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Curry, Warriors cook Cavaliers, who extend their losing streak


(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO - As the Cleveland Cavaliers traveled to San Francisco, they hadn't beaten the Golden State Warriors in the regular season since Christmas Day of 2016. And they'll have to keep hearing about that for a little while longer, as the fell 106-101 to Golden State. It's the Cavs third straight loss, a sobering reality, especially considering less than a week ago they were riding the high of an eight game winning streak. Meanwhile, for the Warriors, things are moving in the other direction. The comeback effort to knock off the Cavs scored them their second consecutive win after they endured a five game skid.

The first half stayed close throughout, as the Golden State kept pace with Cleveland despite shooting 5/19 from long range. Stephen Curry paced the Dubs in points as usual, with 15, matched by Donovan Mitchell, who had 15 of his own for Cleveland. Foul trouble forced Curry and Andrew Wiggins to sit near the end of the

first stanza, but fortunately for the Warriors, their bench, which had been lackluster all season, showed up and played the Cavs fairly evenly. Cleveland went into halftime with a four point lead.

The second half was a wild ride, with runs from both teams, but Golden State ultimately overcame the persistence of Donovan Mitchell, as well as some questionable officiating, largely due to yet another unbelievable performance by Curry. We'll touch more on Curry's greatness later though, (spoiler alert: he's our game MVP,) because he wasn't the only one pushing the Warriors over the finish line. Draymond Green provided his usual blend of instigation and facilitation, Andrew Wiggins had 20 points, and Jordan Poole, who has struggled this season, put up 18 on better shooting efficiency than he's had in nearly two weeks.

(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

On Cleveland's side, Donovan Mitchell (29 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists) reiterated why he's in MVP talks by coming up just one assist shorts of a triple-double, but his running mate Darius Garland's struggles continued. Garland scored 15 points, but went 5/19 from the field in the process, and missed some big shots down the stretch once again. Evan Mobley had a 20 point double-double and Jarrett Allen was solid, but Cleveland still lacks consistent production from the small forward position. Caris LeVert was inefficient, though adequate, but Cedi Osman and Isaac Okoro were clear letdowns off the bench with Dean Wade injured. Okoro flashed some good defense, but ultimately his poor offense is such a liability that it overshadows anything else he does. The Cavs bench was severely outplayed, as even Kevin Love couldn't salvage the night for the reserves. Ultimately, the Warriors constant attack was too much for Cleveland, who couldn't contain the Dubs backcourt in the loss.





Game MVP: Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry is averaging over 33 points per game. Stephen Curry is shooting 53% from the field. Stephen Curry is shooting 44% on three pointers. So should anybody have been surprised at what he did against the Cavs? Probably not, but it's important not to take things for granted, so let's review. He dropped 40 points on 15/23 shooting and threw in 4 rebounds and 5 assists just for fun in a win. It doesn't matter what kind of defense he's up against, including a Cavaliers unit that went into the game ranked 3rd in defensive efficiency, he'll pick it apart. He performed in the clutch too, including a dagger three pointer to put Golden State up by four with less than 20 seconds to go. So needless to say, Curry was the MVP of the game.


Facts and Figures:

- Darius Garland continues to facilitate very well despite his shooting inefficiency. He had 8 assists on the night.


- Kevin Love, who led the league in +/- going into the night, was a game-worst -11.


- Andrew Wiggins was very efficient, going 8/13 on his way to a 20 point night.


- Evan Mobley had 20 points and 13 rebounds.


- Isaac Okoro and Cedi Osman combined to score four points on 1/9 shooting.


Takeaways:

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

- I don't know how a two-way player like Anthony Lamb was one of eight players getting significant minutes for the Warriors, but they should make that happen more often.


- The Isaac Okoro experiment is over. He plays defense but he's terrible offensively. Defenses don't respect him and he's visibly nervous about even attempting a shot.


- Is Draymond Green one of the most bizarre players in NBA history? He went for 2/10/13 and a technical foul, but somehow that's not even that weird of a stat line for him. Odd.


- The "two chances to hit one free throw" on a technical foul is a strange system. I mean, teams are already sending their best free throw shooter to the line, so if they can't hit the shot, too bad. Giving them two tries removes even the slightest hint of tension that would otherwise exist.


- The Cavs should consider borrowing some helmets from the Browns. At this point they must be leading the NBA in everyone's favorite stat category, "shots taken to the head or face", by a landslide.


- Equally pertinent to the game, the Warriors City Edition uniforms aren't nearly as bad as everyone seems to think, especially when they're tucked in. Although Klay Thompson seemed insistent on keeping his untucked and showing off the rose.


Next Game: vs Timberwolves

The Cavaliers will return from their four game west coast trip to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves back at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on Sunday at 6:00 pm ET. The 5-8 Timberwolves and 8-4 Cavs will both be looking to stop 3 game skids. The frontcourt will be key in this matchup, as both teams have two All-Star caliber big men in Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns for Minnesota and Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley for Cleveland.


Follow Along:

Be sure to follow @Cavs_District on Twitter for in-game updates, live analysis, team stats, and more!

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