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Cavaliers bounce back 115-104 against Golden State Warriors

Courtesy of Jason Miller/Getty Images
Point guard Donovan Mitchell was the highest scorer in a historic game where the Cavs were finally victorious after a 6-year losing streak to the Golden State Warriors.

The Cleveland Cavaliers impressed us last season, returning to the playoffs for the first time since LeBron James’ departure in 2018 and sparking hope that The Land would once again be a force to reckon with on the court. Since Oct. 25, the Cavs have begun their regular season campaign, hoping to improve on their first-round loss to the New York Knicks in April.

In the first two weeks, however, things have not looked so great for Cleveland. After clinching a nail-biting 114-113 win against the Brooklyn Nets on opening night, the Cavs dropped three games in a row against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Oct. 27 (108-105), the Indiana Pacers on Oct. 28 (125-113) and the New York Knicks on Oct. 31 (109-91). In a rematch on Nov. 1 against the Knicks, the Cavs bounced back for the 95-89 win, but fell again to the Pacers on Nov. 3. Standing at a dismal record of 2-4; Cleveland was hungry for some victories to bolster that win column.

On Nov. 5, the Cavaliers hosted the Golden State Warriors at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in front of a rowdy crowd just as hungry to see their city’s team pick up a win at home. The game tipped off at 6 p.m., and the Cavs were ready to go.

The Warriors put the pressure on quickly. Forward Draymond Green, who received the loudest boos every time he touched the ball, hit a 3-pointer to begin the game. Less than a minute later, Cavs guard Donovan Mitchell answered with a triple of his own. Mitchell posted 31 points, 7 assists and 2 rebounds for the game.

The two teams stayed neck-and-neck with each other for much of the first quarter. A 25-foot 3-pointer from Cavs shooting guard Max Strus pushed Cleveland’s lead to 10-5, but Warriors’ center Kevon Looney hit a layup and point guard Stephen Curry hit his first three of the game to tie it once again.

There were seven ties in the first 12 minutes of action, but in the end the Warriors came out on top 30-29 at the quarter’s buzzer.

Though it seemed like the stage was set for a tight match, the second quarter unfolded a different story. Cleveland power forward Dean Wade hit a 3-pointer to break the scoring hiatus and give the Cavs the 32-30 lead with about 10 minutes left in the half. Wade had 3 points with 4 rebounds and 3 steals for the night.

Following free throws from point guard Darius Garland, a layup and two threes from Mitchell and a mid-range shot from forward Caris LeVert, the Cavs’ lead grew to 44-38. The Warriors cut the deficit to 44-41 following a three from guard Gary Payton II, but Cleveland answered right back with some easy points in the paint and at the free throw line.

In the final minute, Garland attacked the rim and scored two straight layups to put the halftime score at 57-45 in favor of Cleveland. Garland totaled 24 points, 7 assists and 3 rebounds by the end.

The Cavaliers maintained their lead throughout the third quarter, with the largest gap being 13 points following a jumper from Cavs center Jarrett Allen to put the score at 71-58. A jumper from LeVert with three seconds left in the quarter gave the Cavs an 86-77 lead heading into the fourth quarter. LeVert contributed 8 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists on the night.

The Warriors would not fold so easily. They made several runs to bridge the gap. Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga hit a jumper to cut the lead to 88-82. The Cavs responded well with more attacks in the paint to take advantage of the Warriors’ small ball. The Warriors cut the lead to 90-86 again, this time with a jumper from long-time NBA veteran, point guard Chris Paul. But the Cavs withstood the Warriors’ attempts and held on for the rest of the game. The final score was 115-104 for the Cavs’ third win of the season.

With the win, Cleveland ended a 16-game losing streak that went all the way back to Dec. 25, 2016 and spanned 12 regular season games and four playoff losses.

As a team, the Cavs shot 49.4% (41-83) from the field and 29.7% (11-of-37) from beyond the arc. The Cavs defense was on full display, holding Golden State to 36.2% overall (34-94), forcing 19 points off turnovers and outscoring the Warriors 26-10 in fast break points.

The Cleveland Cavaliers will travel to San Francisco in a rematch of this game on Nov. 11, hoping to use the momentum from this match to propel them to a strong start to the regular season.

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About the Contributor
Puneet Bansal
Puneet Bansal, Sports Editor
Puneet Bansal (she/her) is a fourth-year student majoring in biochemistry and medical anthropology. She loves obsessing over food, spending time outdoors or annoying her friends. Hailing from the Bay Area, she is an ardent Golden State Warriors fan and finds it daunting to sport her Stephen Curry jersey around Cleveland.

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