Hours after the Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly took offense to Curry saying he hoped the visiting locker room at Quicken Loans Arena still smelled of champagne when the Warriors returned there Monday night, a not-so-subtle reminder that Golden State clinched its NBA championship last season in the Cavs’ building, the two teams took the floor, LeBron & Co. ready to exact revenge.
And when the whistle blew, the Cavs promptly went out and . . . fell behind by 10 points barely two minutes into the game. They spent the next 8 1/2 minutes fighting to stay within single digits, but when Curry nailed a 3-pointer to make it 31-19 with 1:18 to play in the first quarter, Golden State never led by fewer than 10 again.
Even with the fast start by the Warriors, it seemed — at some point — Cleveland was mounting a run to at least get back into the game, right? Well, here is a breakdown of the score at the end of each quarter:
● Q1: Warriors 34, Cavaliers 21 (+13)
● Q2: Warriors 70, Cavaliers 44 (+26)
● Q3: Warriors 104, Cavaliers 67 (+39)
● Final: Warriors 132, Cavaliers 98 (+34)
So the Cavs did make their run . . . late in the fourth, with the benches emptied on both sides — and that included a late barrage of points that allowed the Cavs to at least avoid the worst home loss in club history.
Curry did not play in the fourth quarter and finished with 35 points. (James ended up with just 16 while Kyrie Irving had just eight on 3-of-11 shooting and Kevin Love added a woeful three points in 21 minutes.) Here is what the Warriors’ starters were doing after the third quarter ended:
Warriors starters (L-R): Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson had plenty of time to joke around on the sidelines on Monday, though whatever was said, Thompson apparently wasn’t amused.