The second and final regular season rematch of last year’s NBA finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena was over before it started. The reigning world champion Warriors showed why they took home the Larry O’Brien trophy in Cleveland last June with a dominating performance from start to finish. On the flip side, the Cavaliers were colder than the weather in Cleveland on Martin Luther King Day.
Golden State never trailed and rolled all over the Cavaliers 132-98. It was the worst loss for a Cleveland Cavaliers team with LeBron James. The Warriors built a 43 point lead in the fourth quarter. The 43 points is the largest deficit in James NBA career.
Reigning league Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry scored a game high 35 points and didn’t even play in the fourth quarter. The Warriors were knocking down the three point shot. Golden State shot 19 of 40 from behind the three point line. Curry had seven of them. The Warriors hit seven three pointers in the first quarter to match the Cavaliers total scoring in the period and had a 34-21 lead.
The rest of the Warriors starting five contributed early and often. Draymond Green was just short of his ninth triple double of the season. Green had 16 points, ten assists and seven rebounds. Klay Thompson finish with 15 points in 26 minutes. Harrison Barnes added 12 points. The only starter not to score in double figures was center Andrew Bogut who had four points but only played 15 minutes.
Reigning NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Andre Iguodala scored 20 points off the bench. Every member of the Warriors roster saw action and scored on Monday night.
As for the reigning eastern conference champions, the first game back off of a six game road trip didn’t go according to plan. James lead the Cavaliers with just 16 points. J.R. Smith was having another solid game but he was ejected early in the third quarter after being accessed a flagrant two foul when he crashed into Barnes. Smith finished the game with 14 points.
No other Cavaliers starter finished in double figures in scoring. Kyrie Irving had just eight points on three of eleven shooting. Kevin Love was a no show on both ends of the floor. Love attempted just five shots and made just one field goal, a three pointer for his only points of the game. Timofey Mozgov finished with six points.
Matthew Dellavedova and Iman Shumpert were the only Cavaliers players off the bench to reach double figures in scoring. Dellavedova had eleven points, Shumpert added ten points.
The Cavaliers didn’t shoot bad from the field all night long, Cleveland was over 50 percent for the majority of the first half and finished at 48 percent shooting for the game. The Warriors on the other hand were shooting the lights out. Golden State finished at 54 percent shooting for the game, The Warriors shot 65 percent in the first half as they finished with 70 points by halftime.
Cleveland has now lost two of their last three games following their eight game winning streak. The Cavaliers are now 0-3 this season against the top two teams in the western conference. The Cavaliers travel to Brooklyn on Wednesday night to face the Nets followed by a four game homestand against the Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns.