Monday, December 30, 2013
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Curry's 29 lead Warriors over Cavs in OT

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[December 30, 2013]  CLEVELAND  Golden State coach Mark Jackson said he thinks Stephen Curry is "one of the best in the world."

No one is going to argue with him after Curry came within a whisker of his second consecutive triple-double with 29 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists in the Warriors' 108-104 overtime victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.

Curry was dazzling in the first half when he made all five of his 3-point attempts en route to 24 points. Curry recorded a triple-double against Phoenix last Friday.

"He took it upon himself to make plays and establish a rhythm," Jackson said. "I love the way he competed defensively, also. He certainly made plays for himself and for everybody else on the floor.

"He's a guy we believe in. We're not going to tell him to stop shooting. He's a guy who is having an all-time great year for himself and has put himself in the class of elite players and it's great to see."

Curry was stopped cold by the Cavs (10-20) in the second half. He made just 2 of 12 shots from the field, 0 of 5 from beyond the arc, after halftime.

However, Curry buried a 3-pointer with 13.5 seconds left in the overtime period, which broke the Cavs' backs.


"It was certainly a big shot," Jackson said. "That's who Steph is. He's one of the best in the world."

Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving may belong in the same class. He came very close to matching Curry's output with 27 points and nine assists. Irving has averaged 33.7 points in his last three games.

"(Curry is) a great player," Irving said. "We are the main guys on our teams. It was a good matchup. I wish we could have come out with a win."

The Cavs built a 17-point lead, 64-47, with 1:13 remaining in the first half. However, they allowed the Warriors to score eight unanswered points in the last 53.9 seconds to climb back to within nine points, 64-55.

"It's tough to deal with," Cavs coach Mike Brown said. "We have to do a better job closing quarters."

The Warriors outscored the Cavs in the third quarter 27-20, and trailed by just two points, 84-82, entering the fourth quarter.

Forward Draymond Green's 3-pointer with 1:05 left in regulation handed the Warriors a 99-96 advantage. It was his first field goal of the contest.

Irving, though, buried a clutch 3-pointer over the 6-foot-7 Thompson with 9.5 seconds left to tie the score at 99.

"He hit a big shot for us," Brown said. "We called an (isolation play), so there wouldn't be any other players running at him."

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The Warriors outscored the Cavs in overtime 9-5.

Golden State forward David Lee added 19 points before fouling out with 3:31 left in overtime. He was scoreless in the first half.

Thompson added 16 points for the Warriors, while Green pulled down 12 rebounds.

It was the first leg of a seven-game, 13-day East Coast road trip for Golden State. The Warriors lead the league in games decided by four points or fewer (13). They are 6-7 in those games.

Guard C.J. Miles and forward Tristan Thompson each added 17 points for the Cavs. Thompson and center Anderson Varejao each had 12 rebounds.

Cavs guard Dion Waiters had a game to forget. He had eight points, five rebounds and four assists. However, he was 3 of 15 from the field and committed five turnovers.

Warriors center Andrew Bogut inadvertently elbowed Irving on the top of the head with 3:47 left in the first half. Trainers looked at Irving on the bench, but he checked back into the game a few minutes later.

"We feel we're close," Brown said. "We're right there. We competed throughout course of the game.

"All these losses bother our guys. We have to stay at it. We're competing enough to have a chance to win games." NOTES: The Cavaliers clarified that C Andrew Bynum was not suspended indefinitely. He was suspended for one game without pay. He was suspended from team activities indefinitely. He is now being paid to stay home. ... The trip to Cleveland was the first leg of a seven-game, 13-day Eastern Conference road trip for the Warriors. "If we don't do the things we're supposed to do, it could be very challenging," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "We're a defensive-first team. When you defend, your act travels." ... The Cavs canceled the Andrew Bynum Fathead Tradeable they had planned to give away on Sunday. ... Cavs C Tyler Zeller recorded season highs in minutes (22) and rebounds (10) in the loss to Boston on Saturday. "It's a process," Zeller said. "Hopefully, it's a quick process." ... Jackson misses former Golden State and current Cavs G Jarrett Jack. "I can't put it into words what he meant to our team," he said. ... Bynum's locker still had his name above it and still had remnants in it, most notably a half a loaf of bread and some Skippy peanut butter.

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