By Sandeep Chandok:
He’s known as Uncle Drew to the NBA world but Kyrie Irving should be called “Kyrie Kryptonite”—at least when the Cavs play the Warriors.
The cold-blooded assailant hit an incredibly tough, fadeaway jumper over Klay Thompson with 3.4 seconds left as the defending-champion Cleveland Cavaliers overcame a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Golden State Warriors 109-108.
This NBA Finals rematch featuring the last two league champs was everything fans could have asked for and more.
Draymond Green was hit with a technical foul less than three minutes into the game after picking up his second foul on a play in which he jumped straight up, arms up and all, on an Irving drive.
Aside from the Green technical, the first half was highlighted by a first quarter burst beginning at the five-minute mark which saw Lebron James finish a fastbreak layup followed by a Kevin Durant dunk which put Kevin Love on a Christmas card and was concluded with a wide-open James dunk courtesy of a Love outlet pass.
The first half ended on a chase-down block by James on Zaza Pachulia.
It wasn’t the first time we witnessed a James chase-down in a Cavs-Warriors game, that’s for sure.
The highlights continued in the second half when 36 year-old Richard Jefferson dunked on Durant early in the fourth quarter.
Jefferson was given a technical of his own after the dunk for taunting Durant, or should I say, staring and winking at him.
Referees should have worn Santa suits with all the fouls they called today.
Jefferson outdid his first dunk five minutes later when he skied and dunked all over Klay Thompson on what could be the Christmas play-of-the-day.
Reports are that Thompson isn’t going to celebrate Christmas ever again after that play.
James got in on the Christmas dunk contest a few minutes later when Irving found him on a cut to the basket. The dunk put Draymond Green on a Christmas card of his own but should have resulted in a technical foul for James who hung on the rim for an excessive amount of time.
I guess the refs had already given all the presents out.
Stephen Curry made a three with 1:14 left in the game to give the Warriors a 108-105 lead. That was about all he did in the game.
Irving would score the last four points of the game en route to a 25 pts/10 ast/6 reb/7 stl statline, overshadowing Durant’s 36-point, 15-rebound effort.
To think that we may get up to seven games of this matchup come June is absolutely exciting.
The Warriors next game is on Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors.