Before the Golden State Warriors tipoff against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Christmas Day in 2020, Warriors Wire is looking at memorable matchups, standout performances and everything else in between from the Warriors on Christmas Day.
With Kevin Durant making his move to the Warriors, the 10-time All-Star made his first appearance in Golden State’s storied rivalry with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas Day in 2016. In a primetime rematch of the NBA Finals on Christmas in Cleveland, Steph Curry, Durant, James and Kyrie Irving didn’t disappoint.
Dec. 25, 2016
Durant didn’t waste any time to insert himself into Golden State’s rivalry with Cleveland, scoring 12 points and grabbing four boards in the opening quarter. However, the Warriors couldn’t capitalize on Durant’s early scoring effort due to the trio of James, Irving and Kevin Love combining for 18 points.
The Warriors traded back-and-forth buckets with the Cavaliers leading up to the final quarter. Irving’s 14 point fourth quarter quickly erased Golden State’s seven-point lead, tying the game at 103 with a little over 2 minutes remaining in the contest.
With 1:14 left, Curry knocked down a deep triple to give Golden State a three-point advantage. Yet it wasn’t enough to serve the Cavaliers coal on Christmas.
Over the next minute, Irving scored the final four points to give the Cavaliers a one-point lead with three seconds remaining, sealing Cleveland’s late rally for the win, 109-108.
Durant finished the contest with a game-high 36 points on 11-of-23 shooting from the field with 15 rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block in 38 minutes.
James led the Cavaliers with 31 points, 13 rebounds and four assists. Irving added a heroic 25 points with 10 assists, seven steals and six boards.
Watch highlights from Golden State’s Christmas thriller with the Cavaliers via YouTube:
Warriors vs. Bucks: Live stream, how to watch, TV channel, start time on Christmas Day
Warriors vs. Bucks on Christmas Day: Prediction, point spread, odds, over/under, betting picks
Warriors Christmas Rewind: Draymond Green, Damion Lee lead upset over James Harden and Rockets in 2019