Before the game I thought that if Monta Ellis could be contained the Cavaliers would have a chance to win. He kinda was, the Cavs did have that chance in the 4th quarter, but in the end they still lost. Monta had a rough night shooting, scored only half of what he averages per game (12 pts) on 2 of 12 shooting, but the Warriors won anyways. The reasons they did so could be attributed to David Lee going off for 29 points and 9 rebounds, but it really was more because of the fact that Cleveland turned the ball over 25 times. A costly mistake, but a correctable one at least for a Cavs team playing a back-to-back after seven road games.
Byron Scott said postgame that “it’s hard to turn the ball over 25 times in a game, it really is,” and he’s really right about that. In order to do that as a team, just about everybody who plays has to turn it over at least once, and then you need a handful of guys who also turn it over a few times each themselves. As was the case for the Cavs on Tuesday, with 8 of the 9 guys who played posting at least one turnover, and five guys turning it over at least three times. Kyrie Irving had 6 TO’s, Anderson Varejao had 4, and Daniel Gibson, Ramon Sessions, and Alonzo Gee all had 3 TO’s.
Despite all that, with ten minutes left in the game the Cavs were still tied at 85. At that point, the Cavs had 19 TO’s and Golden State had 9. I said on Twitter that whoever turns it over the least from then on out would probably win the game, and that came to be true. The Cavs had 6 TO’s in the final ten minutes, and the Warriors had 3.
Nate Robinson came off the bench to score 17 pts for Golden State in support of Lee, and the Cavaliers were led by Antawn Jamison with 19 pts and 5 rebs. Kyrie went for 18 pts, 8 rebs, and 5 assists (not bad for a “bad game” with 6 TO’s), Semih Erden had his first good game as a Cavalier with 14 and 3, and Omri Casspi got into double figures for the third straight game with 11 points and 6 rebounds.
After the game I caught up with Warriors Guard Monta Ellis, who got drilled in the nose by Varejao late, and talked about his team’s win over the now 6-7 Cleveland Cavaliers. Monta’s nose was bleeding and he had a rag on it while I talked to him over by his locker, but he said he was fine and the injury was no big deal.
Our postgame exchange is below…
Stepien Rules: What happened on that last play with Varejao, you alright?
Monta Ellis: Yeah I’m fine. I just didn’t see it, and got hit by an elbow.
Stepien Rules: You had a rough game shooting tonight as far as what you’re used too. Is there anything Daniel Gibson did specifically on you to cause that tonight?
Monta Ellis: No. It was just a bad shooting night for me. I think the team shot bad, but we did it on the defensive end though. Defensively we were able to get everybody on board, and make up for that.
Stepien Rules: What was it you guys did specifically on the defensive end to create the 25 turnovers you forced the Cavs into tonight?
Monta Ellis: We just needed a win. We just wanted it, and we did what we had to do to go out and take it tonight.
Stepien Rules: David Lee had a big game against the Cavaliers frontline tonight, can you talk about his performance?
Monta Ellis: He could do that every night. He got it going tonight, he played great ball the last five games, and really picked it up tonight. He carried us, and put the team on his back. That’s what we needed from him and that’s what we got.
StepienRules: What are your thoughts on Kyrie Irving after your first time playing against him in the NBA?
Monta Ellis: I think Kyrie Irving is a great young point guard. He can score and pass, and he definitely has a great future ahead of him.