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What to watch for in Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors

The defending champions come to Cleveland to face a formidable Cavs’ team.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Who: Cleveland Cavaliers (28-18) vs. Golden State Warriors (22-23)

Where: Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse

When: 7:30 pm EST

TV: Bally Sports Ohio, NBC Sports Bay Area

Spread: Cleveland -7.5

Opposing Blog: Golden State of Mind

Cavs’ expected starting lineup: Darius Garland, Caris LeVert, Isaac Okoro, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen

Cavs’ injury report: Donovan Mitchell (QUESTIONABLE, groin), Dean Wade (OUT, shoulder), Dylan Windler (OUT, ankle)

Warriors’ expected starting lineup: Stephen Curry, Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green

Warriors’ injury report: Andre Iguodala (QUESTIONABLE, hip), JaMychal Green (QUESTIONABLE, lower leg), James Wiseman (QUESTIONABLE, ankle), Jonathan Kuminga (QUESTIONABLE, foot)

What to Watch For

Don’t Let the Letdown Continue

The Cavs lost a tough game in Memphis, and by several accounts should have escaped with a win despite not having Donovan Mitchell. Golden State is also coming off a difficult loss in overtime to the Boston Celtics in an NBA Finals rematch from last summer. With the Warriors on the second game of a back-to-back, the Cavs will have a rest advantage, but they can’t let a disappointing loss carry on. Pick up the pieces and focus on Golden State.

Don’t let Curry Cook

Since returning from injury and shaking off some rust, Stephen Curry has picked up his MVP-caliber play. He had a double-double against the Bulls, dropped 41 against the Wizards, and 29 against a stingy Boston defense. Curry has scored 40 points in two of his last three games against Cleveland and at least 33 points in four of the last five meetings. Containing Curry and minimizing his impact will be a top priority for the Cavs.

If Not Curry, Why Not Caris?

Cleveland was kept alive in the Memphis game in part because of Caris LeVert. He stepped in for the injured Mitchell and finished with 23 points, four rebounds and six assists. When LeVert is on, the Cavs are difficult to beat. He’s one of the few players outside of the backcourt duo of Mitchell and Garland who can get to their spots and hit shots. If Mitchell is out, LeVert will need to continue his play from the other night. Even if Mitchell does play, the extra offensive punch he brings takes pressure off the high usage backcourts.