Recent four-time NBA Finals rivals who are barely recognized any longer meet for the first time at the Chase Center in San Francisco when the Golden State Warriors host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.
Players who combined for just 151 of 868 points in the 2018 Finals are expected to don the suit when the teams meet for the first time this season.
Stephen Curry contributed 110 points and Draymond Green 37 when the Warriors swept the Cavaliers in four games in June 2018 for their third title in four years.
Stars Kevin Durant (signing and trade) and Klay Thompson (injury) left that team, leaving Curry and Green to carry the heaviest loads at a club that remained in search of a place in the Conference playoffs. West this season at 14-13.
Curry has scored 27 or more points in each of his last nine games, including 27 in a 134-117 home loss to Brooklyn on Saturday night.
Because he missed most of last season with a broken hand, Curry hasn’t faced the Cavaliers since he lost 42 and 40 points over them in a Golden State season series sweep in 2019.
Green is far from safe to face Cleveland. He fell hard to the court in obvious pain after trying to defend a Kevin Durant 3 at the end of the second quarter of Saturday’s loss.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr later admitted that what he had seen with his own eyes and what Green later reported were two different things.
“He was in a lot of pain,” Kerr said of Green, who stayed on the court for several minutes before being escorted directly to the locker room. He was able to return for the second half.
“I don’t know how to describe exactly what happened,” Kerr continued. “When I came out, he was in a lot of pain, but he said it would be fine. He said he had done it before.
With their seasons shortened by the COVID-19 outbreak and no invitation to the NBA bubble, the Warriors and Cavaliers met only once last season. Damion Lee scored 18 points and Eric Paschall 16 in the Warriors’ 131-112 victory in Cleveland.
Collin Sexton led Cleveland with 23 points and Darius Garland added 15 in the loss.
Cedi Osman contributed 10 points. With Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr. currently injured, Osman is the only active member of the 2018 Cavaliers expected to face the Warriors.
He had only four points in the series.
While the Warriors enjoyed Sunday off at home, the Cavaliers endured a seventh loss in a row, a 128-111 beating in Los Angeles against the Clippers.
Sexton finished with 22 points in 35 minutes and Garland 20 in 28 for the Cavaliers, who were able to keep player minutes down in the second half of a one-sided game in the first game from a back-to-back.
The Cavaliers also gave veteran center Andre Drummond the night off to rest.
Love has missed the last 25 games with a strained calf. He is likely to return to the lineup at some point in Cleveland’s four-game home run that begins Wednesday against San Antonio.
Cavaliers coach JB Bickerstaff said the veteran has been missed.
“There are times in games,” he noted, “where you can see, ‘This is where Kevin would help us,’ or ‘This is where he would help us settle down,’ (or) ‘I know he would be fouled right now because we’re in the bonus’ “.
–Field level media
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.