The Golden State Warriors tightened the defensive screws in the fourth quarter and Stephen Curry saved 20 of his game-high 40 points for the final 12 minutes as the Western Conference front-runners rallied from a 13-point deficit to defeat the host Cleveland Cavaliers, 104-89, on Thursday, November 18 (Friday, November 19, Manila time).
Seeking a ninth win in their last 10 games, the Warriors began the fourth period down 81-68 before holding the Cavaliers without a point for the first 5:40 of the quarter.
In the meantime, Curry poured in 13 points, including 3 three-pointers, and brother-in-law Damion Lee added a pair of two-point hoops in a 17-0 flurry that flipped the visitors into an 85-81 lead.
A three-point play by Darius Garland temporarily stopped the Cavaliers’ bleeding and made it a one-point game, but Curry added 7 more points, Juan Toscano-Anderson 7, and Lee 5 in a 19-5 finish.
The Cavaliers missed their first 6 shots of the period and mixed in 5 turnovers in the lead-losing drought. Garland had the team’s only two hoops in a period in which the hosts were outscored 36-8.
Curry’s 40 points featured 9-for-16 shooting on three-pointers. The Warriors made 15 threes in the game, 6 in the fourth period.
Lee finished with 11 points off the bench, while Nemanja Bjelica provided 14, and Andrew Wiggins 12 for Golden State, which hasn’t lost a regular-season game at Cleveland since Christmas Day 2016.
Draymond Green contributed a game-high 14 assists in the win.
Garland paced the Cavaliers with 25 points, shooting 10-for-22 overall and 4-for-11 on 3-pointers.
Dean Wade and Kevin Love chipped in with 17 points each for the Cavaliers, who lost their third in a row as they continued to play without Evan Mobley and Collin Sexton.
The Cavaliers’ Ed Davis led all rebounders with 14, while Isaac Okoro and Ricky Rubio added 10 points apiece.
After the Cavaliers opened on a 10-0 run and the Warriors drew even before quarter’s end, the game was tightly contested until Love bombed in a pair of three-pointers and was fouled on a third attempt, making all three free throws, to help Cleveland open a 77-65 lead late in the third period.
Wade beat the third-quarter horn with a tip-in to put the Cavaliers up 13 entering the fourth quarter, but it was Cleveland’s last field goal for almost six minutes. – Rappler.com