Final Dime: Warriors 116, Cavaliers 98

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Christian Eyenga reaches for a rebound in the Cavaliers loss to Golden State.
Rocky Widner
NBAE/Getty Images
1. On Friday night – with a banged-up squad on the first night of ten-day road trip – the Cavaliers were forced into a youth movement. They took their lumps – along with another loss – but still competed for the full 48.

With three starters on the shelf – and a couple key veterans joining them – the Wine and Gold fell behind early and, despite cutting Golden State’s 21-point second-half lead to 11, finally succumbed to the high-octane Warriors, 116-98, on Friday in Oakland.

With Anderson Varejao, Daniel Gibson and Anthony Parker nursing injuries, the onus fell on Cleveland’s healthy vets, Mo Williams and Antawn Jamison as well as rookies, Manny Harris, Samardo Samuels and Christian Eyenga.

"Our guys are showing some fight, but we just have a lot of young guys making mistakes," said Byron Scott. "It's something that you kind of expect. We just have to keep working those guys into what we're doing. But you're not going to beat this team committing 17 turnovers and letting them shoot 50 percent from the three-point line."

Jamison led the Cavaliers with 21 points against the team that drafted him a dozen years ago – going 8-for-17 from the floor. Williams chipped in with 16 points and team-high seven assists.

Manny Harris, getting his fourth start in the last five games, had his best game as a pro – finishing with 16 points, 10 boards and four assists.

"At times, (the game) has slowed down, but i still slip into bad habits," said Harris. "I think the more and more I play, they'll continue to slow down and I'll make less and less mistakes. But I try to come out and play hard, start out on defense and let my offense come."

Following a disciplinary DNP-CD on Wednesday, J.J. Hickson came off Byron Scott’s bench to notch 17 points, nine boards and a pair of steals. Ramon Sessions rounded out the Cavaliers in double-figures with 13 points and five helpers.

The song remained the same for Cleveland, which dropped its 19th decision in the last 20 outings. The Cavaliers fell behind by nine after one and 16 at intermission. Golden State ran their lead to 21 in the third before the Cavaliers began slicing into it. They cut the Warriors edge to just 10 with 8:08 remaining, but would get no closer.

The Warriors shot an even 50 percent from beyond the arc and were 20-of-21 from the stripe.

The Cavaliers will regroup and head to Phoenix for a Sunday night affair against Steve Nash and the Suns as their West Coast junket continues.


2. At one point in the second quarter, the average age of the Cavaliers lineup – (Eyenga, Samuels, Sessions, Hickson and Harris) – was 22.2 years old.

3. Just 34 games into the 2010-11 season, Byron Scott used his 12th different lineup combination – starting Manny Harris, Mo Williams, Ryan Hollins, Alonzo Gee and Antawn Jamison. Aside from the aforementioned walking wounded, Anthony Parker (back) and Joey Graham (right quad) were also out on Friday.

4. On Friday, forward Leon Powe underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. The Oakland AAU legend will go through a period of rest and rehab and could return in approximately six weeks.

5. Anderson Varejao was sidelined for Friday’s matchup and could miss five to 10 days with a sprained right ankle that he injured in practice before the team left for the West Coast.

6. In the final entry of Cavs Who Can’t Catch a Break, Boobie Gibson didn’t make the West Coast trip after spraining his left ankle in the third quarter of Wednesday’s loss to Toronto.

7. Before Friday’s matchup, Warriors head coach Keith Smart – who served as Cleveland’s interim coach for the final 40 games of the 2002-03 season – shared an interesting story about himself and former Cavs majority owner Gordon Gund.

“I still do some things with Gordon Gund here in the Bay Area,” said Smart. “He has (the) Foundation for Fighting Blindness that I'm a part of. I go over with him in San Francisco and have what's called a Dinner in the Darkness, where everything is completely in the dark and you have dinner. It alerts all your senses. His joke was, ‘This is how I eat every night.’”

8. Mo Williams picked up a Flagrant 1 – decking Stephen Curry on a drive to the hoop midway through the third quarter. Mo was decked himself by David Lee – who also picked up a Flagrant himself – late in the fourth quarter. A savvy vet, Mo got up with a smile and patted Lee on the back of the head.

9. Friday’s lopsided loss was a rarity at Oracle Arena, where the last four Cavaliers-Warriors matchups have been decided by a total of 10 points.

10. The Cavaliers had won four straight over Warriors and four straight in Oakland. Before Friday, their last loss at Oracle Arena was Nov. 4, 2007.


Joe Gabriele is the official beat writer for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Cavs.com. You can follow Joe and send him your questions on Twitter at @CavsJoeG.