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Warriors top Cavaliers in Finals rematch, 89 - 83

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The Warriors unbox a W at the Oracle

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Happy holidays, and welcome to the abridged recap of the Warriors' Christmas Day victory.

First Quarter

  • The Warriors came out emotionally charged. With that adrenaline rush came the familiar sloppiness on offense.
  • The Cavaliers started out by missing a few open looks. JR Smith made a few shots early, which boded well for the Warriors in terms of shot selection from the mercurial 2 guard (more on that later).
  • Being the hardest-working player on the court with 10 of the hardest working players in the world is a talent. Ask Draymond Green. Being able to get away with pushing, shoving, and holding in a league which actively seeks to cut down on such activities in favor of pace and flow is a talent. Ask Andrew Bogut. Matthew Dellavedova is great at both, on top of being fundamentally sound defensively. He's sort of like what Patrick Beverley was supposed to be.
  • Mo Williams wears #52. I think the last (basketball) player I saw with that was Greg Oden, way back when.
  • Stephen Curry burned Delly completely for what would eventually be his lone three of the game. Initially it looked like he wanted to help off-ball, which is the number one cardinal sin in the book of how to guard Curry.
  • Day Day came out like gangbusters, contributing to the aforementioned early game sloppiness but also making his typical yeoman contributions like running, yelling, and gesticulating violently.
  • The Cavs' M.O. with Curry: touch him. In one transition opportunity, Smith wrapped him up with a warm Christmas embrace, then Delly kept up the holiday cheer spirit with more contact around the torso and waist when Curry broke free from Smith. On another possession, Delly came in with a flying elbow to Curry's back, shoving him out of bounds and prompting Curry to dice some words with him.
    This strategy falls in line with Brad Stevens' tactics from earlier in the year. It also presents a possible new look the Warriors could face if both teams end up representing their respective conferences: could David Blatt go with a Delly - Kyrie Irving closing lineup, to guard Curry and present player - coach LeBron James with his best offensive options at the same time?

Second Quarter

  • Curry's right calf flared up again, sending him to the locker room for some hot pad treatment. He eventually returned at about the halfway mark in the quarter. Bob Myers and Joe Lacob should have rigged up a fog machine to better accentuate the long tracking shot of Curry running out of the locker room.
  • Those State Farm "Meet the Hoopers" commercials are awesome. DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul seem like cool dudes off the court.
  • Speaking of commercials, I'd rather have Kyrie practicing his dribbling in the movie theater (as seen in some NBA ad on ABC's broadcast) than the little girl asking questions all throughout my viewing experience of Star Wars VII. As cute as your daughter may be, if she has to ask who the stormtroopers are every single new frame they appear on, maybe you should've given her a basic rundown of the premise before going to the movies.
  • This is as good a time as any: the refs were as consistent as I have seen in correctly letting post players contest vertically. It was great. Timofey Mozgov, Draymond, Tristan Thompson, Bogut; the refs let 'em play. I almost forgot that players aren't supposed to be punished when they're in legal position.

Third Quarter

  • Klay Thompson shoots 495% off of Steph Curry cross-court one-handed passes this season, it seems. Klay, like Steph, did most of his damage inside of the arc tonight, mainly near the rim. He went 6 - 16 for 18 points and six rebounds.
  • JR made one three pointer then promptly ended three consecutive Cavs possessions with missed FGAs. Classic feast or famine player.
  • Festus Ezeli tried to find Curry off of a backdoor cut on a fronting Delly. It got intercepted, but the cut happened so fast I didn't even expect Ezeli to see it. On the game he had a couple blocks, four rebounds, and went 1 - 4 from the floor in 17 minutes of action.
  • Leandro Barbosa was officially announced out with a sprained shoulder.

Fourth Quarter

  • Tristan Thompson getting LeBron's agent to represent him should go down in his career highlight reel.

Overall, 'twas a grind-out game. Andre Iguodala and Draymond iced the game with some clutch FT shooting, and Shaun Livingston killed the Cavs with the least efficient shot in basketball all night, setting a season-high with 16 points on nine attempts, the only Warrior to really "get hot" all night long. He and Draymond drove the team tonight.

Your box score here.

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