Cavaliers, Warriors toppled as early season struggles continue

AFP
While the Cavaliers have struggled with slow starts, the Warriors have been finding it hard to hold onto leads.
AFP
Reuters

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love and New York Knicks guard Courtney Lee (left) and forward Kristaps Porzingis go for a loose ball during the second half of their NBA game at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 29, 2017. The Knicks won 114-95.

The NBA champion Golden State and beaten finalist Cleveland tumbled on Sunday as early season struggles continued for the league's powerhouse teams.

Tim Hardaway Jr and Kristaps Porzingis combined for 66 points to lead the New York Knicks to a 114-95 victory over the Cavaliers in Cleveland.

In Oakland, California, the Warriors coughed up 25 turnovers in a 107-115 loss to the Detroit Pistons.

The Knicks notched their first win over the Cavs since October 30, 2014, ending a 10-game losing streak against Cleveland, tipped before the season to be headed to the finals for a fourth time.

Hardaway scored 34 points and Porzingis added 32 with 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who handed LeBron James and the Cavs a fourth defeat in eight days.

"Tonight's loss and the last couple are unacceptable, and the only way we're going to be able to get out of it is to put the work in — as players, as coaches," Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. "And we're going to do that."

A day after falling to the New Orleans Pelicans, the Cavs looked lethargic as they trailed by 18 points in the third quarter.

They trimmed the deficit to 88-94 on a James layup with 8:20 to play before the Knicks regained control.

Kevin Love again led Cleveland with 22 points and 11 rebounds. James added 16 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists and said it's too early in the season to worry.

"What is this? October? I'm not about to go crazy over it right now," James said.

While the Cavs have struggled with slow starts, the Warriors have been finding it hard to hold onto leads.

Golden State squandered a 14-point third-quarter advantage over Detroit, which shot just 46.2 percent from the field but benefited from the Warriors' sloppy play.

The Warriors connected on a blistering 61.4 percent of their shots over the first three periods, but trailed 88-101 at 6:25 of the fourth quarter.

The Warriors were down 105-108 with 1:55 to play when they got a steal from Stephen Curry. But he missed the contested layup and then a three-point attempt.

Tobias Harris added a three-pointer for Detroit, before Curry lost the ball to Avery Bradley, whose layup sealed it for the Pistons.

"At some point, the ball just has to matter," said exasperated Golden State coach Steve Kerr. "We are throwing the ball all over the place. It's focus and execution.

"Teams are coming after us every single night, and we know that. We are getting everybody's best shot, and if you don't match that type of energy and play with some intelligence and some discipline, you are not going to win."

Elsewhere in the National Basketball Association on Sunday, it was: Bucks 117, Hawks 106; Pacers 97, Spurs 94; Hornets 120, Magic 113; Wizards 110, Kings 83; and Nuggets 124, Nets 111.


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