Cavaliers 92, Warriors 80
CLEVELAND (AP) _ The team record was bound to fall, given the Cleveland Cavaliers’ situation.
``The 3-pointer is a huge weapon for this team,″ Dan Majerle said Tuesday night after the Cavs tied their team record for 3s in a season during a 92-80 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
Danny Ferry scored 24 points and had three of Cleveland’s eight 3-pointers, which pushed their season total to 398 _ tying last year’s franchise record with 28 games still to play.
The victory was Cleveland’s 10th in the last 12 games.
With no significant scoring threats inside, the Cavaliers have had no choice but to spread the floor and shoot from long range. And although they traded away the best 3-point shooter in team history, Mark Price, before the season began, they have five players (Ferry, Majerle, Terrell Brandon, Bobby Phills and Chris Mills) with 3-point range.
``The more people that can get behind the line, it causes defense more problems with their rotations and their coverages,″ Cleveland coach Mike Fratello said. ``If there’s one main 3-point shooter that you’re zeroing in on, you can find a way to take him out of the game. When you’ve got two or three or four on the floor at one time, you’ve got some real headaches.″
Defensively, the Cavaliers limited the Warriers to their lowest output of the season. Golden State took fewer shots (59) than it had in any other game this year.
``There is no fast break with them,″ Golden State’s B.J. Armstrong said. ``There is no interim play. There are possessions. There’s execution. There is a play called offensively and defensively every single time down. It’s a good experience.″
Armstrong, a point guard, matched his career high with a team-leading seven rebounds.
Cleveland led 52-38 at halftime and seemed to have the game in hand when it took a 70-59 advantage into the fourth quarter.
But Golden State, which had overcome double-digit deficits in four of its previous seven games, opened the fourth period with a 14-6 run capped by Chris Mullin’s 3-pointer, closing to 76-73 with 6:42 to go.
Rony Seikaly had a chance to get the Warriors within three again with 3:40 to play, but he missed two foul shots, and Ferry answered with a 20-foot jumper that put Cleveland ahead 82-75 with 3:25 left.
Golden State got no closer than six the rest of the way.
Latrell Sprewell led the Warriors with 20 points, all in the second half, and Mullin scored 18 on 7-of-9 shooting in his first game back after missing three games with the flu.
Brandon and Majerle scored 15 each and Michael Cage had 14 rebounds for the Cavaliers, winners of eight straight meetings with the Warriors. Majerle added 10 rebounds.
Notes: Golden State’s Rick Adelman coached his 500th NBA game _ 55 with the Warriors, 445 with Portland. ... Before missing the previous three games, Mullin played in 74 in a row. ... Cage has had played in 547 straight games, 10th-longest streak in NBA history. ... Brandon started despite of a bruised thigh that had forced him to miss the final three quarters of Cleveland’s previous game. ... Golden State’s Kevin Willis and Cleveland’s Tyrone Hill exchanged shoves and had to be calmed by officials and teammates early in the fourth quarter.