This would have been one of the most hyped matchups of the season but with LeBron James being gone, it’s just another game for the defending champions. Tonight, the Golden State Warriors will visit the Quicken Loans Arena to battle the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors are facing difficulties of their own, though. They are currently trying to recover from their two only losing streaks this season; one being a four-game losing streak and another one being a recent two-game skid.
Even though they are still without Draymond Green, who is missing his ninth straight game due to a toe injury, the Warriors were still able to get past the Atlanta Hawks, all thanks to Stephen Curry, who outscored the Hawks in the first quarter by himself, 18-17. This meeting between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers will mark the first of two games between these teams this season. The Warriors swept the regular season series against the Cavaliers last season before sweeping them in the NBA Finals.
Golden State Warriors:
-DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles)
-Draymond Green (toe; 6.9 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 7.2 APG, 44.4 FG%, 22.2 3P%, 66.7 FT%)
-Damian Jones (pectoral; 5.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.2 APG, 71.6 FG%, 64.9 FT%)
-Damion Lee (G-League; 5.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 0.2 APG, 43.4 FG%, 41.4 3P%, 80.0 FT%)
-Sam Dekker (ankle; 6.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.0 APG, 45.8 FG%, 38.5 3P%, 80.0 FT%)
-Kevin Love (toe; 19.0 PPG, 13.5 RPG, 3.5 APG, 32.3 FG%, 29.2 3P%, 81.8 FT%)
-David Nwaba (knee; 6.1 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 0.6 APG, 42.4 FG%, 22.7 3P%, 67.6 FT%)
-Ante Zizic (knee; 3.5 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 0.4 APG, 50.0 FG%, 62.5 FT%)
-J.R. Smith (personal; 6.7 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 1.9 APG, 34.2 FG%, 30.8 3P%, 80.0 FT%)
The game would be held somewhat close in the first half as the Cleveland Cavaliers shot forty-nine percent from the floor while the Golden State Warriors completed fifty-one percent of their shots. Former Utah Jazz guard Rodney Hood scored fifteen points while hitting two three-pointers early in the first quarter. Rookie Collin Sexton contributed with twelve points which held three three-pointers while Tristan Thompson chipped in five points, eight rebounds, and one assist. Larry Nance played sixteen minutes off the bench as he had nine points, seven rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block.
As for the Warriors, Stephen Curry got extremely hot as he chalked up twenty-five points while knocking down six three-pointers in the process. He also had three defensive rebounds, four assists, and one steal while Kevin Durant earned ten points for himself. Durant was also able to drill a three-pointer in the second quarter while grabbing five defensive rebounds, dishing off five assists, committing one steal, and blocking two shots. Four-time All-Star Klay Thompson was kept to just six points on twenty-nine percent shooting while recording three defensive rebounds. Jonas Jerebko played the most minutes off the bench but only had six points while the Cavaliers went into halftime with a 64 to 58 advantage.
The Warriors would hit the Cavaliers with a huge 71 to 43 run in the second half as they shot fifty-four percent from the field, holding the Ohio team to forty percent. During that run, Curry continued to put up a shooting display as he had seventeen additional points, nine coming from beyond the arc and the other eight from the free-throw line. He also had six defensive rebounds and three assists while Durant put up fifteen points with three three-pointers in the third period. Thompson would make up for that tough first half he had as he scored ten points with two three-pointers in the fourth. Jerebko played twelve minutes off the bench as he had only five points which included a three-pointer late in the third.
On the other end of the court, both Thompson and Sexton had nine points apiece while Tristan Thompson saw to it that he got eleven rebounds. The second round pick in the 2015 draft Cedi Osman scored seven points while knocking down a three-pointer early in the third quarter. George Hill would be held scoreless in the eleven minutes that he played. Jordan Clarkson played the most minutes off the bench as he put up seven points but it wouldn’t matter as the Golden State Warriors defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 129-105 final score. Stephen Curry finished the game with forty-two points, nine rebounds, seven assists, and one steal while Collin Sexton had twenty-one points, two rebounds, and three assists.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will host Buddy Hield (18.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.6 APG, 47.5 FG%, 41.8 3P%) and the Sacramento Kings (12-11) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. This will be the first of two times that these ball clubs will face each other this season. Both teams tied the regular season series last season at one apiece.
The Golden State Warriors will visit Wisconsin to take on Giannis Antetokounmpo (27.6 PPG, 13.2 RPG, 6.0 APG, 57.8 FG%, 11.5 3P%) and the Milwaukee Bucks (15-7) on Friday at 9:30 p.m. This game will be second and last one that the Bucks and Warriors will play against each other this season. The last time they fought each other was on November 8 when the Milwaukee Bucks handed the Warriors a 134-111 blowout loss. During that game, Eric Bledsoe scored twenty-six points, grabbed four rebounds, dished off six assists, and committed one steal while Klay Thompson finished with twenty-four points, three rebounds, three assists, one steal, and two blocks.