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Warriors 106, Cavaliers 96

The SportsXchange

OAKLAND -- David Lee struggled through a bout with the flu to record his first double-double of the season, propelling the Golden State Warriors to their first home win of the season, 106-96 over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

Lee scored 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

Taking advantage of a Cleveland team that was missing the league's second-leading rebounder, Anderson Varejao, because of a right knee contusion, Lee wheezed his way through 38 much-needed minutes. Golden State was able to win despite getting almost nothing (zero points and three rebounds) from starting center Andrew Bogut.

Stephen Curry added 21 points and Carl Landry had 19 off the bench for the Warriors, who entered the game with a winning record on the road (2-1) but a losing mark at home (0-1).

Kyrie Irving had 28 points to pace the Cavaliers, who were making their third stop on a six-game road trip.

Lee hit consecutive hoops midway through the fourth quarter to help the Warriors finally put away the Cavaliers, but it was rookie Harrison Barnes who made perhaps Golden State's two biggest baskets of the night.

Cleveland (2-3) was hanging around at 87-78 with just under nine minutes to go, and the Warriors were struggling offensively, having opened the fourth quarter with four turnovers in six possessions. Barnes then got the call from coach Mark Jackson after a timeout, and he responded by overpowering Daniel Gibson on the low block for a three-point play that made it a 12-point game.

After Gibson countered with a 3-pointer and the teams exchanged turnovers, the Warriors went back to Barnes inside against the smaller Gibson again. The rookie came through with another short-range hoop that again created a double-digit margin and set the stage for a relatively comfortable finish for the home team.

After dominating a first half in which they never trailed and led by as many as 17, the Warriors watched as the Cavaliers used an 18-6 flurry early in the third quarter to take a brief lead. Rookie Dion Waiters ignited the run with a 3-pointer, and backcourt mate Irving had a 3-pointer and a three-point play consecutively as Cleveland went up for the first time, 69-67, with 6:39 left in the third.

However, the Warriors closed the quarter with a 17-4 counter that rebuilt an 11-point advantage heading into the final period, setting the stage for Barnes and Lee to ice it.

The Warriors took a 59-51 lead into halftime in a game that certainly didn't follow the predictable pregame script.

Matched up with a starting backcourt of Irving and Waiters that combined for 52 points in the Cavaliers' previous game, the Warriors' Curry and Klay Thompson set off the early offensive fireworks. Curry nailed a 3-pointer and Thompson added nine consecutive Warriors points, including a 3 of his own, as Golden State ran off to a 12-3 lead just 2 1/2 minutes into the game.

The margin swelled to double digits fewer than two minutes later and to 16 by quarter's end before the Cavaliers used a surprising means -- depth -- to trim the deficit in half by halftime.

Playing two key men short because of injuries to Varejao and Tyler Zeller (fractured cheek bone), Cleveland nonetheless got the better of the bench play in the half, led by Gibson's nine points and C.J. Miles' seven.

A late flurry by Irving threatened to kill all the gathered Golden State momentum before halftime, but a Richard Jefferson 3-pointer in the final minute of the second period helped stabilize the home team and maintain its eight-point advantage at the intermission.

NOTES: World Series Most Valuable Player Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants watched the contest from courtside. ... The game matched two of the top seven picks in the June draft -- No. 4 overall selection Waiters and No. 7 pick Barnes. Both have started every game of their brief NBA careers to date. ... The Cavaliers' other prized rookie, Zeller, was hurt in Monday's win over the Clippers. Zeller and the Warriors' Barnes were collegiate teammates at North Carolina ... Lee and guard Jarrett Jack missed the Warriors' morning shootaround because of what was labeled the flu, but both were healthy enough to play in the game. Asked beforehand if he would limit their minutes, Golden State coach Mark Jackson insisted, "I'm old-school. If you can go, you can go. And if you can't, you can't." Jack had 10 points and five assists in 26 minutes.
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