Game 66: Cavs at Warriors
Radio/TV: WTAM (1100 AM)/Fox Sports Ohio
They face the hottest team in the NBA on Sunday in Los Angeles when they take on the Clippers. They have won 10 in a row.
But the Cavs shouldn't be overlooked. They have won six of the last eight games vs. the Western Conference. On the season, they are 12-15.
The Warriors jumped out to a 20-4 lead before many of the fans in Oracle Arena had settled into their seats.
Point guard Kyrie Irving didn't score in the first quarter. Still, he finished with 16 points, four assists and four steals. He hit some huge 3-pointers in the game, dagger shots.
He was outplayed by fellow All-Star Stephen Curry, who ended with a game-high 27 points and eight assists.
Cavs center Spencer Hawes was outstanding with 22 points and 13 rebounds. After moving to 12th in the NBA in 3-point shooting heading into the game, he made just 1 of 7 from behind the arc.
When the Cavs made the trade for Hawes on Feb. 20, Acting General Manager David Griffin said it will be obvious if the team has to re-sign any of its free agents. Well, it's obvious that the Cavs need to re-sign the 7-1 center.
The Cavs moved into a tie with New York for the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference with the win. They are 3 1/2 games behind No. 8 Atlanta with 16 to play. With the way they are playing - and defending - it would be a shame if they don't get in the playoffs.
But time is running out. They need to beat the Clippers, and then return home and do some damage against some of the league's best teams.
The Warriors played without shooting guard Klay Thompson, who missed the game to attend a funeral. If Curry isn't the top shooter in the league, Thompson is.
Golden State is sixth in the Western Conference playoff race. They have so many weapons on offense. The Warriors shot 46 percent from the field. They won the battle of the boards, 42-41.
But the Cavs competed on the defensive end. They outscored the Warriors, 52-41, in the second half.
They also got a big lift from the bench, especially Dion Waiters, who had 18 points and four assists.
The Cavs snapped a six-game losing streak to the Warriors. Golden State stopped the Cavs in overtime at The Q on Dec. 29, 108-104.
They improved to 11-23 on the road this season.
UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to the Los Angeles Clippers at 9:30 p.m. Sunday at Staples Center.
C Spencer Hawes (7-1, 245) vs. Andrew Bogut (7-0, 260)
Warriors - C Festus Ezeli, C Ognjen Kuzmic, G Nemanja Nedovic