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

Friday, January 9, 2015

Game 37: Cavs at Warriors

Oracle Arena
Radio: WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7, La Mega-FM 97.7
TV: ESPN, Fox Sports Ohio

1. The Warriors have the best record in the NBA. They are 16-1 at home this season. They can serve as an example for the Cavaliers on how to protect their home court. The Cavs are 11-9 at home, 8-9 on the road. The only team to beat the Warriors at Oracle Arena this year was San Antonio on Nov. 11, 2014.

2. This is the start of a rugged, five-game, nine-day West Coast trip. The Cavs really need to win a couple games on this trip. They competed on Friday against the Warriors, but were just overmatched talent-wise.

3. Center Timofey Mozgov, who passed his physical earlier in the day, made his debut with the Cavaliers. He ended with nine points, eight rebounds and a block in 27 minutes off the bench. Coach David Blatt is expected to insert the Russian giant in the starting lineup for the Sacramento game on Sunday. He might not know the offense, but he knows how to be 7-1. His presence could help Kevin Love's game, as well, and allow him to rebound and shoot 3s. Tristan Thompson will move to the bench and operate against backup bigs instead of starters. It's a win-win situation all the way around.

4. Cavs forward LeBron James is on the trip, but will remain on the inactive list. He's hinting that he could return to the lineup before the Lakers game Jan. 15. There's an outside chance he could come back for Phoenix Jan. 13. Oh, and he went to Miami last week for some R & R. Big deal. The Cavs told him to stay away from The Q for a while. He didn't break any rules.

5. The Warriors dished out 35 assists on the night. The Cavs had 13, a season low for a Golden State opponent. Kyrie Irving had five assists and Mike Miller had two. Those were their leaders.  The other stat that jumped off the box score was fastbreak points. Golden State had the "slight" edge, 36-3.

6. Remember the fake story we did in the preseason when Washington's Bradley Beal said he thought the Wizards' backcourt was the best in the league? Former Cavs guard Dion Waiters disagreed with Beal's sentiment, and said the Cavs backcourt should be considered the best. Waiters was promptly yanked from the starting lineup and has since been traded to OKC. The Cavs saw the best backcourt in the game tonight in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. If it isn't the best, then it's No. 2 behind Toronto. I think it's certainly No. 1 offensively. Both Curry and Thompson are sharpshooters and very fun to watch. They aren't fun to guard. They combined for 47 points, five rebounds, 12 assists and four steals.

7. Steve Kerr, a former Cavs guard, is coach of the Warriors and has a chance at being Coach of the Year. He certainly made the right decision to go to Golden State and not accept the New York Knicks job.

8. Love played in his 400th career game. Since entering the league in 2008-09, only Rockets center Dwight Howard has more double-doubles and a higher rebounding average. Love has 276 double-doubles and is averaging 12.1 rebounds per game. He is two 3-pointers away from being the 25th player 6-10 or taller in league history to reach 500 3s in his career.

9. Love has pulled down 12 or more rebounds in 15 consecutive games against Golden State. He ended with 17 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

10. In the 2015 portion of the schedule (five games), Love is averaging 25.3 points, 12.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists. More importantly, the Cavs are 1-4 in those games.

11. Warriors forward Draymond Green might have been the difference in the game. He was outstanding with 10 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and three blocks. He does all the dirty work. The Cavs need a player or two like him.

12. Thompson became the 10th player in team history to record 900 offensive rebounds. He pulled down four offensive rebounds against the Warriors. He just missed a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.

13. Miller is six 3-pointers away from passing Glen Rice (1,559) for 17th place on the NBA's all-time list. He started against Golden State and was held scoreless in 20 minutes. At this rate, it will take him a couple weeks to catch Rice.

UP NEXT: at Sacramento, Sleep Train Arena, 9 p.m. Sunday

SF Mike Miller (6-8, 218) vs. Harrison Barnes (6-8, 225)
PF Kevin Love (6-10, 243) vs. Draymond Green (6-7, 230)
C Tristan Thompson (6-10, 238) vs. Marreese Speights (6-10, 255)
SG J.R. Smith (6-6, 220) vs. Klay Thompson (6-7, 215)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 193) vs. Stephen Curry (6-3, 190)
Cavs - C Anderson Varejao, F LeBron James
Warriors - C Ognjen Kuzmic, C Festus Ezeli
Danny Crawford, David Guthrie, Haywoode Workman


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