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- The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 118-108, in Cleveland on Monday night.
- Late in the first quarter, LeBron James may have made the smartest play of the game, as he quickly avoided becoming the losing end of a poster-worthy dunk by Kevin Durant.
- James would get a bit of revenge on Durant however, with the help of a brilliant chase-down block later in the game.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors added another heated chapter to their ongoing rivalry on Monday night.
The Warriors walked away with a fairly comfortable 118-108 victory. While there were great basketball plays on both sides of the ball, the smartest play on Monday may have actually been a concession by LeBron James. As the first quarter was beginning to wind down, Kevin Durant made a heads-up steal that started a fast break for the Warriors.
James was the only defender in place to possibly make a play, but when he saw Durant charge for the basket, James pulled away and gave him a free run at the rim, rather than taking the risk of ending up on the losing end of a poster.
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) January 16, 2018
It was a handy bit of quick cost-benefit analysis by one of the brightest minds in basketball.
But LeBron would not go the game without getting a bit of revenge for the play. In the second quarter, after Durant looked like he had him beat on a drive towards the basket, James recovered to come out of nowhere for the chase-down block, adding another trophy to his already can’t-miss gallery of defensive plays.
— NBA FastBreakTR (@NBAfastbreaktr) January 16, 2018
James and Durant would both finish the game with 32 points and the Warriors would get the win. Still, it was LeBron that seems to have gotten the last laugh – although by accidental hijinks more than anything else – as the Warriors locker room was reportedly without hot water as the team went to wash off after the game.
“Man, they got to do something in ‘The Q,'” Durant would say of the cold showers. “Somebody call Bron!”