With less than five minutes to play, Cleveland had the game in hand but was outscored 19-6, to record its third straight loss at the end of its “road trip” in the West.
Following a Draymond Green in the oven and the grinder and an aggressive Stephen Curry to the circle, the Warriors started the game well but ten points from Donovan Mitchell kept the Cavs in touch. If Steve Kerr were to tighten up his rotation by alternating between Green and Looney at the 5 position, two minutes without Curry and Green would lead to four turnovers (25-25).
Two award-winning shots from Kevin Love and a patient Donovan Mitchell at the beginning of the second quarter allowed Cleveland to control operations (38-32). Golden State held on, however, thanks to a more bleeding Jordan Poole and the return of the Curry / Green pair. Despite two technical fouls on Draymond Green and Steve Kerr, and Curry watching the end of the half on the bench with three fouls, the Warriors were able to limit the damage. A superb pass by Mitchell for LeVert on 3-pointers in the corner gave Cleveland a 4-point lead at the buzzer (52-48).
As at the beginning of the match, behind the strength of Draymond Green and his desire to push the pace, the Warriors started the third quarter with a 7-0 (55-52). The Cavs then kept cool and brought out the blue heater. The Evan Mobley – Jarrett Allen – Darius Garland trio took matters into their own hands and punished Golden State with some offensive rebounds to put them up 14-0 and a tear drop from Donovan Mitchell gave Cleveland of up to 11 points. (66-55) ! Steve Kerr then opted for a 2-3 zone to break the Cavs’ rhythm and it worked. They only scored 5 points in the last four minutes of the period while four consecutive 3-pointers from Curry, Lamb and Poole brought the Warriors back into the game (77-74).
Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole even let the Warriors get back in front to offer us an attractive “money time” (83-81). Fortune goes after Golden State. A 3-pointer from Mitchell made it 3+1 due to a questionable foul by Draymond Green on the rebound to Evan Mobley. In the process, Jordan Poole received a deserved flagrant foul on a 3 + 1 from Caris LeVert. And finally, the Warriors had a technical foul for the second “delay of game”, giving Cleveland an 8-point lead (95-87)!
The Warriors, however, refused to resign. Five points from Curry and a winning shot from Klay Thompson brought them down to -1 with less than three minutes to play (96-95). Both defenses stiffened. Donovan Mitchell kept the Cavs ahead with two free throws but a game-winning shot from Curry, followed by two saves, and a counterattack layup from the two-time MVP gave Golden State a two-point lead at 54 seconds left.(100- 98)! He would add the winning shot and two free throws to seal the victory for his team.
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER
– Draymond Green sets the tone. The power winger freely admits that he sometimes struggles to motivate himself for regular-season games, but when a tough opponent comes along, the Warriors’ handyman is (almost) always there to respond. For the Cavs’ reception, third in the East, he lived up to his reputation. From the start of the game, his defensive intensity put Golden State on the right track. He also pushes the ball early to set the pace and find his partners. Draymond Green kept this sacred flame alive throughout the meeting.
– Evan Mobley’s yard near the circle. Cautious at the start of the match, Evan Mobley slowly but surely controlled the rebound. He committed three fouls in the second quarter and four in the third. His activity on both sides of the field also allowed the Cavs to outscore the Warriors 14-0 to gain an eleven-point lead midway through the third quarter time. His dissuasive presence on the key also shut down access to the circle for the Warriors in the third period, when they scored half of their points there in the first half. Facing the Warriors who often played in a single interior, Evan Mobley took advantage to put his mark on the meeting.
– Golden State decision 19-6. At -8 with 4 minutes and 33 seconds to play and when they suffered a 3 + 1, a flagrant foul, and a technical foul, the Warriors recovered their champion heart, their defense and the magic of Stephen Curry to pull away in a very compromising situation. Behind the Draymond Green – Kevon Looney duo, they limited the Cavs to six points as Stephen Curry scored 13 of his team’s final 19 points to claim the landmark victory.
✅ Stephen Curry. Shining since the start of the season, the double MVP went down tonight by scoring 40 points on 15/23 shots and 6/11 from long range, including 15 points in the final quarter to give the victory to his team. He also hit a 3-pointer for his 200th straight regular season game.
✅ Draymond Green. In the oven and on the mill throughout the game, he finished with 13 assists and 10 rebounds and left a mark on the game from the first minutes.
✅ Andrew Wiggins – Jordan Poole – Kevon Looney. In the sawtooth since the beginning of the season, Andrew Wiggins (20 points) and Jordan Poole (18 points) responded tonight. Kevon Looney was equally himself and solid as a rock late in the game.
✅ Donovan Mitchell. The back of the Cavs is close to a triple-double (29 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists). Good and patient throughout the game, however he could not prevent his team’s lack at the end of the match.
✅ Evan Mobley. As described above, Evan Mobley (20 points, 12 rebounds) was brilliant but was held back by the Green-Looney pair late in the game.
✅ ⛔Darius Garland. Cleveland’s leader blew hot (15 points, 8 assists) and cold (5/19 shots) throughout the game against a good Warriors defense.
⛔ Clay Thompson. The “Splash Brother” trial continues. He finished 3 of 13 on shots with plenty of open shots. He was able to put aside his frustration in the final minutes, however, to defend strongly.
Golden State (5-7) : the Warriors will face the Kings tomorrow night, for the third time this season…
Cleveland (8-4): back to Ohio for a reunion with Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert on Sunday