovers that led to 25 points for the defending champions.
“Don’t matter what you do with Steph and Klay, don’t matter what you do with Draymond [Green],” James said. “Give up 45 points off the bench and 25 points off turnovers on the road, it’s not a good ingredient to win.”