The moniker all season for the Golden State Warriors has been losing teams they are “suppose to beat” especially at home. Friday night was no different facing the Cleveland Cavaliers who are one of the worst teams in the already weak eastern conference (26-40), in Oakland California.
The Warriors were playing without the services of the second half of the Splash Brothers duo, Klay Thompson. Thompson broke his streak of 219 games played due to attending his grandfather’s funeral. It was a night that would showcase a battle of two of the best point guards in the NBA, between Stephen Curry (who turned 26 Friday night) and Kyrie Irving.
The Warriors started off the first quarter very well, stretching the game to a 20-4 lead, playing stellar defense and making spectacular plays on offense including Curry throwing a behind the back pass to Power Forward David Lee for a fast break lay-up. You would have thought this would have been one of those games were a blowout happens early, then you play your bench in the 4th quarter with a giant lead.
But that’s why you play all 4 quarters.
The Warriors lead ballooned to 36-18 before the Cavaliers made a run in the 2nd quarter to put themselves back in the game and cutting the lead to 53-52 going into halftime. Midway through the 3rd quarter Stephen Curry hit back-to-back 3 pointers to put the Warriors up 62-58. That was later followed by the Cavaliers going on a 13-3 run to end the quarter, a run that including 2 three pointers from Kyrie Irving, and the Cavaliers had a 84-71 lead going into the fourth quarter, making it a 29-point turnaround during the 2nd and 3rd quarter.
In the fourth quarter the Cavaliers were able to keep the Warriors from rallying, thanks to the help of a seven point fourth quarter from Irving, including drilling an insane 3 pointer that he shot from San Francisco, the Cavaliers had contributions from everyone and were able to secure the 103-94 win.
With this loss and the loss suffered Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers the Warriors have now lost back to back games for the first time since January and are now six games in back of the Clippers in the Pacific Division, and that warranted a long team meeting in the Warriors locker room after the game.
“Coach got into us and we’re going to back him up,” Steph Curry said after the game “A lot of voices. You could tell people care. The fact that a lot of guys talked and voiced their commitment to what we’re trying to do is good”
The Warriors still have a solid grip on the sixth seed in the Western Conference but remain a game and a half back of the 5th seeded Portland Trailblazers, who they’ll be facing off against Sunday night at the Rose Garden in Portland. The Trailblazers have struggled as of late going 5-5 in their last ten games and LaMarcus Aldrigde is assumed to be out that game because of a back injury suffered due to a hard fall during Wednesday’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs.