NBA: Warriors hold off Cavaliers


OAKLAND >> Draymond Green had 22 points and 15 rebounds and the Golden State Warriors got defensive in their NBA Finals rematch against Cleveland, beating the Cavaliers 89-83 on Friday.

Stephen Curry added 19 points and Klay Thompson had 18 for the Warriors, who improved to 28-1 by winning their 32nd straight regular-season home game. Instead of doing it with 3-pointers, defending champion Golden State maintained its edge over Cleveland by limiting the Cavaliers to 32 percent shooting.

LeBron James scored 25 points to lead the Cavaliers. They had their six-game winning streak snapped.

The Cavaliers were short-handed when they lost the final to the Warriors in six games, missing power forward Kevin Love the entire series with a shoulder injury and losing point guard Kyrie Irving to a knee injury late in the first game.

Having both those players healthy for the rematch did little to help Cleveland. Love scored just 10 points on 5-for-16 shooting, and Irving missed 11 of 15 shots in a 13-point game.

With those two struggling, the Warriors built a 10-point lead midway through the fourth quarter following a jumper by Thompson and a layup from Green.

But James responded with a pair of dunks and a blocked shot on Thompson before Love's tip-in made it 81-77 with just over 2 minutes to play.

James missed two free throws after Cleveland got another stop and Curry responded with a pair of layups around J.R. Smith's 3-pointer to make it 85-80 with 57.6 seconds to play.


OKLAHOMA CITY >> The Chicago Bulls were angry and on edge after three straight losses. They channeled those emotions into one of their best wins of the season.

Jimmy Butler scored 23 points, and Pau Gasol had 21 points and 13 rebounds in the Bulls' 105-96 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday.

In a game that featured several skirmishes, the Bulls outrebounded the NBA's No. 2 rebounding team 53-48.

"We've just got to go out there and attack," Chicago forward Taj Gibson, who got a double technical with Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka, said. "It's no time to be friends with anybody right now. We've got enough friends in here. We're with each other 24-7. We can't go out there and look to be nice to everybody."

Derrick Rose added 19 points, and Gibson had 13 points and 10 rebounds.


MIAMI >> There's no team better on Christmas than the Miami Heat.

And even in an ugly game, their future Hall of Famers delivered when it mattered most.

Chris Bosh scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Dwyane Wade added 19 points, and the Heat survived some shaky moments late to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 94-88 in overtime on Friday spoiling Anthony Davis' dazzling debut as part of the league's holiday lineup.

"Just an ugly game by both teams, but in this league you've got to win the pretty ones and the ugly ones," said Wade, the Eastern Conference's All-Star leading votegetter among guards so far this season. "It wasn't going right for us Chris had it going to keep us afloat but at the end I think it just came down to getting some great stops and we got some timely buckets."

The win moved the Heat to an NBA-best 10-2 all-time on Christmas, including seven straight wins. Bosh and Wade combined for 13 of Miami's 16 points in overtime.

"When the pressure is highest, that's when they show the most courage," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions