Warriors hold off Cavs in thrilling Christmas Day trilogy
WARRIORS EDGE CAVS
OAKLAND -- The Warriors spent most of Christmas Day at Oracle Arena doing just enough to keep the Cavaliers in the game. And it almost cost them.
But Klay Thompson scored the last seven points of the game, providing the Warriors with the margin in a 99-92 win over their Eastern Conference rival.
Thompson finished with 24 points, while Kevin Durant totaled a team-high 25 and Draymond Green added 12 as the Warriors (27-7) held on down the stretch.
The Cavaliers (24-10) stayed close throughout, thanks to solid 3-point shooting (15-of-36) and 20 points scored off 15 Warriors turnovers.
Thompson made the big shots. Durant protected the rim like a beast. But Andre Iguodala, who has not been his usual impactful self for much of this season, was as much of a difference-maker on both ends as anyone.
Iguodala’s line: 9 points (4-of-8 shooting from the field, 0-of-4 from deep, 1-of-2 from the line), six rebounds, one assist and one block. He played 24 minutes off the bench and finished a team-best plus-12.
The Warriors never led by as much as 10, but the Cavaliers never went away, tying it at 92-92 on a LeBron James jumper with 1:59 remaining.
But the Warriors forced a turnover and a miss on the next two possessions, allowing Thompson to put things away of a 3-pointer with 1:33 remaining a four free throws inside the final minute.
Warriors: G Shaun Livingston (R knee soreness), F/C Kevon Looney (gluteal strain) and C Zaza Pachulia (L shoulder soreness) were listed as probable and upgraded to available prior to tipoff. G Stephen Curry (sprained right ankle) was listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.
Cavaliers: G Derrick Rose (L ankle sprain), G Iman Shumpert (L knee surgery) and G Isaiah Thomas (R hip labrum tear) were listed as out.
The Warriors return to the court Wednesday night, when they face the Utah Jazz at Oracle Arena. Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6:30, with tipoff scheduled for 7:35.