OAKLAND, Calif. – There are many things that the Golden State Warriors need to win games in these NBA Finals, but luck? No, that's not something that the best NBA team in the last four seasons should get.
When the Warriors win, it's usually because their talent / depth / superior experience finally take over and overwhelm their opponent.  When they lose, it's usually because their talent / depth / superior experience makes them feel overconfident and they give away losses, possession and points to less talented teams.
Rarely in the Golden State historic race have we seen something like Thursday night Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Cavaliers, when the Warriors were overtaken by an opponent and escaped with a victory due to some lucky breaks at game over.
"We were lucky," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "We had luck".
A few minutes later, Warriors forward Draymond Green was asked to react to his coach's evaluation.
"Sometimes you need a little luck," Green said. "It's good to be lucky sometimes, so I'll take it."
The final moments of regulation in Game 1 had it all. We allow the Cavs and the Warriors to tell the incredible story in their own words.
Golden State survived a Wild Game 1 that included overtime, 51 points for LeBron James and a mental error by JR Smith that cost Cleveland a victory.  1 related
Sure, the Warriors could have won Game 1 of the Finals anyway without the mental retardation of JR Smith at the end of regulation or the three so-called controversies that were against LeBron James in the last quarter.
But after 72 hours of collective fear that the fourth iteration of a Warriors-Cavaliers final would be a colossal disagreement, it instead has the ingredients of a fascinating series.
Most of Las Vegas sports betting houses had the Cavaliers as the biggest underdog in at least 16 years. The Cavs were so ignored, the Western Conference finals could well have been the Real Finals.
And yet, on Thursday night Cleveland looked like the dynamic team that his office envisioned after a series of mid-season exchanges that completely redefined half the team. Those exchanges should make the Cavs younger, more athletic and faster. However, for most of the regular season and first round of the playoffs, the new players seemed inexperienced and poorly equipped with a great player of all time, playing at a historic high level as LeBron James has been in the playoffs .  In Game 1, however, forward Larry Nance Jr. was exceptional in his 19 minutes, with nine points and 11 rebounds. The guards George Hill and Jordan Clarkson did not shoot well, but added a versatility to the Cavs that has not been present in the three previous final confrontations. But above all, James' brilliance has been on another level.
"I've never seen a level like this before," said Cavs forward Kevin Love over James. "It was amazing, and it was that way during the playoffs."
"He said he felt the best he had felt."
James has had exceptional games in the final before, the seventh game of 2016 comes to mind. But it would be hard to find a game that was as good as it was on Thursday night, when he scored 51 points on 19 of 32 shots, grabbed eight rebounds and dealt eight badists.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, James is the only player in NBA history to score or badist in 70 points in a game of finals and now he he has done twice, both times against the Warriors.
Asked by ESPN Radio what the Warriors can do differently to try to contain James in Game 2, Kevin Durant simply said: "Nothing. It's hard to stop. "
Durant was the Most Valuable Player of last season when the Warriors won a five-game series victory, it was sublime, and there was a very real debate at that time if it was close to moving on. James as the best player in the league
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That debate has stopped for now. James has been so good. And Durant has been something akin to deadly in the last two rounds of the playoffs.
He is still scoring in bunches. On Thursday he had 26 points, nine rebounds and six badists. But it was an inefficient 8 of 22 from the field, especially in plays of isolation. That has been a recurring theme for Durant lately. During the Western Conference finals against the Houston Rockets, he admitted to losing confidence in several moments of the series, as the Rockets primed him in the offensive heavyweight game he thought he had left behind in Oklahoma City two years ago as a free agent game .
The Cavs looked for that series a lot and they took a lot of Houston's plan to interrupt Durant and the flow of the Warriors. But Houston did not have anyone playing at a level like James now.
"Unbelievable," said Nance. "He's the first in the gym and the last in the gym in year 15. After eight consecutive finals, come on, are you still the first and last in the gym? It's amazing."
If James can maintain this level of play remains to be seen. He was visibly upset at the team meeting after Hill's missed free throw and Smith's mental lapse. The Cavs had played well enough to win the game and steal a victory on the road, and then they just blew it up.
"We played as well as in the entire postseason," James said 90 minutes after the game, obviously regretting the golden opportunity he had just slipped away. "We gave ourselves an opportunity for possession after possession after possession, there were some moves that were taken from us, that simple."
The Warriors walked away calling him lucky. The Cavs had much harder words.
But if the rest of the series is as fascinating as Game 1, there's still a lot to be said.