Thompson leads short-handed Warriors past Cavs
CLEVELAND (AP) — Tired, short-handed and eager to get home, the Golden State Warriors could have taken the night off.
Instead, they looked like a team that needs to be taken seriously.
Klay Thompson scored a career-high 32 points and the Warriors, playing without three starters and a key reserve, beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-95 Tuesday night.
The Warriors were missing guard Stephen Curry (ankle), center Andrew Bogut (ankle) and forward Harrison Barnes (knee). Also, Carl Landry, one of the first players off Golden State's bench, didn't play because of a shoulder injury.
In all, the Warriors were missing an average of 49.1 points and 19.5 rebounds, but that didn't matter. Golden State shot 54 percent, including 11 for 16 on 3-pointers as it hit the first nine from beyond the arc. The Warriors took control in the second quarter and built a 16-point lead in the second half.
"No matter who is out there, we're still going to play Warriors basketball," said David Lee, had 20 points and 13 rebounds. "We could have mailed it in on the last game of a road trip, but everybody stepped up with a bunch of guys out."
The Warriors played the finale of a four-game road trip and were coming off a victory in Toronto on Monday.
"That's a big-time win," Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. "That's a statement game for us. I'm extremely proud of my guys. It would've been very easy to chalk one up (a loss) because we were short-handed, but I challenged them — and they stepped up."
Jarrett Jack, starting at point guard, had 26 points and 12 assists.
"I had to channel my inner Stephen Curry tonight," he said.
Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, who missed the morning shootaround because he was sick, scored 14 points on 5-for-17 shooting in 36 minutes. Irving was coming off the best week of his career when he averaged a league-best 35.7 points in three wins, was selected as a reserve to the Eastern Conference All-Star team, and was named the conference's player of the week on Monday.
"I just wasn't there in terms of my mental focus," Irving said. "That's no excuse. I tried to play through it, but my normal energy wasn't there. I'm just feeling like crap."
"He didn't look like himself," Cleveland coach Byron Scott said. "I didn't think, obviously, he was 100 percent."
Scott warned his players before the game that the Warriors would be ready to play. It would appear they didn't listen.
"We've got to treat it like a wounded animal," he said. "It has no choice. It's going to come out fighting."
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