NBA Preview – Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors
Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors
The Cleveland Cavaliers blamed a lack of practice time for some lackluster performances of late but got two straight days off over the weekend to work out some kinks and prepare for another NBA Finals rematch. The Cavaliers will return to Golden State for the first time since winning Game 7 of the NBA Finals last spring when they visit the Warriors on Monday (Enter contest). This is your FanPicks NBA preview.
Cleveland overcame a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit on Christmas Day to earn a 109-108 home win over the Warriors in the first regular-season meeting, stretching their winning streak in the rivalry to four straight dating back to Game 5 of the Finals. Cleveland is playing the finale of a six-game road trip and pulled out of a two-game skid with a 120-108 win at Sacramento on Friday. Golden State has been off since knocking off Detroit 127-107 at home on Thursday and is focused on long-term goals.
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (29-10)
Kyrie Irving knocked down the go-ahead 3-pointer in Game 7 of the Finals last spring and hit the winning jumper with 3.4 seconds left in the Christmas meeting as well. Irving battled a shooting slump in two losses last week. He went a combined 9-of-34 from the field in those two contests. The point guard and started to pick up the pace by pouring in 26 points on 10-of-22 shooting in Sacramento. Irving was able to hoist up that many shots against the Kings because LeBron James decided to show off his skills as a passer while racking up 15 assists. Shooting guard Kyle Korver went 4-of-6 from beyond the arc at Sacramento after going 0-of-5 in his first two games with the team.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (34-6)
Two-time reigning MVP Stephen Curry struggled to 40.3 percent from the floor in the Finals last spring and did not enjoy any more success at Cleveland on Christmas, when he was limited to 15 points on 4-of-11 shooting. Kevin Durant got his first taste of the rivalry in that Christmas meeting and collected 36 points and 15 rebounds but tripped on his way up the court on the final play and could not get off a shot at the buzzer. Durant scored at least 25 points in each of the last five games and is 8-of-15 from 3-point range in the last three contests. Shooting guard Klay Thompson went 4-of-5 from 3-point range on Thursday after going 4-of-20 in his previous three contests.