Photo credit: @_LegendaryEdits
By: Ana Kieu
OAKLAND, Calif. — On Christmas day, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers met in a rematch at Oracle Arena. The Warriors beat the Cavs 99-92 in Oakland.
Prior to the much anticipated matchup, the Warriors saw their 11-game win streak snap after the Nuggets embarrassed them with a 96-81 blowout win Saturday. Meanwhile, the Cavs were just looking to extend their win streak to two games. The Cavs edged the Bulls 115-112 at Quicken Loans Arena Thursday.
Both teams played excellent defense to start the first half. There was no score until 10:15 of the first quarter as Jae Crowder hit a three-pointer to put the Cavs on the board 3-0. Jose Calderon added another three to make it 6-0 Cavs with 9:38 left in the first.
The Warriors then started to get back into the game. Draymond Green made a driving floating bank jump shot and one of two free throws. Klay Thompson hit a three. Kevin Durant missed a couple of shots, but later snagged a rebound and made a driving finger roll layup shot. The Warriors pulled within two (12-10) with 7:15 left.
LeBron James hit a three to put the Cavs ahead 15-10 with 6:05 left. Durant then made a jump shot to bring the Warriors within four (16-12), but Kevin Love hit a three to expand the Cavs’ lead to 19-12 with 4:38 left.
James continued to work his magic on the court with a couple of layups. Kyle Korver hit a three with 21.7 seconds left. The Warriors trailed the Cavs 28-24 at the end of the first.
Both teams battled it out in a back-and-forth second quarter. The score was tied at 33 with 6:16 left in the second. Thompson made the game-tying shot–a jump shot.
Again, the score was tied at 39 with 3:57 left. Bell made a cutting dunk shot for two points for the equalizer.
The Warriors missed plenty of shots, but so did the Cavs. Durant helped the Warriors out with a three before Iguodala entered the game in his relief.
Omri Casspi made a pair of two free throws to end the first half. The Warriors led the Cavs 46-44 at halftime.
The score remained close throughout the second half.
Love hit a three to start the third quarter, but the Warriors began to pick up the pace. Love continued to contribute to the Cavs’ offense, but the Warriors gave the Cavs a hard time as Patrick McCaw hit a three and made a driving layup shot before his scoring streak ended and Andre Iguodala entered in his relief.
Casspi and Nick Young relieved Bell and Thompson late in the third. The Warriors made it rain with Durant’s pair of free throws and Casspi’s cutting dunk shot before the Cavs took a timeout.
The Iguodala show was in full effect as Iguodala made a dunk shot and a running finger roll layup shot to give the Warriors a 71-64 lead over the Cavs at the end of the third.
Dwayne Wade made it a one-point game with a three with 8:49 left in the fourth. The Warriors continued to lead 78-77, but Shaun Livingston made a dunk shot before receiving a personal foul from the referees. Durant then substituted for Iguodala.
Love made a pair of free throws, but the Cavs continued to trail the Warriors 85-81 with 5:59 left in regulation. Green, Durant and Bell fired up the Warrior offense, while the Cavs missed some much-needed shots.
James made a floating jump shot to tie the game at 92 with 1:59 left. Durant responded with a three to put the Warriors back on top 95-92 just 26 seconds later.
The Cavs got a lot of fouls in the final two minutes of the game and that seemingly affected their overall performance. Thompson closed out the game with a pair of free throws and the Warriors beat the Cavs 99-92.
Warriors’ starters: Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Jordan Bell, Klay Thompson and Patrick McCaw.
Dwayne Wade’s teams have won 10 games on Christmas day–the most in NBA history.
Kevin Love (20) and LeBron James (22) have a combined 42 double-doubles, tied for the most among all NBA teammate duos this season.
The Warriors host the Jazz on Wednesday, December 27 at 7:30 pm PT.
The Cavs take on the Kings on Wednesday, December 27 at 7:00 pm PT.