OAKLAND, Calif. — The Cleveland Cavaliers found a way to shake off a horrid start to post another impressive road victory in their late-season playoff push.
Spencer Hawes had 22 points and 13 rebounds to help the Cavaliers erase an 18-point first-half deficit on the way to a 103-94 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.
“We did a good job responding, not panicking in the first quarter when it seemed like we couldn’t do anythng to get a bucket,” Hawes said. “We stayed the course and it paid off.”
Dion Waiters added 18 points off the bench and Luol Deng and Kyrie Irving had 16 apiece for the Cavaliers, who overcame a slow start to take the game over in the final three quarters and snap a six-game losing streak against the Warriors.
The Cavaliers have won at Phoenix and Golden State to start this West Coast swing and hope to wrap up a perfect trip by beating the Clippers in Los Angeles on Sunday. The Cavs are in a tie for ninth in the Eastern Conference, 3½ games behind Atlanta for the final playoff spot.
“We came out on this road trip to win them all,” guard Jarrett Jack said. “We did the hard part winning the first two. Now we have to do a good job of going down to L.A. against a tough team that plays well in their building and try to finish off the job.”
Stephen Curry scored 27 points on his 26th birthday and Draymond Green added 18 but it wasn’t enough to prevent another bad home loss by the Warriors, who were without starting guard Klay Thompson. He was in the Bahamas for his grandfather’s funeral.
Golden State had won five straight at home following a 4-6 stretch in January and February that included losses to lesser teams like Denver, Minnesota, Washington and Charlotte.
“We have to do a better job of when we have teams on the ropes, putting them away,” coach Mark Jackson said. “Just a bad loss. Everything went bad.”
The Warriors have lost consecutive games for the first time since January to fall six games behind the Clippers in the Pacific Division.
That prompted a lengthy team meeting in the locker room after the game.
“Coach got into us and we’re going to back him up,” Curry said. “A lot of voices. You could tell people care. The fact that a lot of guys talked and voiced their commitment to what we’re trying to do is good.”
This game didn’t look like it would follow those earlier bad home losses for Golden State the way it started with the Warriors taking a 16-point lead less than 6 minutes into the game.
But the Cavaliers got back into it in the second quarter and broke it open after Curry hit back-to-back 3-pointers that put Golden State up 62-58 midway through the third.
Cleveland ended the quarter on a 13-3 run that included two 3-pointers from Irving to take an 84-71 lead heading into the fourth — a stunning 29-point turnaround in the middle two quarters.
Irving scored seven points in the fourth quarter, including a long 3-pointer that made it 95-80 with less than 6 minutes to play to keep the Cavs in control.
“We came out at the beginning of the game and Golden State really hit us in the mouth,” Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. “We could have really folded.”
The Warriors got off to a fast start with David Lee scoring nine of the game’s first 13 points and Golden State going up 20-4 following back-to-back 3-pointers by Andre Iguodala midway through the quarter.
The lead grew to 36-18 early in the second before the Cavaliers erased it to the shock of the home crowd. Matthew Dellavedova, who starred in college at nearby Saint Mary’s, made a pair of 3-pointers and assisted on another by Waiters as part of a 13-0 spurt.
The run extended to 23-2 as Waiters came from out of bounds to steal a ball from Andrew Bogut and laid it in and then hit a 3-pointer the next time down. Bogut was called for a technical foul after that shot and Jarrett Jack’s free throw have the Cavaliers a 41-38 lead.
Harrison Barnes put Golden State back in front with consecutive baskets and Golden State led 53-52 at the half.
NOTES: Jack got a warm ovation in pregame introductions in his first game here since leaving as a free agent last summer. … Golden State C Jermaine O’Neal played his 1,000th career game. Thompson had played 214 consecutive games played — longest in team history to start a career. He is expected back Sunday in Portland barring any travel problems.