Familiar result for James-less Cavs: 112-94 loss to Warriors
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Klay Thompson scored 24 points, Stephen Curry had 23 and 10 assists and the Golden State Warriors completed a perfect six-game home stand with a 112-94 win Friday night over the LeBron James-less Cleveland Cavaliers.
Draymond Green added 10 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, helping the Warriors pull away in the fourth against a Cavaliers team that showed some fight without James but ended up with the same result: a loss.
Cleveland is 1-6 since James has been sidelined with a strained back and left knee. He’s expected to miss at least two more games.
J.R. Smith scored 27 points, Kyrie Irving had 23, and Kevin Love added 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who stayed close most of the way until Golden State blitzed them late.
The NBA-leading Warriors (29-5) have just been too much for most teams to handle for 48 minutes, especially at home. They have won 14 in a row and 16 of 17 at rowdy Oracle Arena this season.
Golden State led by 11 with eight minutes remaining before Smith, Irving and Love pulled Cleveland back within four. But just as they’ve done so often, the Warriors used one big burst to put the game away.
Curry capped the run by bouncing off center Timofey Mozgov in the air, double-clutching his shot and banking it in to give the Warriors a 110-94 lead with 53 seconds to play. Curry flexed his arms over his shoulders as the Cavaliers called timeout.
Golden State’s latest victory came in front of the man that had a hand in turning around the downtrodden franchise.
Mark Jackson returned to the arena as an ESPN broadcaster for the first time since the Warriors fired him as coach after last season. Jackson enjoyed hugs and handshakes with his former players before the game.
Jackson, who declined interview requests, also received a standing ovation from fans — and applause from some of his former players — when he was shown on the giant video screen during a timeout in the first quarter. He seemed unaware of what was happening at first, then stood and applauded the crowd.
The former coach had a front-row seat to watch his successor, Steve Kerr, guide Golden State to another wear-down-the-opponent win that is becoming the norm.
The Warriors, behind Kerr’s pace-and-space attack, outscored Cleveland 36 to 3 in fast-break points.
James, dressed in a suit on the bench, periodically hopped out of his seat after made baskets and joined his teammates in the huddle during some timeouts. But all he could do in the waning moments was watch as the Cavs continued to slide.
Cleveland has lost four in a row and eight of 10. As a consolation, the Cavs at least got some positive showings from two of their newest members acquired in trades this week.
Smith, who went scoreless in his Cleveland debut Wednesday, scored 12 points in the first quarter to get the Cavs off to a strong start. Mozgov also made his presence known, at times, finishing with nine points and eight rebounds.
But Thompson and Curry kept the Warriors in control most of the way.
Golden State led 60-54 at the half and started to pull away in the third until Thompson took an inadvertent hit to the head going for the ball. Blood gushed on Thompson’s face, and he received seven stitches for a cut on his forehead before returning midway through the fourth.
Cavaliers: Coach David Blatt said James took some shots during the morning shoot-around but didn’t do anything close to practicing. … Forward Shawn Marion sat out with a strained left hip. He is day to day.
Warriors: Golden State is 12-0 against the Eastern Conference this season. … Backup center Festus Ezeli missed his seventh straight game with a sprained left ankle.
Cavaliers: At Sacramento on Sunday.