OAKLAND, Calif. — Draymond Green had 22 points and 15 rebounds and the Golden State Warriors got defensive in their NBA Finals rematch against Cleveland, beating the Cavaliers 89-83 on Friday.
Stephen Curry added 19 points and Klay Thompson had 18 for the Warriors, who improved to 28-1 by winning their 32nd straight regular-season home game. Instead of doing it with 3-pointers, defending champion Golden State maintained its edge over Cleveland by limiting the Cavaliers to 32 percent shooting.
LeBron James scored 25 points to lead the Cavaliers. They had their six-game winning streak snapped.
The Cavaliers were short-handed when they lost the final to the Warriors in six games, missing power forward Kevin Love the entire series with a shoulder injury and losing point guard Kyrie Irving to a knee injury late in the first game.
Having both those players healthy for the rematch did little to help Cleveland. Love scored just 10 points on 5-for-16 shooting, and Irving missed 11 of 15 shots in a 13-point game.
With those two struggling, the Warriors built a 10-point lead midway through the fourth quarter following a jumper by Thompson and a layup from Green.
But James responded with a pair of dunks and a blocked shot on Thompson before Love’s tip-in made it 81-77 with just over 2 minutes to play.
James missed two free throws after Cleveland got another stop and Curry responded with a pair of layups around J.R. Smith’s 3-pointer to make it 85-80 with 57.6 seconds to play.
James shot an air ball from 3 with 12.7 seconds to play to end Cleveland’s comeback attempt.
There was an increased intensity at the start of the seventh Christmas Day rematch of the previous season’s finals with fans on edge far more than for most regular season games.
The officials let both teams play through contact early and the Warriors built a 28-19 lead after one behind 10 points and six rebounds from Green.
But the Cavaliers picked up the defense in the second quarter against Golden State’s reserves, taking advantage of an extended absence from Curry who get his strained right calf re-taped in the locker room. The Warriors led 45-42 at the half.
Cavaliers: Cleveland started a stretch of 10 road games in 12 contests. ... C Timofey Mozgov had zero points on 0-for-5 shooting.
Warriors: Golden State had its streak of 47 straight regular-season home games with at least 100 points snapped. ... Golden State had scored at least 20 points in 108 of 112 quarters coming into the game and then was held to 17 in the second quarter and 19 in the third by the Cavs. ... G Shaun Livingston scored a season-high 16 points off the bench. ... G Leandro Barbosa left the game with a sprained left shoulder.
After falling behind 2-1 in the finals last season, the Warriors moved Andre Iguodala into the starting lineup in place of center Andrew Bogut and took control of the series. Interim coach Luke Walton saw no need to make that kind of switch this game.
“Well we’re 27-1,” he said. “As fun as today should be, it’s not about making drastic changes for one game and then going back to something else the next game.”