Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) handles the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game 1 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on May 31, 2018. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) handles the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game 1 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on May 31, 2018. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Golden State Warriors turn it around in second half and beat the Cavs 129-105

By Rob Johnson
Special to S.F. Examiner

CLEVELAND — The Golden State Warriors’ fourth stop of a season-long five-game road trip pitted them in a NBA Finals rematch against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Warriors haven’t faced the Cavs since they hoisted the Larry O’Brien trophy on Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena’s court, but the Cleveland team Golden State faced on Wednesday was a far cry from the team that the Warriors have played for the title each of the past four postseasons.

With the departure of LeBron James, the Cavaliers have gone from a Finals fixture to a rebuilding NBA lottery team, one Golden State beat on Wednesday, 129-105, but not without difficulty.

“It’s a different team and a different cast of characters,” said head coach Steve Kerr. “I thought they competed really hard. In the first half, they knocked down shots. They controlled the whole half and totally outplayed us. Our talent took over in the second half, but I thought they did a really good job.”

Despite their lack of talent, there was a nostalgic NBA Finals competitiveness right from the tip on the Cavs side, as they got off to a fast 12-2 start led by Rodney Hood, who had 11 points in the first quarter.

After a timeout, Hood’s performance was upstaged by Stephen Curry, who, in his third game back since a three-week absence due to injury, scored 16-points in the opening period, going 4-5 from 3-point range, to pull the Warriors ahead 31-25 at the end of the first.

Just as the Warriors started to show signs off pulling away, the Cavs would answer back, and took a 64-58 lead into the locker room.

In the second half, Curry went 5-for-5 beyond the 3-point arc, as Golden State out-scored Cleveland 37-22 in the third quarter and 34-19 in the fourth. The two-time NBA MVP finished with a game-high 42-points, going 9-for-14 from distance. Since his return, he’s averaging 33.0 points per a game.

“He’s (Curry) out with an injury and comes back and starts lighting it up right away,” Kerr said. “The guy keeps himself in amazing shape all season. It’s pretty rare, but Steph is rare in general … at everything he does.”

Curry had to score to keep the Warriors in the game, as Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant had a combined 16 points at half. The two were unnoticeable until Durant — the back-to-back Finals MVP— turned it on in the third quarter. He added 15 points in the period, including a forty-foot 3-pointer that called to mind his dagger threes that helped nail down Golden State’s previous two titles.

“Just walking into this arena, always gives you a nice feeling coming in here because we had some battles here,” said Durant. “Yeah it’s different. Obviously it’s different. They don’t have a championship caliber team, but they have a young team that is coming up.”Cleveland CavaliersGolden State WarriorsKevin DurantKlay ThompsonNBAStephen Curry

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City College union deal staves off layoffs, class cuts

One year agreement allows community college time to improve its finances

A Homeless Outreach Team member speaks with homeless people along Jones Street in the Tenderloin on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Breed proposes another street outreach team to divert calls away from police

San Francisco would launch a new street outreach team to respond to… Continue reading

Chelsea Hung, who owns Washington Bakery and Restaurant in Chinatown with her mother, said the restaurant is only making about 30 percent of pre-pandemic revenues. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Chinatown’s slow recovery has business owners fearing for the future

Lack of outside visitors threatens to push neighborhood into ‘downward spiral’

A worker sets up irrigation lines to water almond tree rootstocks along Road 36 in Tulare, Calif. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Gov. Gavin Newsom extends drought emergency to 41 California counties

Faith E. Pinho Los Angeles Times In a stark indication of California’s… Continue reading

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new stimulus plan on Monday. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner file photo)
More Californians would get new $600 stimulus checks from the state under Newsom plan

Sophia Bollag The Sacramento Bee Two-thirds of Californians would get an extra… Continue reading

Most Read