Cavaliers-Warriors Preview

The Associated Press

Stephen Curry says the Golden State Warriors won't be deterred after their five-game winning streak came to an end against one of the NBA's best teams.

The Cleveland Cavaliers' latest performance might make them a little more cautious about just how easy it'll be to bounce back.

Golden State looks for its first six-game home win streak in more than seven years Friday night as it tries to continue its dominance of the Cavaliers, who did the Warriors a favor in the opener of a three-game road trip.

The Warriors played well at both ends of the floor in their recent streak, winning by an average of 13.0 points and shooting 49.6 percent while limiting opponents to 42.2 percent, but they couldn't keep up with the Clippers on Wednesday. Golden State led by two at the half, but Los Angeles picked it up in the second half to cruise to a 111-98 victory.

A win would have pulled the Warriors within three games of the Pacific Division-leading Clippers.

"We've been playing great basketball against some good teams, and we thought we could come in here and play very well and get a win," said Curry, who was held to 13 points - his sixth straight game under 20. "It didn't turn out that way, but one loss isn't going to stop us. We're going to continue that momentum, that rhythm."

Golden State is sixth in the Western Conference with its eyes on catching Portland, and Cleveland (25-40) did a little to help the Warriors step a bit closer to the postseason on Wednesday. The Cavaliers snapped a four-game skid with a 110-101 wire-to-wire victory over ninth-place Phoenix.

Cleveland hit 12 of 24 3-pointers while holding the Suns to 10 of 36 (27.8 percent) from beyond the arc. The Cavaliers' past six opponents had shot 42.4 percent from long distance.

"I thought tonight they came out and hit some 3s, but I thought our guys stayed the course," coach Mike Brown said. "We finally buckled down and defended the 3-point line the right way."

Cleveland guarded the arc well when Golden State visited Dec. 29, holding the Warriors to 10-of-33 shooting from 3-point range, but Curry sealed his team's comeback from 17 down. His jumper with 13 seconds to go in overtime capped a 108-104 victory, Curry's first points in exactly 20 minutes of game action during a 29-point, 11-assist, nine-rebound performance.

Cleveland's Kyrie Irving had 27 points and nine assists, forcing OT with a 3-pointer in the final seconds.

The Cavaliers will catch a break Friday as they try to snap a six-game skid against the Warriors. Klay Thompson, who had 26 points against the Clippers and hounded Chris Paul into a 5-for-15 shooting night, will miss this game to travel to the Bahamas for the funeral of his grandfather.

Thompson has averaged 18.8 points and gone 14 of 29 from 3-point range in four games against Cleveland.

Golden State is going for its sixth straight win at home, something it hasn't done within a single season since Dec. 9, 2006-Jan. 6, 2007. The Warriors have won five in a row at Oracle Arena seven times during that span.

With Curry struggling and Thompson out Friday, Golden State might want to look inside. The Warriors outscored the Cavaliers 48-24 in the paint in December, and they've outscored their past five opponents by an average of 12.4 points inside.

David Lee has averaged 21.0 points and 11.3 rebounds while shooting 59.1 percent in Golden State's six straight wins against Cleveland.

This is the first trip back to Oakland for Cavs guard Jarrett Jack, who averaged 17.2 points in the 2013 playoffs in his only season with Golden State.

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