OAKLAND, Calif. -- Two teams still a bit dizzy in the aftermath of one of the most amazing finishes in NBA Finals history will tip off Game 2 on Sunday night when the Cleveland Cavaliers attempt to even their best-of-seven against the Golden State Warriors.
A 51-point performance, a late video-review reversal, a missed potential game-winning free throw, a head-scratching decision to run out the clock with the core tied and a one-sided overtime highlighted Thursday's series opener, which Golden State captured 124-114 to go up 1-0 against the Cavaliers for the third consecutive season.
The win might have been a costly one for the Warriors, however, with standout guard Klay Thompson having suffered what is now being called a high left ankle sprain.
Thompson returned from the first-quarter run-in with J.R. Smith to play 45 minutes in Game 1, contributing five 3-pointers and 24 points to the win, but acknowledged in the two days between games that his leg was not 100 percent.
He is expected to play, although the Warriors list him as questionable.
That's more encouraging than the "doubtful" tag they've once again applied to Andre Iguodala, whose absence was felt on the defensive end in Game 1.
That's where LeBron James exploded for 51 points, becoming the sixth player in NBA history to go for 50 or more in an NBA Finals game.
But they came in a loss, something coach Tyronn Lue insisted Saturday his team has put in the rear-view mirror.
"From watching film and just showing some guys where we can get better, all the guys are in a great spot right now and in a great position," he assured. "They all feel good, so we're ready to go for Game 2."
The Warriors saw the Cavaliers bounce back from an overtime loss in Game 1 in the 2015 Finals to pull out an overtime victory in Game 2. Golden State went on to win that series in six games.
But the next season, as the defending champion, the Warriors witnessed James & Co. turn a bad situation into a good one when the Cavaliers won the final three games on the brink of elimination to capture the championship.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr didn't see any white-flag-waving after Game 1.
"They might have been deflated (down 3-1 in 2016), and they came back and won. So we're expecting another great effort from them," he said.
"We've been through this too many times. It's one game. The series changes with each game. All we've done is win one."
Each team had a point of emphasis in the wake of Game 1.
The Warriors got all three of their big guns going offensively, with Stephen Curry (29), Kevin Durant (26) and Thompson (24) combining for 79 points. Golden State shot 51.1 percent in the game and outscored Cleveland 39-30 on 3-pointers despite shooting one fewer.
The Cavaliers, meanwhile, dominated the boards, outrebounding the Warriors 53-38. They turned 19 offensive rebounds into 21 second-chance points, outscoring Golden State by 11 points in that area.