OAKLAND, Calif. - Draymond Green had 22 points and 15 rebounds and the Golden State Warriors got defensive in their NBA Finals rematch against Cleveland, beating the Cavaliers 89-83 on Friday.
The officials let both teams play through contact early and the Warriors built a 28-19 lead after one behind 10 points and six rebounds from Green.
At just 27 years old, Curry is in the prime of his career, which means there are plenty of good times ahead for the Warriors guard, his team and his fans.
December 25, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts in the fourth quarter of a NBA basketball game on Christmas against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.
It's understandable if Mark Jackson holds a grudge against the Warriors, but saying anything that can be construed as negative about Stephen Curry seems excessive.
The Warriors led by 10 with 3:48 left when the Cavaliers made their run. With Barnes out and Brandon Rush getting the initial defensive assignment on LeBron James, the Warriors actually jumped out to a 28-19 lead after one. What if Kevin Love was healthy? But James missed two free throws, and the Warriors took advantage.
But Curry responded by driving past Cavaliers back-up Matthew Dellavedova for lay-ups with 1:19 and 57.6 seconds remaining, re-establishing an 85-80 lead the Warriors were able to protect with four late free throws.
Cleveland was held down to 31.6 per cent shooting overall, or 30-of-95 field goals and 16.7 per cent three-point shooting, or 5-of-30 from behind the arc.
The Golden State Warriors' 89-83 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers wasn't the type of win we've all grown accustomed to seeing them get thus far this season.
"Every time we play another team that's at the top of the league, we want to show up, play well and get a win", Curry said. "We just had to make more shots". "But, offensively we're all out of rhythm", James said.
Curry missed part of the second quarter after aggravating a right calf injury he suffered Wednesday, but said he would not miss any games. But there were no excuses coming from the Cavs locker room.
Klay Thompson added 18 points in what he said was an ugly game. Luke Walton closed the game with a modified version of the death line-up - Curry, Thompson, a terrific Shaun Livingston, Iguodala and Green. "But at the end of the day, a win like (Friday), you have to definitely take it. Obviously you can grow off of it, but it's a good win". The Cavs played great defense, something that can be duplicated to a degree, and shot improbably very bad. "LeBron is one of the best players in the world, one of the most dominating forces there has ever been in our game, and we have guys that like that challenge".
Maybe ESPN should find, I don't know, literally anyone else on the planet than the former Golden State head coach to call Warriors games.
Livingston provided the offense, scoring 16 points on 8 for 9 shooting, while Green did a bit of everything. In some ways, this might've been Golden State's most grueling offensive game of the season - they made a season-low five threes on 18 attempts - and credit goes to Cleveland for making that happen, but it was ultimately for naught. "That's more of a statement".
"I'm kind of mad at Scott for calling that foul because I would've been in all the highlights", Green said with a grin.