Durant in command as Warriors down Cavs

Ty Lue expresses faith in LeBron James, says Cleveland Cavaliers still the best team in the Eastern Conference
What you need to know from the Warriors beating the Cavs — again
Author

18 January, 2018

"We weren't pushing the pace and we were settling for jump shots". And it didn't matter a jot, because they couldn't stop Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson on defense. Kevin Durant, who is also a leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, has 26.4 points per game. Literally. In the rawest form that you could say that. "We wanted to keep the conversation going and two years later the conversation is still going".

Isaiah Thomas had 19 points on 8-for-21 from the field overall and 1-for-7 on 3-pointers as the Cavs finished 7-for-28 from behind the arc.

Marc Gasol had 17 points and seven rebounds for Memphis, while Tyreke Evans had 15 points and 12 assists.

"If I.T. makes some shots, it's a different game", Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said. And we wanted to share our insight on what we felt was going on and what we felt like we could do to help.

"But it wasn't there - fortunately we got it going in the second half". "He'll figure it out". "But us, like I said, no matter the religion, no matter the shapes and sizes, we all have to continue to come together and shine a brighter light on, you know, I mean, (I don't want to) use the word stupidity, but that's basically what it comes down to".

And there have definitely been plenty of people calling for the Cavs to trade him with three weeks to go before the trade deadline.

When James was asked a similar question, if the Cavs have "enough" to win a championship, he was less direct in his answer.

Indeed it is, and that is exactly what the Cavs need to become again if they are to make a fourth consecutive trip to the finals. Golden State hasn't lost on the road since November 22.

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The Cavs will need to work extremely hard and play at a high level just to be in position to win one game; four victories in a seven-game stretch doesn't seem possible unless the Warriors were to have suffered serious injuries.

The amusing thing is, despite the fact that they've had the best player in the world for the past three and a half seasons, the Cavs franchise always seems like it's in a free fall.

When it mattered most, Golden State defended and executed offensively, while the Cavs didn't.

Butler scored 26 points in the Timberwolves' 124-118 home win on November 22 when the Magic allowed a 41-point third quarter and trailed by as many as 26.

Not only does this Cleveland team have obvious holes, but the top of the East has improved, especially the Celtics and Toronto Raptors. We are doing the right thing, better defensively, like I said. Through 42 games, which included a three game stint coming off the bench before swapping with Dwyane Wade, Smith is having one of the worst seasons of his career. They poured in 56 points in a little more than 20 minutes, during which time Cleveland managed only 35 points. They sometimes play like a team expecting LeBron to save them, but they have reason to believe he's capable.

Carmelo Anthony added 20 points, Paul George scored 18 and Steven Adams had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Thunder, who avoided what would have been a fourth straight home loss.

"Obviously, things haven't been pretty lately", Love said.


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