The Warriors are now 0-2 in epic road showdowns this month.
They were 110-99 losers Thursday night in their much-anticipated battle with the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
The Warriors (44-11) have lost two of the first three games on their current six-game road trip.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, known collectively as the Splash Brothers, combined to score 31 points in the loss. Curry finished with 18, while Thompson put in 13.
Cavaliers star LeBron James responded to magnitude of the moment – as well as MVP chatter surrounding Curry – by single-handedly outscoring the Splash Brothers. He totaled a season- and game-high 42 points, practically pushing Cleveland (37-22) to victory.
Three other Warriors finished in double figures, as David Lee scored a team-high 19 points, Draymond Green put in 15 and Harrison Barnes added 11.
The Warriors entered the game with the best record in the NBA, a status they maintained in defeat, while the Cavaliers have been the league's hottest team over the last six weeks. They have won 18 of their last 20 games.
The Warriors on Feb. 6 in Atlanta faced the Hawks with both teams leading their respective conferences. The Warriors took a 124-116 loss in that game.
Given the circumstances, nobody in a Warriors jersey performed better than Lee.
Playing 21 minutes off the bench, the veteran power forward made 8-of-11 shots from the floor, along with 3-of-5 from the line, for his 19 points.
Lee also added four rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot.
With the Warriors trailing by 3 (61-58) after a Draymond Green jumper 20 seconds into the second half, the Cavaliers went on a 16-3 tear, taking a 77-61 lead with 6:47 left in the third quarter.
James accounted for 9 of the 16 points Cleveland scored during the run.
The Warriors never got closer than nine (94-85, 9:27 left) the rest of the way.
The Warriors prior to tipoff listed no injuries. None occurred during the game.
C Ognjen Kuzmic and F James Michael McAdoo are on assignment with Santa Cruz of the D-League
The Warriors left immediately after the game for Toronto, where on Friday they will face the Raptors at Air Canada Centre.