The Cavs wrap up a six-game road trip with a loss in Oakland to the Warriors. This year's MLK day matchup ended similarly to last year's game in Cleveland---with the Warriors crushing the Cavs, yet again.
Last night's game was almost a repeat of last year's MLK game against the warriors at The Q. The Warriors delivered and finished the game 126-91.
"They put it on.They put it on us real good," said James, just minutes after the defeat by the warriors. "They had 34 more points in the first half and obviously you can't recover from that so they played a hell of a game."
Looking back at the Cavs win against the Warriors on Christmas Day, they were able to get back in the game and catch back up in the second half. Last night's game, not so much.
Kevin Love sat out the second stanza because of lower back pain and James and Irving saw limited minutes in the fourth quarter to catch back up to a Warrior lead.
"We are still a work in progress. We've had injuries and some guys sitting out for some of the game," James said.
The Cavs never had a lead on Monday game. In the third quarter, they had a slight push early in the third quarter, but it eventually fizzled out.
Irving finished with 17 points on 6-for-19 shooting, adding two boards, two assists, and a steal.
"They started out, they were hungrier. Energy, enthusiasm, especially to start out the game, converting on a lot of our turnovers, a lot of our mistakes, and it’s a good ball club," said Irving. "They do what they’re supposed to do, from right from the start they jumped on us and never looked back.”
When asked again by reporters if James thought of the Warriors as a rivalry, he brushed it off as just another game in a long 82 game season.
"I don't think it's a rivalry. It's just two great teams with high aspirations. I don't believe I've ever had a rivalry in the NBA. There are too many guys who move teams. It's totally different compared to the 80's when we've seen the Lakers and the Celtics go it so often," James said.
James emphasized the importance of staying in the game and moving on to the next one.
"You can't let these types of games hang over you for too long," James said.
Following Monday night's game, the Wine and Gold will be eager to return to the homeland for five of the six games, beginning with a Thursday night matchup with the Suns and a nationally televised showdown with the Spurs on Saturday.