On a night that the Golden State Warriors were without four of their best players, the Cleveland Cavaliers simply fell flat. With Kyrie Irving only scoring 14 points and three Warriors scoring 20-plus points, the Cavaliers simply had no answer for the Warriors – even as they were without Stephen Curry, Carl Landry Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes.
Combined, the four Warriors who missed Tuesday night’s game averaged 49.1 points. That is a whopping 47.8 percent of their offensive output. That, combined with the Cavaliers playing arguably their best basketball of the season over their last three games, appeared to make this a winnable game for the Wine and Gold. As the final score indicates, that was not the case.
To dig deeper into this, let’s take a look some key statistics from tonight’s game:
1. Kyrie Irving’s stat line – 36 minuets, 5-of-17 shooting from the field, 14 points, four assists. Over his last 10 games, Irving has averaged 26.2 points, 5.4 assists and shot 50.8 percent from the field, all in 35.4 minutes per game. That dropoff alone made tonight’s game an uphill battle.
2. Golden State shot 68.8 percent behind the arc, as well as 53.6 percent from the field as a whole. The Cavaliers shot 22.2 percent from behind the arc and 42.9 percent from the field. It’s pretty obvious to say, but you can’t win a basketball game shooting that low under 50 percent.
3. Oddly enough, the Cavaliers committed three less turnovers than the Warriors. But as you look deeper, the Cavaliers only scored 11 points off turnovers, while the Warriors scored 14. This game was not close, but if it was, that is something the Cavaliers would have failed to take advantage of.
4. In the second quarter, the Cleveland was outscored 32-21. In the other three quarters combined, the Cavaliers were only down two points. In fact, they outscored the Warriors 27-24 in the final frame. Outside of the second frame, this was a close game. As we know, you have to play a full 48 minutes in order to win. The Cavaliers certainly did not do that tonight.
5. Klay Thompson was 6-of-8 from deep tonight, while the Cavaliers C.J. Miles was only 2-of-8. Miles’ 25 percent clip tonight was 12.6 percent below his season average, while Thompson shot 36.9 percent above his season average. If those outlier stats come back to their normal levels, maybe this game is a little closer.
6. Only four players on the Cavaliers roster shot above 50 percent from the field tonight. Those three players – Shaun Livingston, Tyler Zeller, Marresse Speights and Tristan Thompson – shot a combined 21-of-36 from the field, good for 58.3 percent. Combined, the rest of the Cavaliers roster shot 15-of-48 from the field, good for 31.3 percent.
7. The Cavaliers starting backcourt, consisting of Irving and Dion Waiters, shot 11-of-30 from the field tonight. The Warriors starting backcourt, consisting of Thompson and Jarret Jack, made 24 of 42 shots.
Even on a night like tonight, there were some highlights for the Cavaliers. Waiters made a nice running block on Richard Jefferson in the third, Irving went coast-to-coast for a layup in the second and Thompson threw down a vicious dunk in the second as well. But as a whole, the Wine and Gold could not make a bucket to save their lives tonight, which ultimately lead to their downfall.
The Cavaliers next play in Auburn Hills, Michigan against the Detroit Pistons on Friday. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.