The Cleveland Cavaliers may trail the NBA Finals 3-1 after their 137-116 victory over the Golden State Warriors, but they set a record with 86 points in the first half of Friday's contest at Quicken Loans Arena.
According to Ray Ratto of CSN Bay Area, the previous record for points in the first half of a Finals game was 79, set by the 1985 Boston Celtics against the Los Angeles Lakers. Per Micah Adams of ESPN Stats & Info (h/t Baxter Holmes of ESPN), the record for most points in any NBA Finals half was 81, set by the 1982 Philadelphia 76ers against the Lakers.
The lethal duo of Kyrie Irving and LeBron James was unstoppable for the Cavaliers on the way to the record.
Irving scored 28 points in the first half and 40 for the game, while James put himself in position for a triple-double with 22 points, eight assists and six rebounds before intermission and 31, 11 and 10, respectively, for the contest. It takes more than two players to score that many points, though, as Kevin Love added 17 and J.R. Smith drilled three triples for nine in the first half.
Cleveland shot a blistering 13-of-22 from downtown as a whole in the first half and torched Golden State's perimeter defense. In turn, Irving had more driving lanes with defenders pressing on the outside shots, and he took full advantage with his lightning quickness and ball-handling.
The Cavaliers also set an NBA Finals record for a quarter with 49 points in the first, per NBA.com/Stats.
Were it not for Cleveland's record performance, Golden State's 68 points in the first half would have turned heads. The Warriors shot 53.5 percent from the field but couldn't keep up with the Cavaliers' unstoppable pace.