The defending champion Golden State Warriors tightened the screws defensively in the second half Monday night, rallying from a halftime deficit to a 118-108 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA’s marquee matchup on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Cleveland.
The Warriors’ 13th consecutive road victory in a rematch of last June’s NBA Finals allowed them to sweep the season series from the Cavaliers for the second time in the last three seasons.
The Warriors had beaten the Cavaliers, 99-92, at home on Christmas Day.
After giving up 64 points over the game’s first 24 minutes, the Warriors held the Cavaliers to 44 in the second half, including 17 in the decisive fourth quarter.
The game was tied at 93-all after an Isaiah Thomas hoop in the first minute of the fourth quarter before the Warriors limited the Cavaliers to two field goals on their next 17 shots, allowing Golden State to run off to a 108-97 lead.
Kevin Durant had 32 points, Stephen Curry 23 and Klay Thompson 17 for the Warriors. They combined for 11 3-pointers as Golden State outscored the Cavaliers 36-21 from beyond the arc.
Draymond Green came one assist shy of a triple-double, finishing with 11 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists for the Warriors, who won for a third straight time on their five-game trip.
LeBron James had 32 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Cavaliers, but he also committed eight turnovers. He made 12 of his 18 shots.
Isaiah Thomas, despite 8-for-21 shooting, totaled 19 points, while Kevin Love had 17 and Dwyane Wade finished with 10 for Cleveland, which lost its fourth straight.
The Warriors outshot the Cavaliers 48.2 percent to 45.7.
James had 20 of his 32 points in the first half, during which the Cavaliers went up by as many as nine points en route to a 64-57 halftime advantage.
A tightly contested first half featured five ties and six lead changes.
--Field Level Media