Cleveland (29-10) at Golden State (34-6)
When: Monday, January 16th 2017
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: TNT
The Cleveland Cavaliers return to Oracle Arena for the first time since winning Game 7 of the NBA Finals last June and take on the Golden State Warriors for the second time this season. Cleveland got the better of Golden State in the first meeting on Christmas Day, overcoming a 14-point fourth quarter deficit, to pull out a 109-108 victory. Kyrie Irving knocked down the go-ahead 3-pointer in Game 7 of the Finals last spring and hit the winning shot with 3.4 seconds left in the Christmas meeting as well. Irving has been in a shooting slump of late, going a combined 9-of-34 from the field in two games last week, but rebounded with a solid effort on Friday by scoring 26 points on 10-of-22 shooting in Sacramento. Irving got help from star LeBron James’ 15 assists. Irving has been money from the free throw line, going 26-of-26 in the last five games. Cleveland is playing the finale of a six-game road trip and pulled out of a two-game losing streak with a 120-108 win at Sacramento on Friday. Shooting guard Kyle Korver went 4-of-6 from beyond the arc at Sacramento after going 0-of-5 in his first two games with the team.
Golden State has been off since beating Detroit 127-107 at home on Thursday and should be well prepared for this rematch. Two-time reigning MVP Stephen Curry shot only 40.3% from the floor in the Finals last spring and did not enjoy any more success at Cleveland on Christmas, where he was limited to 15 points on 4-of-11 shooting. Kevin Durant got his first taste of Cleveland as a member of Golden State on that Christmas meeting and recorded 36 points and 15 rebounds but tripped on his way up the court on the final play and could not get off a shot at the buzzer. Durant has scored at least 25 points in each of the last five games and is 8-of-15 from 3-point range in the last three. Shooting guard Klay Thompson went 4-of-5 from 3-point range on Thursday after going 4-of-20 in his previous three games. The Warriors received a poor effort from their bench in the first meeting, scoring only 13 points on 4-of-15 shooting.
This line is way too high. Golden State will be up for this and probably get their revenge with a win, but eight points? I’ll take Cleveland every time.
Pick: Cavaliers +8