Game Preview: Warriors at Cavaliers - 12/5/18
The Warriors play in Cleveland on Wednesday for the first time since hoisting the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy in June.
Last time the Dubs were in Cleveland, they were celebrating their third NBA Championship in the last four seasons. It’s safe to say the times have changed in the last six months. The Dubs just picked up their first road win in more than a month and the Cavs are tied for the fewest amount of wins of any NBA team this season. This will be the first of two Warriors-Cavs matchups this season, and the Dubs, who swept the 2018 NBA Finals from Cleveland, will be looking for their fourth straight regular season victory over the Cavs.
LAST TIME OUT
Big nights from Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson helped the Dubs to a 128-111 win in Atlanta on Monday, putting an end to the team's six-game road losing streak. Full Recap
MATCHUP AT A GLANCE
|4th in West||13th in East|
|PTS: 116.4 (5th)||PTS: 102.6 (30th)|
|REB: 45.4 (14th)||REB: 44.0 (19th)|
|AST: 27.8 (1st)||AST: 19.1 (30th)|
LAST GAME'S STARTERS
GSW: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Kevon Looney
CLE: Collin Sexton, George Hill, Rodney Hood, Cedi Osman and Tristan Thompson
INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: DeMarcus Cousins (left Achilles rehab), Draymond Green (right toe sprain), and Damian Jones (left pectoral muscle tear) are out. Team Notes
CLE: Sam Dekker (left ankle sprain), Kevin Love (left foot surgery), David Nwaba (right knee soreness), JR Smith (not with team) and Ante Zizic (left knee strain) are out. Team Notes
The Dubs used their ninth starting lineup of the season in Monday’s win in Atlanta, and the way Kevon Looney played, it might be difficult to kick him out of there anytime soon. It was his third start of the season, and he came through with a career-high 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting and a career-high tying five assists. Looney did the bulk of his scoring at the rim, taking advantage of opportunities created by teammate playmaking, but he also knocked down a pair of jumpers from outside the key. Nobody is expecting Looney to start knocking down 3-pointers, but the ability to make open shots from the baseline can certainly help in creating spacing for the Dubs, which can result in open looks for Looney and his teammates. Primarily a defender and rebounder, Looney’s offensive maturation shows tremendous growth in his game.
|PTS: Durant (30.0)||PTS: Clarkson (16.2)|
|REB: Durant (7.7)||REB: Thompson (11.5)|
|AST: Green (7.2)||AST: Hill (2.8)|
CLEVELAND SCOUTING REPORT
The Cavs come into Wednesday’s game with the Warriors coming off a thrilling two-point win over Brooklyn. Playing just his third game with Cleveland after the Cavs acquired him in a trade that sent Kyle Korver to Utah, guard Alec Burks drove to the basket and finished with a game-winning dunk in the final seconds of Monday’s victory over the Nets. That was the Cavs’ fifth victory of the season, which is tied with two other teams for the second fewest in the league. Burks and fellow guard Jordan Clarkson provide plenty of scoring punch off the bench for the Cavs, but points are at a premium for the reigning Eastern Conference champs, ranking last in the league in scoring. With LeBron James now with the Lakers and Kevin Love hurt, the Cavs are in the midst of changing their identity. Collin Sexton is a big part of these new-look Cavs, as he is among the rookie leaders in scoring, assists and free throw percentage. Tristan Thompson is coming off a 19-point, 14-rebound performance, securing his 11th double-double in the last 14 games, and he’ll be looking to lead the Cavs to consecutive wins for just the second time this season.