SAN FRANCSICO (AP) — The Cleveland Cavaliers stayed poised when things turned testy, and that showed J.B. Bickerstaff plenty about his team at this early stage.
Donovan Mitchell got the best of Golden State and Draymond Green, finishing with 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals on a night Green was ejected, and the Cavs beat the Warriors 118-110 on Saturday.
Green pushed Mitchell with his shoulder and sent him out of bounds as Cleveland’s Caris LeVert drove for a layup. Then, as Green brought the ball across midcourt moments later, Mitchell chased him down and instigated a heated interaction.
“I think that was a little bit of a dirty play so Donovan retaliated,” Cavs forward Evan Mobley said.
Officials went to replay review and that’s how they determined Green’s infraction, calling Mitchell for a personal foul.
“I didn’t know that was actually possible that you could get tech’ed up for a previous play,” Warriors big man Kevon Looney said.
Bickerstaff talks to his team about how to handle such situations.
“It’s our guys standing up for themselves and protecting themselves,” Bickerstaff said. “There was a play before where Donovan was hit in the back. And we’ve talked about it, that we don’t back down from anybody.
“So, again, proud of our guys for standing up for themselves but then again not letting it turn the tide of the game and getting caught up in something that we didn’t need to be caught up in and allowing them to go on a run. That was premediated to get their team kind of rallied. You felt that building the entire third quarter. I thought it could have been nipped in the bud a little bit earlier.”
Stephen Curry scored 30 points to lead the Warriors, who lost fiery forward Green at the 6:23 mark of the third quarter with eight points, five rebounds and four assists.
LeVert scored 22 points, and Darius Garland contributed 19 points, six rebounds, four assists with five steals. Mobley added 19 points and two more of his team’s season-high 13 steals in one of the most balanced performances by Cleveland yet this season.
Not to mention its first win on the Warriors’ home floor since March 14, 2014, and first series sweep since 2008-09. Cleveland earned a 115-104 victory at home last Sunday.
Curry has gone 10 straight games with four or more 3-pointers to start the season, the first time it’s been done in NBA history according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Curry, who scored 17 of his points in the first half as the Warriors trailed 68-52 at the break, also became the 35th player in NBA history to reach 22,000 career points.
After Green’s 3-pointer with 7:01 remaining in the first half pulled Golden State within 40-38, the Cavs responded with a 14-2 burst over the next 3:04 to force a Warriors timeout.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr had challenged his team to do better stopping the transition game — inspired a day after watching his son, Nicholas, earn his first win guiding the G League Santa Cruz Warriors. Kerr acknowledged he yelled at the referees a couple of times.
“It was a great moment for him and as a dad, couldn’t be more proud,” Kerr said.
Golden State grabbed five of its 15 offensive rebounds by the 4:52 mark of the opening quarter — a point of emphasis coming in from Bickerstaff.
Green picked up his first technical of the night with 7:46 before halftime. He now has a team-high three on the season.
Cavaliers: Visit Sacramento on Monday night.
Warriors: Host Timberwolves on Sunday to complete the home back-to-back.