Carlos Santana and his percussionist partner in crime got the party started Jimi Hendrix style with their rockin’ rendition of our National Anthem.
The instrumental appetizer was the perfect pairing to yet another thrilling over time entrée in Oakland.
Only this time, Cleveland would not be denied a win because LeBron James willed his way past the Warriors with his 5th career NBA finals triple double to the tune of 39 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 assists.
And it was the damn good defense of Matthew Dellevadova, who along with two clutch free throws at the end of regulation that helped Cleveland seal the deal, and steal home court advantage.
Standing in for the season ending injured Kyrie Irving, the shooting guard from down under, prevented Stephen Curry from keeping his game afloat, limiting the MVP to 19 points.
Curry, 2-15 from three-point range, and flustered for most of the night, finally found his form late in the fourth quarter with a seven-point surge, tying the game in the closing minutes, giving Golden State a golden opportunity to go up 2 games to none.
But the Warriors could not convert on their first five possessions, and a bunch of poor passes, along with costly fouls cost them a dramatic come from behind win.
Draymond Green had some monster blocks, and Klay Thompson had a tremendous game, scoring 34 points, but like Curry he was also cold from downtown, going 4-12. Their combined 6-27 3 point shooting had 50 shades of John Starks days in Game 1 of the 1995 Eastern Conference semi finals against the Pacers.
This is not going to be a walk in the park for the Warriors. If they’re going to contend with the Cavs, they must live more than die from behind the arc. LeBron is the King of his court and his teammates are his faithful servants. They are going to feed on any Warrior weakness.
Timofey Mozgov showed his double double hand of 17 points and 11 rebounds, and JR Smith contributed off the bench with 13.
Going into this series, I believed that Golden State, given all of the injuries Cleveland has endured, was going to have an easier go of it. But tonight, LeBron’s hunger to bring a championship to his hometown was never more apparent than when the final buzzer sounded, I could actually hear his roar from 394 miles away.