Sunday night, the Golden State Warriors battled from a 17-point deficit to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in an action-packed Sunday. The Warriors won 108-104 and move to 19-13 with their fifth straight win, the NBA’s longest, active winning streak.
Draymond Green, in a postgame interview, said that the Eastern Conference road trip is really what sparked the Warriors’ winning ways last season. This time, they got off to a very cold start, except Stephen Curry, but were able to battle back in the third and fourth quarters to force overtime and win the ball game. This was an exhilarating one.
Starting the game, the Warriors let things get out of hand early. Other than Curry, who had a whopping 24-point first half, the Warriors had almost no offensive links. They struggled to shoot the ball, and trailed 35-26. What many forget, however, is that the Warriors continually find themselves in this situation, and they know how to get out of it. From down by 17 in the second quarter, the Warriors cut the Cavaliers’ halftime lead to nine at 64-55.
In the second half, the tables turned. The Warriors tightened up their defense and started to force the Cavs into 13 turnovers after halfime. Their offensive game picked up as well. David Lee, who was scoreless in the first half, notched 13 points in the third quarter alone. He finished with 19 points on the night.
The fourth quarter really featured more of the action. In a low scoring 17-15 quarter, it seemed that victory was all but a certainty for the Warriors. They were leading by three, but the Cavs had almost no momentum or any scoring options. Dion Waiters shot himself into a 3-for-15 night and other than 3-pointers (10-for-16), they didn’t have a lot of offensive luck.
With the game tied at 96, Green drilled a 3-pointer, his first field goal of the night. On the other end he came up with the fantastic block to give the Warriors the possession. Unfortunately for them, they failed to capitalize and the Cavs retained possession. With 9.5 seconds on the clock, the Warriors elected not to foul and Kyrie Irving (who else?) drilled a deep 3-pointer. Curry’s teardrop on the other end fell just short and they had to play an additional five minutes.
The Warriors didn’t play well offensively in overtime, but they did enough with nine points. Defensively, they were solid. Green finished with 12 rebounds, a career high, and four blocks, also a career high. He was filling in for Lee, who had fouled out with 3.5 minutes left in overtime. Irving was stuffed at the basket every time he attacked the rim.
The Warriors found themselves up by two with the ball. They turned to Curry, who had one field goal in the second half, and he delivered. Curry was able to drill a deep jump shot that was just short of the 3-point line. He increased the lead to four at 108-104, and the Cavs failed to secure a shot on the other end.
Curry had another star-like game with 29 points, 11 assists, two steals and nine rebounds. He was close to yet another triple-double. Green had five points to go with a career-best 12 rebounds and 4 blocks. Irving, for the Cavs, had 27 points and nine assists.
The Warriors battled hard and ultimately got the win. They improve to 19-13, and now travel to Orlando to face the Magic, who they didn’t have much luck against last year. Will they build on this winning streak?