This was the type of loss the Golden State Warriors needed to get away from.
Having already lost at home to lesser lights such as the Nuggets, Timberwolves and Bobcats, the Warriors seemed to have righted the ship at Oracle Arena with five straight wins. But on Stephen Curry’s 26th birthday, the Warriors squandered a huge early lead and suffered a just inexcusable 103-94 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night.
The Warriors (41-26) played without starting guard Klay Thompson, who missed his first career game while attending the funeral of his grandfather in the Bahamas.
Cleveland (26-40) fell behind 20-4 in the first quarter and Golden State led 36-18 early in the second before the Cavaliers mounted their comeback, roaring out to a 23-2 run—sparked by a couple of 3-pointers by former Saint Mary’s star Matthew Dellavedova—and the Warriors needed consecutive baskets from Harrison Barnes to close out the second period to hang onto a 53-52 halftime lead.
The teams went back and forth for much of the third quarter until the Cavaliers seized control of the game by outscoring Golden State 20-7 over the final 4:47 of the period.
Cleveland led by as much as 16 in the fourth quarter and the Warriors never seriously threatened.
Curry led the Warriors with 27 points, eight assists and three steals. Draymond Green tied his career high with 18 points off the bench to go with nine rebounds, David Lee scored nine points in the opening 3:20 of the game but finished with only 16 and Andre Iguodala scored 11. Andrew Bogut had 12 rebounds and three blocked shots.
The turnover bug was back in a big way for the Warriors, who coughed up the ball 17 times, leading to 24 Cleveland points. Conversely, the Warriors got just 13 points off 12 Cavalier turnovers.
The Cavs were 40-for-82 (48.8 percent) overall, 10-for-22 (45.5 percent) from 3-point range and 13-for-18 (72.2 percent) at the line. Golden State was 35-for-77 (45.5 percent), 11-for-29 (37.9 percent) and 13-for-19 (68.4 percent).
Jarrett Jack, playing at Oracle Arena for the first time since signing with the Cavaliers as a free agent last summer, had nine points and four assists and was 4-for-5 from the floor.
The loss dropped the Warriors to 21-11 at home. They hit the road Sunday to take on the Portland Trail Blazers at 6 p.m.