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The Cavaliers have definitely found their mojo on the road of late. Now, they just need to figure things out at home.
The Wine & Gold got off to a good start, leading after the first quarter and holding the red-hot Steph Curry without a three-pointer through his first eight attempts. But a sloppy start to the second quarter and end of the third proved costly – with Golden State pulling away late to take the 119-101 decision on Thursday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Even with his early struggles, Curry still led both teams with 33 points. But it was Golden State’s second unit that did the unexpected damage – with reserves Damion Lee, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Jordan Poole combining for 41 points off the bench.
The Cavaliers got 50 combined points from their starting backcourt and Jarrett Allen doubled-up in just his second game back from a concussion, but didn’t get much from the rest of the rotation on Thursday.
Sexton returned after missing the previous two games to lead Cleveland with 30 points, going 10-for-19 from the floor, including 3-of-5 from deep and 7-of-10 from the stripe, adding four boards and a pair of assists.
Darius Garland followed up with 20 points on 7-of-20 shooting, including 2-of-7 from deep, adding a game-high seven assists despite battling foul trouble for much of the night.
Allen looked like his old self in the middle on Thursday – finishing with 17 points and a game-high 14 boards, going 6-of-7 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the line, adding a pair of steals in the loss.
The only other Cavalier in double-figures was Taurean Prince, who was rock-solid again off the bench – tallying 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including 2-of-4 from deep, adding two boards and a pair of steals.
Curry, who came into the game averaging nearly 40 points per over his last eight games, finished 12-of-25 from the floor but just 4-of-13 from beyond the arc. Andrew Wiggins, once the No. 1 overall pick by the Cavaliers, followed up with 23 points – going 9-of-15 from the floor, 5-of-8 from long-range.
Miss any of the action? Find all the highlights and photos in the Game Tracker.
Collin Sexton feeds Jarrett Allen who wastes no time as he rises up for a powerful one-handed jam in the first quarter.
Friday’s contest had a pair of turning points – the start of one quarter and the end of another.
After scoring the game’s first six points, the Cavaliers stayed strong throughout the first quarter and led by three, 31-28, after one. But things went south quickly in the second, with Golden State opening the period on a 19-5 run and proceeding to outscoring Cleveland, 35-21, in the quarter.
In the third quarter, the Warriors led by as many 15 points before Cleveland used a 19-8 run to cut Golden State’s lead to just four, 75-71, with four minutes to play in the period. But the Dubs took advantage of the Cavs starting guards’ foul troubles – closing the third on an 8-2 run to take a double-digit lead into the fourth.
By the Numbers - 12 … games – out of his last 13 – that Collin Sexton has topped the 20-point plateau, averaging 25.7 points per on .488 shooting from the floor over that stretch, with a pair of 30-point performances in the mix.
This season, Sexton’s posted 36 games of 20-or-more points and has now done so in 97 career contests.
"With those two guys that they have (Steph Curry and Draymond Green) that have that much experience, they’re just too deadly. And then the other guys, give them a ton of credit, they play their role to a tee. They let Draymond and Steph orchestrate the game and they know where to be in their spots – and they made shots to make us pay."
Enjoy the best broadcast calls of the night from Cavaliers Radio Network's Tim Alcorn and Rafa Hernandez-Brito from Power 89.1.
After falling to the Warriors on Thursday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, the Wine & Gold get right back on the road to face off against a pair of Central Division foes.
On Saturday night, the Cavaliers travel to the Windy City to take on the Zach LaVine-less Bulls before heading to Motown for a Monday night matchup with the Pistons.
Cleveland returns home for a quick rematch with the Bulls the following Wednesday and travel back to Tobacco Road, trying to sweep the season series over Charlotte two nights later.