“This [Cavaliers] team puts a lot of pressure on us,” Kerr told reporters. “At the point of attack, with [Darius] Garland and [Donovan] Mitchell with penetration, and [Evan] Mobley and [Jarrett] Allen with their shot blocking. It’s been a tough matchup. In both times we played them, they’ve really taken it to us and dominated the game.”
In both losses — 115-104 on November 5 and 118-110 on November 11 — the Warriors were no match to the Cavaliers’ size and athleticism.
Their aging core got exposed.
Outside of Stephen Curry, who scored 30 points, no other Warrior scored more than 14.
During their first meeting in Cleveland, Mitchell torched them with 31 points and the Cavaliers outrebounded them 54-44.
On Saturday night back home from a four-game road trip, the Warriors outworked the Cavaliers on the board, 55-45, but their turnover woes (20) and the Cavaliers’ size in the paint did them in.
Cleveland cashed in on Golden State’s erratic game with a huge 32-8 advantage in points off turnovers. The Warriors were dwarfed inside the paint, scoring only 34 inside points compared to the Cavaliers’ 50.
It did not help that their defensive anchor Draymond Green, who just returned from a one-game absence, got ejected in the third quarter.
The Warriors fell to 6-4, still good for fifth in the crowded Western Conference.
It was their second straight loss with the streaking Minnesota Timberwolves waiting for them Sunday on the second night of a back-to-back schedule.
Draymond Green’s Ejection
Green’s ejection came in the third quarter after a sequence of heated battles with Mitchell.
The Warriors forward drew his second technical foul with 6:23 left in the third quarter after a review of Mitchell’s shove on the Warriors forward. Mitchell, who only came away with a common foul, pointed out he was only retaliating after Green shoved him in an earlier play.
Five seconds earlier, Green pushed Mitchell to the ground during a Caris LeVert fastbreak play.
Mitchell, already incensed after Green picked his pocket in a sequence before the pushing, blew his stop which led to the altercation.
Kerr called Green’s ejection bizarre as the referees retroactively called a technical foul on Green.
“[The explanation was] that he got a technical foul for elbowing [Donovan] Mitchell a couple of plays before maybe,” Kerr told reporters after the loss. “So I had never heard of this rule, but apparently you can retroactively call a technical on someone from two plays before upon review.”
Green’s Ejection Fires Up Warriors Momentarily
The Warriors went on a run, wiping out the Cavaliers’ 76-66 lead, and briefly took a one-point lead 83-82 with 11 seconds left in the third quarter.
But it was only short-lived.
Dean Wade opened the fourth quarter with a back-to-back 3-pointer and the Cavaliers never trailed again.
Six Cavaliers scored in double figures led by LeVert’s 22 off the bench and Mitchell’s 21 points, respectively.
Klay Thompson added 14 points for the Warriors. Green finished with eight points, five rebounds and four assists.