(Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)

Game Preview: Warriors at Cavaliers - 1/15/18

MLK DAY MATCHUP
After beginning their road trip with back-to-back wins over the Bucks and Raptors, the Warriors will attempt to make it three in a row when they travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers on Monday. This will be the second and final matchup between the two teams this regular season, after Golden State earned a 99-92 victory in their only prior encounter on Christmas Day. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. (Pacific). Watch the action on TNT, while those looking to listen to the game can tune in to 95.7 The Game, the Warriors Mobile App and the Warriors Radio Network.

LAST TIME OUT
It came down to the final minute, but the Warriors ultimately held on to earn a 127-125 road win in Toronto on Saturday night. Full Recap

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

GSW CLE
35-9 26-16
1st in West 3rd in East
PTS: 115.8 (1st) PTS: 109.5 (5th)
REB: 44.4 (11th) REB: 41.8 (22nd)
AST: 30.5 (1st) AST: 23.3 (9th)

PROBABLE STARTERS
GSW: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia
CLE: Isaiah Thomas, J.R. Smith, LeBron James, Jae Crowder and Kevin Love

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: Omri Casspi (low back soreness), Andre Iguodala (hip flexor strain) and Shaun Livingston are (left shin contusion) are available to play. Team Notes
CLE: Derrick Rose (left ankle sprain) and Iman Shumpert (left knee arthroscopic surgery) are out. Team Notes

BIG LEADS BLOWN
The Warriors put together their highest scoring first half in more than 25 years on Saturday, but still needed a strong finish in order to prevent the Raptors from performing the largest comeback in the NBA so far this season. As inspiring as the 81-point first half was, the fact that Golden State let their 27-point lead dwindle down to a single point was less than ideal. Granted, it was the Dubs’ second road game in as many days, so fatigue may have been a factor, but it’s best to put away teams when given the opportunity, particularly on the road. No team knows that better than Golden State’s next opponent, as the Cavs are coming off a disappointing loss to the Pacers in which Cleveland held a lead as large as 22 points. If either side takes a large lead on Monday, don’t expect the other to lay down, as they both know just how quickly a game can turn on its head based on recent experience.

TEAM LEADERS

GSW CLE
PTS: Curry (27.8) PTS: James (27.1)
REB: Green (7.7) REB: Love (9.6)
AST: Green (7.6) AST: James (8.8)

CLEVELAND SCOUTING REPORT
The Cavaliers are currently in the midst of their worst stretch of the season. Prior to blowing a 22-point lead and losing in Indiana, Cleveland lost their previous two games by a combined 62 points. They’ve won only three of their last 10 games, and enter Monday’s matchup with the Warriors with a record of 26-16 on the season, sitting third in the Eastern Conference. Amazingly, the Cavaliers are actually closer to being out of playoff position than they are to Boston at the top of the conference. As usual, the Cavs are led by future Hall-of-Famer LeBron James, who ranks fourth in the league in scoring with an average of 27.1 points per game on 55.4 percent shooting from the field. Offense hasn’t been an issue, but defense certainly has, as only the Sacramento Kings have a worse defensive rating than the Cavs, who allow 109.3 points per 100 possessions. If they don’t make life tough on a team with as much offensive firepower as the Warriors, they could see their losing streak stretch to four games.

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