Two studs, one dud from complete Cavs victory vs. Warriors

Max Strus, Jarrett Allen, Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images
Max Strus, Jarrett Allen, Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images /
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Now THAT’S Cleveland Cavaliers basketball. With a potential 0-4 home start on the horizon, the Cavs went back to the identity that they have formed over the past few seasons: defense. Moving to 3-4 on the season after beating the Golden State Warriors 115-104, the Cavs played like the team they were expected to be at the start of the season.

Donovan Mitchell was slicing and dicing his way to another efficient 30 points. Darius Garland was attacking the defense, and setting up easy looks for others. Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen were dominating the paint on both ends of the floor. Even newcomers like Max Strus and Georges Niang made their presence felt with time shot-making and floor spacing.

The Cavs were firing on all cylinders, and it was their first complete performance of the season. The early part of the year had been rough, as the Cavs did not know what healthy bodies they had at their disposal. They now have most of their full rotation and are ready to make some noise at the start of the NBA season. This Cavs’ win against the Warriors was complete, so there are many positives. Here are two studs, and one dud from the Cavs’ first home win of the season.

Stud: The Cavs defense

The Cavaliers got back to the defensive brand of basketball they have been accustomed to playing over the past couple of seasons. The number one defensive team in the league last year, the Cavs channeled that ranking in the win against the Warriors. They held the Warriors to 15 points in the second quarter, and the Cavs scored 28 of their own. That quarter was crucial in getting the victory. They also held Golden State to 36 percent shooting from the field and 39 percent from three-point range.

Additionally, the Warriors had 13 turnovers, and the Cavs scored 19 points off those turnovers. The Cavs also dominated the paint defensively, holding the Warriors to 24 points in the paint. Mobley and Allen were wrecking balls in the paint and were a big reason why they outrebounded the Warriors 54-44, with Frobley combining for 25 rebounds. When those two are in the lineup, the Cavs are hard to score against.

Cleveland also made things tough for Warriors superstar Steph Curry. Yes, he had 28 points and seven threes, but the Cavs were able to force him to turn the ball over six times, and did a good job of pressuring him all night. It was a much-needed throwback defensive performance for the Wine and Gold.