Stephen Curry provided a late fourth-quarter lift as the defending champion Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 89-83 Friday in a rematch of last season’s NBA Finals.
Reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Curry sank back-to-back driving layups in the final minutes to answer consecutive slam dunks by LeBron James, and shut down a Cleveland rally as Golden State improved the best start in NBA history to 28-1.
“We don’t believe we’re going to make a statement with one game,” Warriors interim coach Luke Walton said. “Overall, we’re 28-1. That’s more of a statement.”
Curry scored 19 points, grabbed seven rebounds and passed out seven assists while Draymond Green had 22 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists for the Warriors.
“We want more,” Curry said. “We tasted a little bit of success, won a championship, but we have such potential on this team we want to accomplish more. Having the record (start) is great but we want to do a lot more.”
The Warriors are on pace to have the winningest record in NBA history, and Curry is on pace to break his own record from 3-point baskets in a season.
In other Christmas games, Jimmy Butler scored 23 points to power Chicago over Oklahoma City 105-96 and Chris Bosh’s 30 points sparked Miami over New Orleans 94-88 in over-time.
At Houston, James Harden scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half to lift the host Rockets over the San Antonio Spurs 88-84 while Chris Paul scored 23 points leading the Los Angeles Clippers over the Los Angeles Lakers 94-84.