NBA 2018-19: 3 Talking Points as Golden State Warriors excel in blowout win over the Cavaliers
The Cavs-Warriors' four-year long rivalry was something both teams will remember for a long time to come. But, ever since LeBron's departure for LA this past summer, everyone knew the match-up between the pair would never be the same.
"The energy before the game, after the game," Durant said, noting the changes in Cleveland. "There were more media members here the last couple of years. We were talking about that before we ran out on the floor. That was a circus right here during the Finals. You start thinking about the great memories you had, especially the championship. I'm sure we'll feel those feelings every time we walk into the building."
Nevertheless, this regular season game signified Golden State's first visit to Cleveland since June, when the Warriors completed a sweep to win their third championship in four years.
Indeed, nothing was the same - not even Cleveland's available roster. The Cavs were playing without Kevin Love (foot surgery), JR Smith (forced break) and Kyle Korver (traded to the Utah Jazz). The match ended with a comfortable, expected 129-105 Warriors blowout victory over the Cavaliers.
With that in mind, let's take a look at three key takeaways from this new-look Warriors vs Cavaliers encounter:
#3 Stephen Curry & Kevin Durant torched the Cavaliers in the nostalgia-filled game
Curry drained nine three-pointers and ended up scoring 42 points. He also added nine rebounds, seven assists and appeared completely healed after missing 11 games with a groin strain.
He cooked the Cavaliers' defense on 11-for-20 shooting and 9-for-14 from deep, while Durant chipped in 25 points and finished a dime away from a triple-double.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Curry scored nine points in less than a minute, helping the Warriors create an invincible separation for their eighth straight win over their former NBA Finals rivals.
Steph reflected back on the four marvellous years of the Cavs-Warriors rivalry during the post-game interview, now that the period in the NBA is officially over.
"It was historical," Curry said. "I'll definitely sit back on the couch in 10 or 12 years when it's all over and think about what it was like to play here, and how high the stakes were every time we came into this building."