Game Preview: Warriors vs. Cavaliers - 12/25/17

The Warriors face the Cleveland Cavaliers for the first time this season on Monday afternoon at Oracle Arena for a Christmas Day matchup between the two reining NBA finalists. Monday's game is the first of two meetings between the two teams this season, with each side hosting one on their home court. Tipoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. (Pacific), and every fan in attendance will receive a Warriors Whiteout t-shirt, courtesy of Clorox. Fans can watch the action on NBC Sports Bay Area and ABC, or listen to the call on 95.7 The Game, the Warriors Mobile App and the Warriors Radio Network.

Golden State's 11-game winning streak came to an end after the Warriors fell 96-81 to the visiting Denver Nuggets on Saturday. Full Recap


26-7 24-9
2nd in West 3rd in East
PTS: 116.1 (1st) PTS: 111.3 (4th)
REB: 45.1 (7th) REB: 41.5 (23rd)
AST: 30.3 (1st) AST: 24.1 (4th)

GSW: Patrick McCaw, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Jordan Bell
CLE: Jose Calderon, Jae Crowder, LeBron James, Kevon Love and Channing Frye

GSW: Team Notes
CLE: Derrick Rose (left ankle sprain), Iman Shumpert (left knee arthroscopic surgery) and Isaiah Thomas (right hip) are out. Team Notes

For teams that play in opposite conferences, the Warriors and Cavs know each other almost as well as they know themselves. That's due in large part to the frequency with which they've come into contact with one another over the last several years, more often than not in high-pressure situations. Monday's upcoming Christmas Day game between the two reigning Finalists will be the 25th meeting between the Warriors and Cavaliers since the start of the 2014-15 season. That's easily the most frequent interconference matchup in the league over that span. Of those 24 prior games, 22 have taken place on Christmas Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day or during the NBA Finals. Overall, the Warriors are 15-9 against the Cavaliers over the last three years, including 1-1 on Christmas Day, 2-0 on MLK Day and 11-7 in the Finals. For more insight into the Warriors-Cavs recent history, click here.


PTS: Durant (26.6) PTS: James (28.4)
REB: Green (7.4) REB: Love (10.1)
AST: Green (7.3) AST: James (9.2)

Once again, the Cavaliers are one of the premiere teams in the Eastern Conference, and once again, LeBron James has everything to do with it. Coming into Monday’s Christmas Day game against Golden State, Cleveland currently sits at 24-9 on the season, 1.5 games behind Boston for the top seed in the East. Speaking of the Celtics, the thorn in the Warriors’ side that has been Kyrie Irving (who hit the game-winning shot against the Dubs on Christmas Day last year) is now the starting point guard in Boston. He essentially traded places with Isaiah Thomas, who is now in Cleveland, but has yet to appear in a game this season while recovering from hip surgery. James has been as dominant as ever, currently ranking third in the league in scoring with an average of 28.4 points per game on 57.0 percent shooting from the field. He also ranks second in the NBA with 9.2 assists per game, so the degree to which Golden State is successful in limiting James’ role as a facilitator could go a long way towards determining who comes out on top on Christmas Day.

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