The Warriors, in the first game after the Stephen Jackson trade, played well in defeat, getting to within three points late in a close game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Unfortunately, too many turnovers and missed shots down the stretch doomed the Warriors, who lost 114-108, in Cleveland.
If Golden State had been able to pull off the upset on the road, it would have been a monumental win, especially considering this was the first game sans Jackson. Instead, the Warriors must try to find the positives in taking one of the NBA’s best teams — and one of the toughest to beat at home — down to the wire.
Don Nelson could only play seven players, which was kind of nice because we were able to get a good look at Stephen Curry, Anthony Morrow and the Warriors’ newest addition, Vladimir Radmanovich, among others.
Curry played almost 42 minutes, ran the offense well, minimized mistakes (even considering the late turnover) and had a good game. He finished with 14 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds. He also had three turnovers.
Morrow also started and shot the ball with a level of confidence we haven’t seen much this season, finishing with 18 points on 6 of 10 shooting, including 4 of 7 3-pointers.
Radmanovich started at power forward and played 34 minutes. He had 11 points and five rebounds, and shot 5 of 12 from the field, but only 1 of 6 on 3-pointers. I thought he was overmatched on defense much of the game.
I thought Corey Maggette and Anthony Randolph were excellent off the bench. They had 19 of the Warriors’ 37 rebounds (Golden State actually outrebounded the Cavaliers, 37-34). On their own, Maggette and Randolph outscored the Cavaliers’ bench, 32-23.
Finally, Monta Ellis had a good game with 23 points, 8 assists, 3 steals and 2 rebounds. But I also thought he tried to force the issue too much at times, which probably explains his poor shooting (9-for-23 field goals, 39 percent) and team-high four turnovers.
It was a good game for the Warriors. This wasn’t a game the Warriors should be expected to win, and the fact they played as well as they did, and were in it until the end is a positive sign. I’m still looking to see a little better effort on defense, especially closing out on jumpers and 3-point shots (the Cavaliers shot 58 percent from the field and 45 percent from distance).
To read a recap of the game, go here.
To see the box score, click here.