Warriors wake up in principal fourth quarter to beat Cavs

CLEVELAND — The Warriors have made their mark in the third quarter this season but waited until the fourth to jostle control away from the shorthanded Cavaliers Thursday night at Rocket Mortgage Arena.

Playing against a Cleveland team missing four of its top six scorers, Golden State trailed by 10 entering the final period but was able to pull away for a 104-89 win. The Warriors held Cleveland to eight points in the fourth quarter, a mark surpassed individually by Stephen Curry and Damion Lee.

Curry and Lee fueled a fourth-quarter burst that was pushed by Golden State’s suffocating defense, providing the separation Golden State was seeking all night. The two guards combined for 29 points — 20 by Curry, nine from Lee — in the fourth quarter as the Warriors erased an 81-71 deficit entering the final period.

Curry finished with a game-high 40 points, complemented by Draymond Green’s season-high 12 assists.

But the majority of the game was dominated by a patchwork of Cavaliers.

The Warriors used two runs with big contributions off the bench to eke out a win.

It was Lee and Curry who stepped up in the fourth quarter, but Gary Payton II and Nemanja Bjelica provided the spark to pull the Warriors out of an initial 10-0 hole.

In one of his best games since joining the Warriors, Bjelica scored 14 points, and Golden State outscored Cleveland by 22 with him on the floor, bested only by Lee’s plus-28.

The tall ball Cavs exposed some flaws in the small ball Warriors, already in a losing effort.

Cleveland nearly doubled up the Warriors on the glass (56-36) and outrebounded them on the offensive glass 13-5.

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