Two days after the Warriors (16-9) beat the Hawks, Golden State will look to win its fourth straight regular-season game against the Cavs (5-18)
Read all about the matchup below.
When/Where: Quicken Loans Arena, 4 p.m. (NBCSBA)
Cavaliers’ projected starters: Larry Nance Jr., Collin Sexton, Rodney Hood,
George Hill, Tristan Thompson
Cavaliers stock report: With LeBron James gone to Los Angeles, Cleveland is back near the bottom of the league standings.
Entering Wednesday’s matchup, the Cavs have the fourth-worst record in the league and rank at the bottom of the league in points per game (30th) and assists per game (30th), and are 18th in rebounds per game with Kevin Love missing the last month recovering from toe surgery.
Adding to their subpar play has been uncertainty in the front office. The team fired coach Ty Lue following an 0-6 start. Following Lue’s dismissal, guard J.R. Smith requested a trade, cementing the mood of last year’s Eastern Conference champions.
This team is a far cry from the rival the Warriors have been accustomed to over the past four years.
Last time (June 8, Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Finals): Warriors 108, Cavaliers 85.
The Warriors won their second straight NBA title behind 37 points from Stephen Curry. Kevin Durant added 20 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, capturing his second straight Finals MVP. LeBron James scored 23 points in his final game in a Cavs uniform.
Things to watch:
Can Steph continue his dominance?
With Wednesday’s matchup providing another opportunity for an easy win, Curry has an opportunity of his own: Continuing his run of dominance this season.
In Monday’s 128-111 victory over the Hawks, he did just that, scoring 18 of his 30 points in the first quarter, making his first six shots.
As Curry scored in bunches, Golden State’s offense reached another level. Durant and Klay Thompson combined for 55 points as the Warriors finished with 33 assists, their first game with over 30 assists since Nov. 8. This season, the Warriors are posting a 123 offensive rating when Curry is on the floor and a 115.2 rating when he goes to the bench.
Repeat performance for Loon?
Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson is one of the league’s best offensive rebounders, which could pose a threat to the Warriors’ injured frontline.
However, history suggests Kevon Looney is up for the challenge.
On Monday in Atlanta, he scored a career-high 14 points, adding four rebounds and five assists, finishing a plus-21 for the game in 29 minutes.
It was the quintessential Looney performance: Minimal flash, but maximum effectiveness. His solid, mistake-free game might be the reason he will be the top choice at center until DeMarcus Cousins returns from his Achilles injury.