Cleveland Cavaliers Beat Golden State Warriors, Retain NBA Bragging Rights | Pro Football NYC 11111
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Cleveland Cavaliers Beat Golden State Warriors, Retain NBA Bragging Rights


The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day, retaining the bragging rights between the two NBA powerhouses. The 109-108 victory continued a winning streak for the Cavs over the Warriors that began during the 2016 NBA Finals. The defending champions emerged on the right side of the final score this time as well, winning the first of two regular season games between the teams during the 2016-17 campaign. LeBron James finished with 31 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Cavaliers. Kyrie Irving had 25 points, 10 assists, six rebounds, and seven steals in a great defensive effort for the Cavs’ starting point guard. Irving was also huge in the decisive fourth quarter, almost taking over the offense when called upon. Kevin Love chipped in 20 points and six rebounds of his own, coming through with some big shots, including a few from the free throw line. Kevin Durant was the leading scorer for the Golden State Warriors in his first game against the Cleveland Cavaliers with his new team. Durant finished with 36 points and 15 rebounds, possibly putting together his best game since signing a huge long-term deal with the Warriors. Klay Thompson had 24 points, Draymond Green scored 16, and Stephen Curry had 15 points in the losing effort. Curry went silent during a crucial segment in the fourth quarter. [Image by Jason Miller/Getty Images] After Durant hit a short jump shot at the 9:34 mark of the fourth quarter, the Warriors had a commanding 94-80 lead over the Cavaliers. It looked like the Warriors were easily going to put this game into the win column, but the offense and defense began to crumble over the final nine minutes of game time. In that time span, the Warriors got out-scored 29-14 by the Cavaliers. Kyrie Irving scored 14 points in the fourth quarter alone, hitting a shot with 37 seconds left in the game to bring the Cavs within one point. Irving would then make another shot with just three seconds left in the game to give the Cavs a one-point lead. That ended up being the game-winner, as Kevin Durant would miss a shot at the buzzer that would have given the Warriors the victory. At that point the fans went nuts in celebration. This was a huge win for the Cleveland Cavaliers, especially coming through late in the game in front of the home crowd. It was made even more special by happening on Christmas Day against the Golden State Warriors. While it will only count as one game in the NBA standings, this is the type of victory that creates momentum and a lasting memory for the Warriors should they meet up in the NBA Playoffs again. That collision course appears very likely if the current standings are any indication about which teams will be in the postseason come April. [Image by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images] The win pushes the Cavs to 23-6 overall and 16-2 at home this season. There are some difficult road trips coming up for the Cavs, but the team is taking full advantage of playing in front of the loyal fans to this point. The Cavs will exit the weekend with a two-game lead over the Toronto Raptors (21-8) for the best record in the Eastern Conference. The next game for the Cavs is on Monday (Dec. 26) against the Detroit Pistons. Despite losing this game, the Golden State Warriors still have the best record in the Western Conference. The team drops to 27-5 on the season, putting them two games ahead of the San Antonio Spurs for that mark. The Spurs play a little later on Sunday (Dec. 25), with an opportunity to cut into that gap even further. The Warriors will regroup and prepare to host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, January 16. Next up, though, the Warriors have a game against the Raptors on Wednesday, December 28. [Featured Image by Jason Miller/Getty Images]

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