by Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors, having lost their last four games against the Cleveland Cavaliers, were on a mission Monday night at Oracle Arena. The Warriors still smarting from losing the NBA Finals to the Cavs last year and a one-point loss on Christmas Day in Cleveland sent a message to the Cavs by beating them by 35 points. The final score was 126-91. The Warriors Big Four played extremely well. The Warriors excelled on offense as they shot 50.5% from the floor. They made fifteen three-point shots. The Cavs had a miserable night as the best they could do was shoot just 35% from the floor. The Warriors had more rebounds 58-35, assists 37-11, steals 10-7 and blocked shots 11-4.The Warriors scored 37 fast break points and had 46 points in the paint.
The Warriors started fast. They had an early 9-2 lead. Cleveland trailed by four 18-14, but that was as close as they would get. The Warriors poured in on as they led 37-22 at the end of the quarter. They then scored 41 points in the second quarter and held the Cavs to 27. They led 78-49 at the end of the half. The 78 points were the most the Dubs scored in a half this season. The onslaught was led by Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson.
In the third quarter, the Warriors did not play well. The Cavaliers held the Dubs to just 17 while they scored 22. Cleveland held the Dubs without a field goal in the last 5 minutes of play in the period. The Cavs went on a 13-1 run to end the quarter. The Dubs were ice cold as they missed 12 shots in a row.The Warriors still led by 24 but the fans were getting nervous as they remembered the Cavalier comeback on Christmas day. The Warriors, behind Klay Thompson’s fantastic performance in the quarter, upped the lead to 38 with 4:41 left in the game. Coach Steve Kerr pulled his starters, and the bench finished the game.
Game Notes and Stats. Steph Curry had a double-double in the game. Steph scored 20 points and had 11 assists and 2 rebounds. Draymond Green notched his third triple-double of the season. Green was all over the court. He had 11 points,11 assists,13 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. Zaza Pachulia tied Draymond with 13 rebounds. The fans loved his play as they gave him a standing ovation when he left the game in the fourth quarter. Kevin Durant pitched in with 21 points, 5 assists, 6 boards, and 2 blocked shots. Andre Iguodala continued to play well. Iguodala had a slow start earlier in the season, but his production has gone up lately. Klay Thompson led the Dubs with 26. Klay had 18 in the second half and many of them came in the fourth quarter. Andre knocked down 14, had 5 assists, 3 rebounds, and one blocked shot. Shaun Livingstone, David West, and JaVale McGee all were productive off the bench.
The Warriors held LeBron James to just 20 points. Kevin Love was not a factor as he scored just 3. Kyrie Irving had 17, Tristan Thompson,6, and Imam Shumpert 15. Kyle Korver, who the Cavs obtained from Atlanta for his 3-point shooting, was held to 11. Richard Jefferson scored twenty, but most of his points came in garbage time.
The Warriors record improved to 35-6 while Cleveland dropped to 29-11. The Warriors face the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night at Oracle Arena. Game time is at 7:30 pm. They then travel to Houston to face the Rockets Friday night.