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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Game 30: Warriors at Cavs

Quicken Loans Arena
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio

WHAT HAPPENED?: The Cavs played their third game in four days. They've now lost the last five games overall. This team is fractured right now. However, they came to play against the high-flying Warriors, but couldn't put them away.

I want to get this out of the way first. Stephen Curry is a beast. Golden State coach Mark Jackson said he's one of the best in the world. I can't argue with that.

He's one of the best shooters I've ever seen. His first-half display was unbelievable. He made all five of his 3-pointers in the first half.

Curry ended with 29 points, nine rebounds, 11 assists, two steals and a block. He was 10 of 23 from the field, 5 of 10 from behind the arc, and 4 of 5 from the foul line. He did have five turnovers.

This Warriors team can score with the best of them. They can also defend. They held the Cavs to 41.3 percent shooting. This is a good team. An NBA Finals team? No. But a second-round-of-the-playoffs-type team.

The Cavs led for much of the game. Kyrie Irving was up for his matchup with Curry. Irving had 27 points and nine assists. Irving is one of the best point guards in the league, but a couple spots behind Curry. There, I've said it.

The Cavs have to get used to playing without center Andrew Bynum, who was suspended indefinitely before the Boston game on Saturday. No one seems to expect him to come back. The Cavs have a little more than a week to decide what to do with him. My guess? They'll waive him and save $6 million.

They are 0-2 since announcing he's been suspended.

At least we don't have to watch the Cavs' feeble attempts at getting him the ball in the post. It totally stagnated the offense (what there is of it). He was practically immobile on the defensive end. But one thing he was able to do is slow down big men like Andrew Bogut. Playing against legit 7-footer didn't faze him in the least.

It's a little different with Anderson Varejao, their new starting center.

The Warriors are six games over .500, yet they are the seventh seed in the Western Conference. They'd be the third seed in the East.

Golden State has won five in a row overall. They've won six in a row over the Cavs. The Warriors haven't lost at The Q since Nov. 17, 2009.

Cavs guard Jarrett Jack spent the 2012-13 season with the Warriors. He averaged 12.9 points during the regular season, but 17.2 points in the postseason. Golden State made it to the West semifinals last year.

They let him go, and he was gobbled up by the Cavs. 

Jackson talked about him like he was one of his sons. He just loved the guy and appreciated what he did for the team.

The Warriors are fourth in the NBA in total rebounding, second in defensive rebounds. Lee and Bogut just pound the boards. They outrebounded the Cavs, 52-44. They've also held their opponent below 40 percent shooting in 12 games this year, second in the NBA behind Indiana.

One doesn't think of this as a defensive-minded team. They are no long run-and-gun under Jackson.

Cavs coach Mike Brown was so happy with his team's performance, he called practice for Monday. Remember, this is after a back-to-back set. Normally, they'd be off after that. They certainly need the work.

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Indiana at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

SF Earl Clark (6-10, 225) vs. Andre Iguodala (6-6, 207)
PF Tristan Thompson (6-9, 236) vs. David Lee (6-9, 240)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 267) vs. Andrew Bogut (7-0, 260)
SG C.J. Miles (6-6, 231) vs. Klay Thompson (6-7, 205)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Stephen Curry (6-3, 185)
Cavs - G/F Sergey Karasev, C Andrew Bynum
Warriors - C Festus Ezeli, C Ognjen Kuzmic, C Jermaine O'Neal
Michael Smith, Steve Anderson, Courtney Kirkland


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