Stephen Curry top-scored with 21 points as he helped the Golden State Warriors beat the Dallas Mavericks 112-87 in their Western Conference final opener.
The Warriors restricted Dallas star Luka Doncic to 20 points in what was his lowest score of the play-offs.
"We did what we were supposed to do - protect home court, win the first game," said Curry, who also had a game-high 12 rebounds.
"We had a specific game-plan coming in, and for the most part, we executed it."
Andrew Wiggins scored 19 points for the Warriors and was also key in limiting Doncic's impact.
"'Wiggs' was fantastic. Doncic is as difficult a cover as there is in the league," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr.
"We just asked Wiggs to try to hound him, stay in front of him, keep pressure on him. He did a fantastic job."
Doncic averaged 29 points in the play-off series win against the Utah Jazz and 32.6 points in the semi-final series victory over the Phoenix Suns.
"They did a great job," Doncic said of the Warriors.
"Of course we could do things better. In the first quarter, we had a lot of good looks. The second quarter, too. But not in the second half."
The next game of the best-of-seven series will take place on Friday (02:00 BST Saturday) when the Warriors will again be at home in San Francisco.
The Miami Heat lead the Boston Celtics 1-0 in the Eastern Conference final and they play their second game on Thursday (01:30 BST Friday).