sfgate.com photo: Larry Nance Jr (22) of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives on the Golden State Warriors Eric Paschall (7) at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Saturday night
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors beat the Cavaliers in Cleveland Saturday night 131-112 to snap a five-game losing streak. The Warriors entered the contest with the worst record in the NBA 10-39. The Cavaliers owned the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference 13-36.
The Cavs and Warriors met each other in the NBA Finals for four consecutive seasons. The Warriors won three times. The Cavs lost Lebron James to the Los Angeles Lakers after the lost the Finals to the Warriors in 2018. The Cavs floundered last season and are rebuilding the club.
The Warriors made the Finals last year but fell to the Toronto Raptors. Injuries to Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson prevented the Warriors from winning a third consecutive NBA Championship. Durant went to the Brooklyn Nets in a sign and trade deal. He has not recovered from his torn Achilles tendon.
Klay Thompson is also out for the year. At the beginning of the season, the Warriors thought they had a chance to make the playoffs. They had Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and D’Angelo Russell. All three are All-Stars. Things quickly went south when Curry broke his hand in the fourth game of the year. He has not returned to action. He was evaluated Saturday in Cleveland and will be re-examined in four weeks. Curry is chomping at the bit as he wants to get back onto the court.
As for the game, the Warriors and Cavs played a very entertaining first half. The lead changed hands 11 times and was tied seven times. The Cavs started to pull away late in the first half 59-52. It was at this point that the Warriors went on a 9-0 run to finish the first half. The run was capped by Damion Lee’s three-pointer at the buzzer.
The third quarter belonged to Golden State. The Warriors, as they have done away in past seasons, played like champions. They outscored the Cavs 44-19 to blow open the game. The connected on ten 3-point shots. The Cavs’ coach Jon Beilein used his bench in the fourth quarter. They did outscore the W’s 34-26, but they could not overcome the 27-point deficit they faced starting the final 12 minutes of play.
Game Notes and Stats-
The Warriors’ Kevon Looney returned to action Saturday night. The young man from Milwaukee played 12 minutes and recorded 2 points and 4 rebounds. He missed the last 18 games played. Looney was an essential piece in the Warriors’ lineup the past four seasons. Steve Kerr was pleased to have him back.
Draymond Green had quite a night in 25 minutes of action. Draymond recorded 8 points, 7 boards, and tied a career-high with 16 assists. The Warriors had seven players in double figures. They moved the ball well and recorded 39 assists in the game.
Glenn Robinson pace the club with 22 points. D’Angelo Russell had 19. Russell made six threes and one free throw. Damion Lee knocked down 18. Eric Paschall had 16, Omari Spellman 12, Alec Burks 15, and Marquese Chriss 10.
Collin Sexton led the Cavs with 23. Kevin Porter, Jr. had 19, Darius Garland 15, Kevin Love 14, Larry Nance, Jr. 12, and Cedi Osman 10. Former Warrior, Alfonzo McKinnie played 18 minutes and had 5 points and 2 rebounds.
It was the biggest margin of victory for the Warriors this season. As mentioned above, the connected on 10 threes in the third quarter.
The Warriors Warriors improved to 5-22 on the road while the Cavs dropped to 6-21 at home. Overall, the W’s are 11-39, and the Cavs are 13-37.
The Warriors play game four of the five-game road trip Monday night in Washington against the Wizards. The game will start at 4 pm.