Warriors hold their line
Being the two heavy favorites to reach the NBA finals guaranteed the best NBA game so far and no one could tell who would win until the very last minute.
It took almost two minutes for either team to score as they had to battle for each possession with everyone being keen to either block or steal the ball. The hyper alertness made it a head to head game and it remained the same throughout the 4 quarters. One can say that it was a day for ‘Kevin’s as both Kevin Love from Cavs and Kevin Durant from Warriors dominated the floor. Love grabbed a season high 18 rebounds to go along with his 31 points and a pair of steals as Durant scored 25 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 blocks which makes a statement about his elite defensive skills.
.@kevinlove had one of his best all-around games of the season – leading both squads with 31 points, including 6-for-11 3PM and 7-of-7 FTM, adding a season-high 18 rebounds and a pair of steals.
FULL HIGHLIGHTS → https://t.co/HvHgwE4snl#CavsWarriors || #AllForOne pic.twitter.com/rxvMBfxARw
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) December 26, 2017
Stat line of James read 20 points with 6 assists and 6 rebounds while Draymond Green notched a triple double with 12 points, 11 assists and 12 rebounds along with Klay Thompson scoring 24 points; 4-7 from down town.
At half time the scores read 44-46 with Warriors leading by 2 and neither team could pull away until the very last seconds as both kept clawing back when the other scored in gobs.
With 1:59 left in the 4th quarter, James tied the game at 92 with a two point shot. Warriors who were at the brink of timeouts, were left with only one and a referee TV replay for an out of bounds play with 1:33 seconds left came in handy for them as Klay knocked down a go-ahead 26 foot 3 point shot. Later with 24.5 seconds left, James drove to the basket which was denied by Durant and it instantly became an epicenter for discussion as James was fouled twice during the play.
Amen lmao https://t.co/XQ9LmR7Sl5
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) December 25, 2017
If the call was made, the result would have been different but referees aren’t to be blamed as the Cavs only shot a meager 31.8% from the field and Warriors played like the reigning champions that they are with 28 assists, 51 rebounds and 46.3% overall shooting percentage.
LeBron: “They kicked our butts in transition, and that told the tale of the game.” Adds that he believes KD did in fact foul him down the stretch, “but you know, what are you gonna do about it?”
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) December 25, 2017
All in all, it was pure basketball talent at display and Warriors emerged victorious as the scores read 92-99 as the buzzer rang.
The next Cavs Warriors match up will be on 15th January and it’ll surely make headlines again with both Curry and Thomas back on the floor.
Two of the best teams in West battled at Chesapeake Energy Arena and it was Oklahoma City Thunder who emerged victorious, taking down the Houston Rockets who still claim the best record in the league.
Thunder who currently ranks 5th in the Western conference had a rough going so far, figuring out the correct combinations and roles destined for each player. Coming off a 5 game winning streak, they took down rockets with a clinical performance with Russel Westbrook chipping in with 31 points, 11 assists and 6 rebounds while the starting 5 scoring 98 of their final total of 112. (Paul George 24 PTS, Carmelo Anthony 20 PTS, Steven Adams 15 PTS 10 REB)
It’s no wonder that if you need to take down a high powered, fast paced offensive team, you need to stay locked down on defense and it played right into OKCs’ wheelhouse. Paul George who currently sits on top of the league’s steals list along with Westbrook at 3rd stuffed the stat sheet with 11 steals and Andre Roberson stepped in big time, guarding James Harden who’s currently on top of the ladder for NBA MVP of the season.
? Take one minute & watch @FlyDre21 stone cold ?’ed in on defense last night. #EliteDefender #NBAVote pic.twitter.com/6NanD9j99j
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) December 26, 2017
Despite of ending on the losing side, “Chris Paul-less” Rockets managed to keep Thunder on their toes and being unable to score at the final minutes cost them the game. Harden scored 29 points, 14 assists and 8 rebounds while Gordon and Ariza contributed with 20 points each.
It was a close one, but #Rockets fell 107-112 at OKC.
? @JHarden13 led the squad with 29 Points / 14 Assists / 8 Rebounds.
For more highlights, follow us on Facebook & YouTube! #NBAVote ? pic.twitter.com/TKkDssqKgn
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 26, 2017
Being known as the team with highest 3 point attempts per game didn’t do any favors to the Rockets as the intense perimeter defense by Thunder only allowed 8 made 3 point shots throughout the game.
With 8:42 left in the 4th quarter after neither team being able to take a double digit lead since the beginning, Rockets managed to take a 5 point lead after a lay up made by Eric Gordon as the scores read 93-88. Since then, Thunder managed to keep pounding as they scored 24 points, eventually to take the lead and end with a W in the win column as the scores read 107-112.
Check out the crunch time action of the Thunder Vs Rockets match up.
2 out of 5 Christmas day matchups ended with Warriors and Thunder with the W. Await for our next article on a recap of the rest.