I believe we all know the history of these two franchises and the history they have created over the last couple years. My hope was that both teams would have their full rosters available however we know that Steph Curry (missing his 9th straight game) would not be playing and of course Isaiah Thomas was not ready to play for the Cavs. Although those players would not be playing, each team has players that made this game still interesting.
The Cavaliers have won 19 of their last 21 games while the Warriors had won 11 of their last 12.
Warriors took the tip to start the first quarter, the first two minutes of this game started sloppy as neither team could get the ball in the basket. Clay Thompson looked to get started early shooting 2 for 2 from behind the arc. Also, Kevin Durant received his 8th technical foul of the season after protesting a foul while shooting a three. KD seems to be feeling himself too much as in my opinion he committed his second technical foul. But of course it’s a nationally broadcast game on Christmas Day and ratings trump calling the game the right way. The Cavs led most of the 1st quarter but Golden State kept it close.
After the 1st quarter the Cavs led 28 – 24
The game remained close throughout the 2nd quarter. Shaun Levingston tied the game at 31 with 9:03 left in the 2nd quarter, with a nice one handed jump shot. Clay Thompson had 13 points on 5 of 7 shooting midway through the 2nd. Kevin Durant hit a three pointer with 3:08 remaining in the 2nd quarter giving the Warriors their first lead of the game 39-42. The first half came to an end with the Golden State Warriors leading 46-44.
At the Half
Kevin Love 11 Points, 11 Rebounds
Durant 14 Points, 6 Rebounds
The 3rd quarter remained close due to bad defense by the Warriors and bad shooting by the Cavs. Kevin Love continued his great play securing double digit scoring and double digit rebounds. Cleveland was up by one with 3:15 remaining in the third. Largest lead by either was no more than seven. With less than two minutes left in the quarter Iguadala sparked a run which created a 71 – 65 advantage for GS, their largest lead of the game.
Both teams had stated that this game was not that big of a deal just another game, but during this game neither team wanted to lose to the other. After all, beating a team in the regular season has to give that team a psychological advantage when the playoffs come around, right? Cavs were shooting just 29% but were still in the game. With a Durant three with less than five minutes left in the game the Warriors went up by nine, but then Kevin Love countered with a three of his own (31 points 18 rebs), after a turnover by GS, C J. Crowder then shot a three of his own which was later ruled a 2 pointer. With less than two minutes left in the game Lebron James tied the game with a left handed layout. After a stoppage of the game to review a play, Thompson hit a three pointer that put the Warriors up by three. Lebron covered by Kevin Durant, lost the ball out of bounds. Green secured a huge offensive rebound to give the Warriors a second chance to increase their lead. Another review was called as the referees reviewed who knocked the ball out of bounds. Cavs get the possession and were not able to convert, KD Covered Lebron again and this time a clear foul was committed by KD on Lebron, no call. On top of the missed call, the Warriors got the ball back.
Final Warriors 99 – Cavs 92