Dubs Beat Cavs in Christmas Day Thriller
Draymond Green Notches Triple-Double
A game with this much hype doesn’t often live up to it, but this Christmas Day edition of Warriors vs. Cavs certainly did in terms of late game dramatics.
The third straight December 25 headlined by Golden State vs. Cleveland went down to the last minute, and the Dubs emerged with a 99-92 victory on Monday at Oracle Arena.
After seeing the Cavs rally to tie the game with an 11-2 run over three minutes late in the fourth quarter, Klay Thompson knocked down the biggest shot of the game with a minute and half left in the game. The possession started with Kevin Durant missing a 3-point attempt, but rookie Jordan Bell swooped in for the offensive rebound. The rookie quickly passed to Draymond Green at the top off the key, and Green promptly swung it to Thompson on the left wing.
Thompson knocked down the 3-pointer, his fourth of the game, and the shot gave the Dubs the lead for good. Kevin Durant helped preserved the game with a block of LeBron James in the final 30 seconds, Durant’s fifth block of the game, and the Dubs held Cleveland scoreless for the final 1:58 of the game.
MR. TRIPLE DOUBLE
With NBA All-Star voting beginning earlier in the day, Draymond Green sure picked a grand stage for his first triple-double of the season. The Dubs’ do-it-all forward was involved in seemingly every big play down the stretch, finishing with 12 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists – including Thompson’s game-winner – two steals and a block, becoming the sixth player all-time to record a triple-double on Christmas. In addition, Green's 20th career triple-double tied him with Hall of Famer Tom Gola for the most in franchise history. Green shot only 2-for-8 on 3-pointers, but his makes were some of the Dubs’ biggest shots of the game, as each were made in a one-point game in a possession that followed a made Cleveland 3-pointer in the fourth quarter.
Kevin Durant may have led the Dubs in scoring with 25 points, but it was his five blocks that had the greatest impact on the game. His block of James late in the fourth quarter actually deflected off of James before it went out of bounds, giving the Dubs possession of the ball. The Cavs wound up fouling Klay Thompson on the possession, and the made free throws essentially put the game out of reach.
DUBS ON D
The Dubs tallied eight blocks in the game, but they challenged and altered many more Cleveland shot attempts. The result was Cleveland shooting 31.8 percent from the floor, an opponent season-low for the Dubs. In the second quarter in particular, the Cavs were 0-for-17 from two-point range. To the Cavs’ credit however, they were able to stay in the game thanks in large part to some strong 3-point shooting. Cleveland hit 15-for-36 on 3-pointers and outscored the Dubs by eight on free throws, which helps explain why neither team held a double-digit lead at any point in the game.
In addition to hitting the clutch shot at the end of the game, Klay Thompson was also largely responsible for the Dubs only trailing by four points at the end of the first quarter. With the rest of the team a little sluggish to start, Thompson knocked down each of his three 3-point attempts in the opening period. Thompson finished just as strong as he started, as he scored each of the Dubs’ last seven points in the seven-point victory.
After going 3-1 through the first four games of this season-long seven-game homestand, the Dubs return to action on Wednesday to take on the Utah Jazz. This will be the first of this season’s four matchups between the two teams, and the first since the Dubs swept the Jazz in the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs. Find Tickets