"We started out the first quarter really bad and we were just going uphill the entire game," Irving said.
The Cavs surged back in a hurry, closing within five later in the second during a spurt highlighted by an over-the-backboard alley-oop from Gibson to Tristan Thompson that even stirred the home fans. In the third quarter, Alonzo Gee started a three-point play with a driving layup over Harrison Barnes, and Dion Waiters followed with a long jumper to put Cleveland ahead 69-67.
Jarrett Jack, who also sat out the morning practice because of an illness, came through during Golden State's final push. He converted a three-point play over Samardo Samuels — who started in Varejao's place — and threw a long outlet pass ahead to Richard Jefferson for an easy dunk.
Lee helped Golden State outrebound Samuels, Jon Leuer and what was left of Cleveland's frontcourt 44-39 to help Golden State close the third quarter on an 18-5 run, going ahead by 11 and essentially putting the game out of reach.
"These are those games that you have to have when you look back on the season," Jack said. "You can't be like, 'Ah, this is one of those games that we kind of gave away.' No matter who's in uniform, you have to go out with that mindset that we have to get this 'W' no matter the situation is."
NOTES: New Warriors C Andrew Bogut, still playing through soreness in his surgically repaired left ankle, was held scoreless in 17 minutes of play. He had five points and three rebounds. ... Golden State has won four straight against Cleveland. ... San Francisco Giants slugger and World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval attended the game. .... Cavaliers swingman C.J. Miles also played through an illness. He scored 7 points in 17 minutes.
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP