OAKLAND -– In a game in which its beauty was confined to its closeness, the Warriors held off the Cavaliers for an 89-83 Christmas Day victory before a roaring crowd at sold-out Oracle Arena.
The most hyped game of the season wasn’t much on elegance, as the Warriors shot only 41 percent, while Cleveland finished at 31.6 percent. Some of low offensive numbers were due to good defense, but some of it was the result of poor shooting.
Four Warriors scored in double figures, with Draymond Green firing in 22 points to lead the way. Stephen Curry had 19, Klay Thompson 18 and Shaun Livingston put in a season-high 16.
LeBron James led the Cavaliers (19-8) with 25 points.
The Warriors (28-1) pushed their home record to 14-0 this season and extended their overall home win streak to 32 -– despite posting their lowest point total of the season. Their 45-point first half was the lowest of the season, as was their 44-point second half. Their 32 field goals also represented a season-low.
Curry left the game briefly after the first quarter to have his strained right calf re-taped, but returned late in the first half and finished strong, scoring a pair of clutch baskets in the final 80 seconds of play.
Though Green once again was the rock and deserves the honor for this game, Livingston was stellar enough to earn a piece of it.
Green’s line: 22 points (8-of-17 shooting), 15 rebounds, seven assists and two blocked shots.
Livingston provided a nice scoring boost off the bench, draining 8-of-9 shots and also posting two assists.
The teams stayed within striking distance of each other until Andre Iguodala and Green each made a pair of free throws inside the final 13 seconds.
The Warriors’ biggest lead, 10 points, came early in the fourth quarter. The Cavs’ biggest lead, three points, came late in the second quarter.
Warriors: F Harrison Barnes (L ankle sprain), listed as doubtful, and F Kevon Looney (R hip surgery), listed as out, were placed on the inactive list.
Cavaliers: G Mo Williams (R thumb sprain), listed as questionable, saw limited action.
The Warriors return to action Monday night, when they face the Sacramento Kings at Oracle Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:35pm.