SAN FRANCISCO – The Warriors cruised to a 129-98 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers while Stephen Curry scored a game-high 36 points over three quarters and Draymond Green tied a career-high 16 assists.
Tonight, was arguably Curry’s most efficient game thus far, he shot 13-of-19 from the floor and converted 7-of-11 of his three-pointers before sitting out the entire fourth quarter. Over his last six games, Curry has been a scoring machine averaging 37.3 points per game.
The two-time MVP has played at an MVP level this entire season, carrying most of the scoring burden for a team hovering around the .500-mark. But tonight it was the chemistry that he and Green displayed on the court together which was extraordinary to watch.
“It’s built on eight, nine years of experience that comes out whether we draw something up or just kind of feel it or see it,” Curry said. “It definitely helps just to find open space out there and exploit how teams are going to be aggressive on me.”
With both teams tied at 32-32 after the first quarter, Golden State began to impose their will by closing out the second quarter on a 23-8 run. That gave them a 10-point lead heading into halftime. In the third quarter, the Warriors lead ballooned up to 23 points and they never looked back. Golden State closed out the fourth quarter on a 28-14 run.
Due to injuries to centers Kevon Looney and rookie James Wiseman, Green has been a stabilizing force playing center in the Warriors “small-ball” lineup since Golden State’s head coach Steve Kerr shuffled the lineup.
“Playing center opens the floor for him,” said Kerr on Green. “When he’s playing center and handling the ball, it completely changes the chess board.”
Green has been the biggest chess piece for the Warriors since his move to center. He’s averaging 11.7 assists per game this month, recording 15+ assists in three of the past five games and 10+ assists in six of his last seven games. Golden State finished with 34 assists on 46 made shots.
Green has also been masterful at his pick-and-roll decision-making, particularly with Curry. The Warriors offense has been moving at the speed of light in recent games and Green’s tremendous court vision has been a major ingredient.
Golden State shot 53-percent from the floor in the first half, with Curry scoring 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting, including 5-of-7 on three-pointers. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Curry has hit at least one three-pointer in 90 consecutive games, passing Dana Barros for the fourth longest three-point streak in NBA history.
Andrew Wiggins finished with 15 points and Juan Toscano-Anderson chipped in 13 points. Eric Paschall had 14 points and eight rebounds, while Michael Mulder connected on four three-pointers to finish with 12 points.
Collin Sexton led the Cavaliers with 23 points on 9-of-20 shooting as Cleveland shot 38.9-percent from the floor. Darius Garland added 16 points on 6-of-20 shooting. The Cavaliers did outrebound Golden State 49-39 but continue their losing streak on their five-game road trip.
“You have to look in the mirror and be honest with yourself and see areas you can improve,” Cleveland head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “And we’ve got room to grow.”
Golden State (15-13) will look to finish out their four-game homestand with a win against the visiting Miami Heat on Wednesday night.
Notes – Draymond Green took a moment to address the recent issues of sitting guys before they are traded. During his press conference after the game, Green expressed his displeasure on how management is handling guys who want to play basketball but must sit out until their deal is finalized.
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Photo by Warriors/Twitter