What made Cavaliers-Warriors a great game? The numbers tell the story


Kevin Love had 20 points and six rebounds for the Cavs. But this addition they did over the summer has brought some subtraction, at a most valuable spot.

Stephen Curry (L) and LeBron James (R) of the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, respectively. The James-Warriors dynamic is why the team was so relentless and persuasive last summer in their pursuit of Durant. When he finally hit a three with 1:14 left, Curry looked at his wrist, indicating it was his time. That includes the 2012 NBA Finals, when Durant's Thunder lost to James' Heat in five games.

That qualifies as a wall.

LeBron James said he believed the tech would be rescinded by the league, while Cavs coach Tyronn Lue was OK if the penalty stands.

CLEVELAND - Back in June when the Cleveland Cavaliers eviscerated 52 years of championship disappointment for their city with three plays that will live on in sports lore forever more - The Block, The Shot and The Stop - there was a fourth play, The Near-Dunk, that might have superseded them all.

The Cleveland Cavaliers will take on the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day in Cleveland - a game that many have been waiting for since their last matchup in June. Okay, maybe he also tripped Durant in the process. They were only playing for the championship of each other.

Jimmy Butler vs. Kahwi Leonard will be a battle worth watching, as will watching Pau Gasol go at his old team with the help of fellow-Spur Lamarcus Aldridge. "But that's why you have good teammates".

A Kevin Durant floater pushed the lead of the Warriors, 94-80, with 9:35 left to play. The break in the action essentially granted Cleveland an extra timeout.

The Christmas Day font floored Dwyane Wade of the Chicago Bulls. We do it our way.

"It's his call, obviously", Curry said of Kerr. "They're the best team in the East, and we're the best team in the West", Golden State shooting guard Klay Thompson told "We're both fighting for that home court through the playoffs, so it obviously means something". I've got to get more looks at the rim. "There's history. But this is a new start".

The Warriors, who have a sour taste in their mouth after being the first team in National Basketball Association history to give up a 3-1 series lead, have their redemption chance on Sunday. The two teams next meet on January 16 in Oakland. Having Durant, they believe, puts vast pressure on James and the Cavs.

"We know how important he is", Durant said. The Warriors should have been able to use the distortion generated by Durant's presence as an opportunity to get others open and going. And Curry's move from first chair to second represents the biggest sacrifice of them all, one that remains a work in progress. You saw what happened the last time, when the Warriors, who had won their 73 games during the regular season, were up three games to one. I'm not putting the pressure on myself, or any of that stuff. "When the ball is tipped up, you've still got to be who you are".