Cavs drop third straight as Warriors improve to 13-2
Coming off of two straight losses, the 9-7 Cleveland Cavaliers looked to change their recent fortunes as they faced off against the NBA's best, 12-2 Golden State Warriors.
Playing like the league's best player yet again this season, Steph Curry came into this game averaging just under 29 points per game.
As for the team as a whole, the Warriors continue to win because of their scoring efficiency, as they rank first in the NBA in points per game (115.2) and field goal percentage (47.2%) among other categories.
Despite the depleted lineup, the Cavs maintained a healthy lead throughout the game. Unfortunately, Curry ruined the Cavs' party in the fourth quarter and finished with 40 points.
The Cavs looked like their counterparts to begin the game, as they came out on a 10-0 run shooting 66.7% from three. Their strong start lasted through the first quarter, but the Warriors were able to bring it within two at the end of the first quarter.
Despite their missing pieces, the Cavs remained efficient both within the paint and behind the three-point line on offense to start.
Shooting 52% from the field would have to continue though, especially to keep up with Golden State's ability to quickly go on a run.
That's something they did early in the second quarter, as Curry hit two straight threes to take his team's first lead of the night. That did not last, but the second quarter was full of lead changes.
Off a strong 18-point first half from Darius Garland and 13 rebounds from veteran Ed Davis, the Cavs held a three-point, 54-51 halftime lead.
Out of halftime, the Cavs stayed hot. A couple of Kevin Love threes extended the lead even further, but it was the defensive effort by the team as a whole that kept the Warriors at bay this quarter.
Only allowing 17 points (only five of which came from Curry) to the Warriors allowed the Cavs to take a comfortable 13-point lead into the fourth quarter.
But, nothing can ever be too comfortable when facing the Warriors, and the fourth quarter proved that point.
Curry started hot with nine straight points off a few threes in the fourth.
While Curry was getting hot, the Cavs offense turned cold — as they quickly gave up their 13 point lead just a few minuets into the quarter.
As the fourth continued to roll along, so did Curry and the Warriors. His 40 total points (25 of which coming in the second half) propelled the Warriors to a 104-89 13th win.
The Cavs have a much needed three days off, but will play against next week on Monday at home against the Brooklyn Nets.