Draymond Green’s triple double (11 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists) and five blocks, along with Stephen Curry’s double double (20 points and 11 assists), helped the Golden State Warriors (35-6) blow out the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers (29-11), on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at home.
— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) January 17, 2017
It’s crazy to think that a team that has beaten the Warriors four games in a row, with two of those games being at the Warriors’ home court of Oracle Arena, lost by a deficit of 35 points. The Warriors completely shut down the Cavaliers last night. They were energized the whole game, going on a never-ending run. They scored 78 points at halftime. A lot of teams don’t even score that many points by the end of the third quarter. The Warriors were out to prove that they can still beat the Cavaliers. Draymond Green and many others are calling it a big rivalry. LeBron James, however, still doesn’t think it is one. He said this after the game:
“I don’t think there’s a rivalry. It’s two great teams that have aspirations. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a rivalry in the NBA. It’s just that too many guys move and go places and change different locations. It’s totally different from the ’80s, when obviously we saw the Celtics and the Lakers go at it so much, and I don’t look at it as a rivalry.”
Draymond had a different view of the two teams. “Yeah, I think this is a rivalry,” Green said quickly, not allowing a reporter to finish his question. “It’s definitely fun. A team that you beat, beat you, it’s definitely fun. If you look at the last two years and this year, we’ve been the top two teams in the league each year, and so I look at it as a rivalry, and it’s definitely a fun game to play in.”
One of the more memorable moments in the game was when LeBron got hit by Draymond’s shoulder on a fast break attempt (some would argue that LeBron “flopped”). This ended in a flagrant-1 on Draymond, as well as follow-up technical fouls on both Green and Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson for a heated exchange that took place after the play. LeBron said this about it: “I’m alright. I’m a football player.”
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) January 17, 2017
LeBron did not have a good game. He had a -32 plus minus, one of the worst of his career. He did have 20 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists. The Cavaliers were on the last night of a six game road trip. They’re 2-3 in their last five games. Just a little under a year ago, the Warriors beat Cleveland 132-98 in Cleveland.
The Warriors must be on Cloud 9; they are playing some really good basketball and have been at some points unbeatable. They have likely proven some doubters wrong on whether they could or could not beat the Cavaliers. The Warriors did not want to disappoint their home crowd, seeing as the last time they played Cleveland at Oracle, it ended in the Cavs walking away with a championship. The Warriors clicked from the time the ball was tipped until the final buzzer went off in the fourth. Klay Thompson had a great game. He had 26 points and made five three-pointers. Kevin Durant once again had an awesome performance against the Cavaliers although he only had 21 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. He was all over the place causing havoc.
The Cavaliers will look to return to playing championship basketball Thursday night on their home court against the Phoenix Suns. The Warriors will hope to continue their excellence Wednesday night against Durant’s former team the Oklahoma City Thunder.