Warriors beat Cavs for 12th win in 13 games

The Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. — LeBron James drove to the basket in the waning seconds and Golden State’s Kevin Durant swatted away any chance Cleveland had at a Christmas Day comeback.

Durant pumped his fist again and again, emphatically shook his head and pounded his chest in delight. It looked a lot like the dominant Durant from the NBA Finals six months ago.

Klay Thompson hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:33 left, Durant delivered on both ends of the floor and the Warriors beat the Cavaliers 99-92 on Monday in a holiday rematch of the past three Finals.

“There’s just so much joy in the arena today because it’s Christmas and we all feed off of that,” said Durant, who finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots — the last against James with 24.5 seconds left, ruled clean after official review.

Durant is averaging 2.3 blocks per game, which ranks second in the NBA.

“He’s been doing a heck of a job of first of all taking the individual matchup, and protecting the rim, too,” James said.

Thompson scored 24 points and Draymond Green had a triple-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.

Golden State, which won its second league title in three years last season, earned its 12th win in its last 13 games.

Kevin Love had 31 points and a season-best 18 rebounds for Cleveland, which had won six of its previous seven games. James finished with 20 points, six rebounds and six assists.

Warriors star Stephen Curry missed his eighth straight game with a sprained ankle.

As they have been all season, the Cavs were without Isaiah Thomas, who is recovering from a hip injury.