Warriors-Cavaliers Preview

The Cleveland Cavaliers took a chance that Andrew Bynum could

regain the form that made him an All-Star two years ago.

Now the experiment seems to have ended in disappointing


With Bynum likely having played his last game with the team,

Cleveland will try to avoid matching its longest skid of the season

when it hosts the surging Golden State Warriors on Sunday


The Cavaliers (10-19) suspended their starting center

indefinitely before Saturday’s 103-100 loss to Boston for ”conduct

detrimental to the team” and banned him from all team-related


”He’s on an indefinite suspension and I’m not trying to be

funny, but you know what indefinite means,” said coach Mike Brown,

who coached Bynum while both were with the Los Angeles Lakers.

”We’ve got 14 guys in that locker room who are very focused and

determined and ready to take on any challenge that’s in front of


Bynum averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds during his All-Star

season for the Lakers in 2011-12. He was dealt to Philadelphia

before last season, but never appeared in a game because of ongoing

knee problems.

The Cavaliers hoped the 7-footer could come back strong after

signing him to a two-year, $24 million contract in July. While he

showed flashes of his old self – averaging 18.0 points and 9.0

boards during one four-game stretch – Bynum did not perform at a

consistent level.

The matchup with Golden State was scheduled to be an ‘Andrew

Bynum Fathead Giveaway’ game. Instead, Cleveland is expected to try

to trade the veteran, who is averaging 8.4 points and 5.3


”It’s a terrible situation internally with our team,” guard

Kyrie Irving said. ”It’s something we have to get over.”

Anderson Varejao filled the hole in the middle Saturday,

finishing with six points and eight rebounds. He’s averaging 8.9

points and 7.5 boards in 10 starts, though Cleveland has lost seven

of those contests.

Irving had another big game with 32 points but the Cavaliers

lost for the second time in seven games when he scores 30 or more.

The All-Star has scored 28.7 per game while shooting 41.0 percent

from beyond the arc in his last nine.

He’ll try to help the Cavaliers avoid a fifth straight loss,

which would match their longest slide of the season.

Golden State (18-13) seeks a season-best fifth straight victory

as it begins a seven-game road trip against Eastern Conference

teams. The Warriors are 3-1 versus the East.

Stephen Curry missed 12 of 17 from the field in a 115-86 rout of

visiting Phoenix on Friday, but finished with 14 points to go with

career highs of 13 rebounds and 16 assists to record his third

career triple-double.

Though he’s shot just 31.7 percent over his last four games,

Curry has totaled 44 assists and 28 boards.

“Rebounded the basketball. Defended at a high level. Made

shots,” coach Mark Jackson told the league’s official website. “I

mean, the guy is playing at an all-time level for himself, and

that’s saying a lot.”

Klay Thompson led the way with 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting,

while David Lee added 17 on Friday.

With Curry out due to an ankle injury, Thompson scored 32 with

six 3s and Lee had 20 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists in a

108-95 win in Cleveland on Jan. 29.

Jarrett Jack had 26 points and 12 assists for Golden State in

that meeting, but now he’ll face his former team for the first time

since signing with the Cavaliers in July.

The Warriors have outscored the Cavaliers by an average of 12.2

points during a five-game win streak in this series.