CLEVELAND (AP) — Jordan Poole scored 32 points and the Golden State Warriors put on a shooting display by making 23 3-pointers while star Stephen Curry sat on the bench for a 120-114 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
Ty Jerome added a season-high 22 points as the defending NBA champs ended a five-game trip with an improbable win.
Following a stinging three-point overtime loss Thursday night in Boston, Warriors coach Steve Kerr rested Curry along with fellow starters Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins.
It hardly mattered. Even with their top players on the bench in street clothes, the short-handed Warriors came out firing and barely slowed down.
Darius Garland scored 31 points to lead the Cavs, who were without star Donovan Mitchell because of a strained groin and suffered their most embarrassing loss this season. Caris LeVert added 22 points and Evan Mobley 17 for Cleveland.
Golden State made a season-high 14 3-pointers in the first half — tying the most ever by a Cavs opponent for a half — to take a 64-59 halftime lead.
Although Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff certainly stressed limiting Golden State’s outside attack at halftime, his team didn’t get the message as the Warriors made five 3s in the first five minutes to open a 20-point lead.
The Cavs, who have 11 comeback wins when trailing by double digits, fought back and pulled within 114-110. But Jerome, who added eight assists, dropped the Warriors’ final 3-pointer with 1:39 left.
When the final horn sounded, Curry came on the floor and wrapped his arms around Poole, the only Warriors starter to see action.
Kerr has an emotional attachment to Cleveland.
He played in the city from 1989-92 and his oldest son was born here. It’s also where he won NBA titles as a coach in 2015 and 2018 as the Warriors and Cavs met four straight times in the finals.
“This building will always be special for us,” he said. “Just coming in here, feeling the vibe, feeling the juice from those days. They were incredible games. Just an amazing rivalry, two great teams. The level of play was just so high. I will always think of those Finals when I come in here.”
Warriors: Kevin Looney had 17 rebounds. … Golden State opened 7 of 8 on 3-pointers. … The 23-year-old Poole reached 500 career 3-pointers, surpassing Thompson as the youngest player in team history to reach the plateau. … F Jonathan Kuminga (right foot sprain) returned after missing eight games and scored 10. F JaMychal Green (right lower leg infection) saw his first action in 15 games and had 13 points.
Cavaliers: G Ricky Rubio got the night off as part of the maintenance plan for him after returning from knee surgery. He’s averaging 5.3 points and 13.1 minutes in four games back. … Mobley is one of three players averaging 14.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 blocked shots while shooting better than 50.0% from the field. 76ers C Joel Embiid and Lakers C Anthony Davis are the others. … Cavs assistant coach Luke Walton went 39-4 as Golden State’s acting head coach in 2015-2016 while Kerr recovered from back surgery.
Warriors: Host Brooklyn on Sunday.
Cavaliers: Host Milwaukee on Saturday night.