Kevin Durant impressed as the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-91 in the first game of the NBA finals.

The two teams are playing in the finals for the third successive year - and Durant scored 38 points as the Western Conference winners comfortably maintained their perfect post-season record.

Stephen Curry poured in 28 for the Warriors, who had home advantage in the opening game of the best-of-seven series.

The highly-anticipated meeting between the defending champion Cavaliers and the top-seeded Warriors did not disappoint initially, with sensational dunks by LeBron James and Durant during a see-sawing first quarter.

But the wheels came off quickly for the visiting Cavaliers in the second half, with Durant sinking a three-pointer and Warriors center Zaza Pachulia hitting a lay-up on their way to a 10-0 run.

The final outcome was all but a formality by the start of the fourth quarter as the Warriors forged 21 points ahead.

James, seeking his fourth NBA title, led the scoring for the Cavs with 28 and Kyrie Irving managed 24 - but the defending champions were far from their best and suffered heavily with turnovers, tying a play-off record with 20 giveaways.

"It wasn't just the third quarter, it was the whole game," James, who gave up eight turnovers,said after the Cavaliers were outscored by 13 points in the period.

"It started with myself having some turnovers, especially in the first half. I pride myself on not turning the ball over and I did it too much."

The teams are back at the Oracle Arena again on Sunday for the second match in the series, before the action heads to Ohio for two games.

With the sting of losing last year's NBA Finals despite holding a 3-1 lead still fresh in his mind, Warriors guard Curry said he and his team would not be celebrating until they delivered a championship back to Oakland.

"Win one game. Now we look to Sunday to try to do it again," Curry told reporters. "You're not going to see crazy celebrations, you're not going to see us getting ahead of ourselves.