Warriors crush the Cavs 129-105 in Cleveland on Wednesday night

GSW final
Graphic: @Warriors

By Charlie O. Mallonee

In every sport, there are certain teams that every other team wants to play because they know the chances of coming away with a “W” is so great that they can taste victory before the game begins. When “King James” ruled the city by the lake, that was not the case. Going to play in the “Q” was something to be feared.

Now that LeBron has taken his “talents” to SoCal and the Lakers, playing in the “Q” has become a place for teams to get healthy. The Cavs best player Kevin Love is unavailable due to left foot surgery, and no one would be surprised if Love does not demand to be traded to a competitive team.

Things are so bad in Cleveland that the Cavaliers were the first team in the NBA to fire their head coach. Tyronn Lue who coached the Cavs to an NBA Championship in 2016 was fired after Cleveland started the season 0-6 with LeBron James in “Lakerland” and Kevin Love ailing.

The Warriors entered the game on Wednesday night with a record of 16-9 to do battle with a Cleveland squad that had recorded a record of 5-18.

Tough Road Trip
This was game four of a five-game road trip for the Warriors. They entered the contest 1-2 on the trip. The W’s had lost games in Toronto and Detroit but had bounced back into the win column in the ATL on Monday night. A victory in Cleveland was really mandatory if this was to be a successful road trip for Golden State.

GSW Thompson to hoop
Thompson to the basket Photo: @Warriors

First Half Battle
The Cavs served notice in the first half that they were not going to just roll over and die because they were facing the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. GSW held a six-point at the end of the first quarter, but Cleveland turned it up a notch in the second period.

Cleveland shot 68.2-percent from the floor (15/22) in the second quarter and hit seven 3-point baskets. The Cavs outscored the Warriors 39-27 for the period behind the scoring of Cedi Osman (8 pts), Jordan Clarkson (8 pts) and Larry Nance Jr. (7 pts). The Cavs also outscored the Warriors on 2nd Chance Points 8-0 in the quarter.

At the half, Cleveland held a 64-58 lead over the Golden State Warriors.

Time to go to school
The Warriors came out of the locker room after halftime fired up and ready to play. Kevin Durant led the charge for the “W’s” as he scored 15 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out two assists in the period. Durant hit 6-of-9 shots – three of which were 3-point baskets.

GSW outscored the Cavs 12-2 on the Fast Break in the quarter.

At the end of three quarters, Golden State was leading Cleveland 95-86.

Turn Out the Lights
The Cavs’ final demise came in the fourth period when Stephen Curry came alive and scored 12-points shooting 2-for-4 from the floor (both 3-point baskets) and converted 6-for-6 in opportunities from the free throw line.

Klay Thompson and Quinn Cook also added eight points apiece in the final period as the Warriors outscored the Cavaliers 34-19 in last 12 minutes of the contest.

When the final buzzer sounded, the Golden State Warriors (17-9) had defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers (5-19) 129-105. For the Warriors, it was their second consecutive win.

Top Performers

GSW Prime Logo

Golden State

  • Leading scorer: Steph Curry 42 points (also game high) to go with nine rebounds
  • Double-double: Kevin Durant 25 points and 10 rebounds (9 assists)
  • FG% 52.9 (45/85)  3FG% 52.9 (18/34)  29 Assists 9 Turnovers (17 CLE pts)

Cleveland

  • Leading scorer: Colin Sexton 21 points (7/14 shooting)
  • Double-double: Tristan Thompson 14 points and 19 rebounds
  • Wow: George Hill 25:13 on the floor 0 points and 3 assists

Steve Kerr on Curry
“It’s pretty rare, but Steph is rare in general in everything he does. We’ve seen it before where Steph was out with an injury and comes back and starts lighting it up right away,” said Kerr. “The guy keeps himself in amazing shape – which allows him to come back pretty quickly if there is an injury.”

Up Next
The Warriors wrap up this five-game road trip on Friday night in Milwaukee versus the very tough Bucks in a nationally televised game. The game tips off at 4:00 PM PST.

The Cavs will also be in action on Friday night when they will host the upstart Sacramento Kings at the “Q”.

Cousins suspended by Kings

demarcus cousins sac kings bing photo

by Charlie O. Mallonee

SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings have suspended center DeMarcus Cousins for one game for conduct detrimental to the team. The announcement was made by Vlade Divac, Vice President of Basket Operations for Sacramento. Cousins will sit out the game against the Orlando Magic on Friday night and forfeit his pay for that game.

The suspension was imposed because Cousins began yelling at head coach George Karl during a timeout in the game versus Cleveland on Wednesday night. In video posted by the Sacramento Bee, Cousins can be seen being very animated while sitting during the timeout. Rudy Gay and assistant coach Corliss Williamson can be seen trying to calm Cousins. Rajon Rondo then stepped in front of Cousins in order to block his view of Karl.

Reports are indicating that Cousins was upset because Karl was not doing enough to defend him with the referees in the game last night. Frankly in this reporter’s opinion, the game was not well officiated. Cousins did take a beating under the basket and did not receive obvious foul calls. However, there was not much Karl could have done to change the situation.

The officiating crew called three technical fouls including one on Cousins – his 15th “T” of the season. Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue was issued a technical and is still not sure what he did to deserve the call. This reporter could not see where Lue’s actions deserved the call from my position on press row.

This was the second time this season that Cousins reportedly yelled at his head coach. Earlier in the season, he went into a tirade aimed at Karl after a Kings loss. It was reported that Karl wanted to suspend Cousins at the time but was overruled by Divac and the front office.

Kings fall to the Cavs 120-111

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Sacramento Kings
Photo Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Cleveland Cavaliers –  featuring “King” LeBron James – rolled into Sacramento on Wednesday to kick off a four-game West Coast swing. If you are a Cavs fan, you were very pleased with the result as Cleveland (45-18) downed the Kings 120 – 111.

The surprise may have been that James was not the star of the game. Kyrie Irving took that role as he scored 30 points shooting 11-for-22 from the floor including three 3-point baskets. Irving hit on five of six tries from the free throw line. He was literally at the right place at the right time for the Cavs for the entire game.

It was a hard fought contest that featured eight lead changes and eight ties. The Kings led at halftime 60 – 54. Then came the third quarter and one of the Kings dreaded “black holes”.

Cleveland outscored the Kings 35 – 24 in the third period. The Cavs shot 13-for-20 from the floor and hit on five of eight 3-point attempts. They out rebounded the Kings 11 – 7. The quarter ended with Cleveland leading 89 – 84 and they would never look back.

The Kings (25-38) put up a good fight in the fourth quarter and cut the Cleveland lead to three points with 2:37 remaining in the game. The Cavs used their offensive rebounding ability to get second and third chance shots to run away with the game.

Kings

The Kings were led by DeMarcus Cousins’ 29 points. The Kings big man had to fight for those points as he shot just 8-for-22 from the floor. He struggled from the free throw line going 12-for-18 from the stripe. Cousins missed the front end of a two shot opportunity from line five times in the second half. It was another double-double game for Cousins as he pulled down 11 rebounds.

Rudy Gay had a good night for Sacramento scoring 19 points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out three assist in 41-minutes of playing time.

Darren Collison started in the place of the injured Ben McLemore and scored 15 points. Collison alternated with Rondo on the point and distributed eight assists and added two steals.

Rajon Rondo did not have a great night for the Kings. He scored 11 points and had six assists but seemed frustrated all night long by the defense of Irving and JR Smith.

Omri Casspi scored 13 points while Caron Butler added seven, Kosta Koufos five and Willie Cauley-Stein four points.

Sacramento shot 47.6-percent (40-for-84) from the field and hit eight of 22 (36.4-percent) of their 3-point shots. The Kings struggled from the free throw line making just 23 of 32 opportunities (71.9-percent) from the charity line.

The Kings were out rebounded 51 – 38. They gave up 15 offensive rebounds to the Cavs. That is just too many second-chance opportunities to give a team as powerful as Cleveland.

Turnovers were not a problem for Sacramento. The Kings gave up just six points off 10 turnovers in the game.

Cavaliers

Kyrie Irving had plenty of help on his way to a 30 – point night. All five of the Cleveland starters finished in double digits.

James scored 25 points. Tristan Thompson – who started for the ill Timofey Mazgov – put up 18 points and added 15 rebounds. Kevin Love scored 17 points despite shooting just 4-for-13 from the floor. JR Smith added 15 points.

The Cavs shot 43.3-percent (39-for-90) for the game. They went 13-for-44 from beyond the 3-point line. Cleveland took advantage of their opportunities from the free throw line converting 29 of 35 opportunities.

The Cavaliers turned the ball over 14 times which resulted in nine points for the Kings.

What they said after the game

“We play good teams. We do a lot of good things for extended periods of time then we hit a black hole or it seems like we run short,” said Kings head coach George Karl. “They didn’t miss a lot of shots, even in the fourth quarter, but it was the offensive rebounds, scramble situations where we didn’t come up for the loose balls. It’s kind of frustrating. We’re playing pretty damn good basketball at times; (we) just don’t have that edge or that finishing way of winning a game against them.”

“Well coming into the game we said we want to play with pace but we know this team plays at a great pace,” said Cleveland head man Tyronn Lue. “Number one in pace. I think second in fast break points so we don’t want to get out there and get wild. I think the team kind of misunderstood what I was saying so in the third quarter we want to play at our pace. We want to attack downhill. We want to get easy open three’s. We want to get to the basket. If we don’t have it, then pull it out and run something. I thought in that third quarter they scored but we were able to score also. We scored fast.”

Up next

The Kings will practice on Thursday and return to action on Friday night when they host the Orlando Magic in Sacramento.

Cleveland travels to Los Angeles where they will face the Lakers on Thursday night. That will be the second game of the doubleheader on TNT.