Cavaliers vs. Warriors: What to watch for

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Cavaliers vs. Warriors: What to watch for

Programming note: Cavaliers-Warriors coverage begins with Warriors Pregame Live at 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Stick around after the final buzzer for Warriors Postgame Live!

The Warriors will try to put Mondays disappointing loss tothe Kings behind them when they play the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday nightat Oracle Arena.The game will feature two young and improving backcourts.The Cavaliers are led by Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, and the Warriors willcounter with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.Jarrett Jack and David Lee missed shootaround on Wednesdaymorning because of illness and are game-time decisions.Here are some things to watch for during Wednesdaysgame:Lee bounce-back: Warriors power forwardDavid Lee is off to a tough start this season, struggling to knock down shotsat the offensive end and also not distinguishing himself at the defensiveend.In the Warriors 94-92 loss to the Kings on Monday, Lee hadjust six rebounds in 41 minutes. On the season, Lee is averaging just 12.5points and 8.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 40 percent from thefloor.Lee should find himself with a favorable matchup and one heshould be able to take advantage of. Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompsonis in just his second season and has plenty of room for growth. Thompson is anathletic player, no doubt, but the experience edge goes to Lee in a bigway.CurryThompson vs. IrvingWaiters:Stephen Curry is struggling from the field through four games butnobody really expects that to continue. Thompson has been solid in Year 2,though he missed a potential game-winning jumper from 16-feet against the Kingson Monday.Irving is considered perhaps the best young point guard inthe game, capable of hurting you with scoring or playmaking. Waiters, selectedwith the No. 4 pick in the draft, already has shown an ability to score at theNBA level. The backcourt thatplays better will go a long way toward whether that teams wins or not.The plan for Bogut: Warriors coach MarkJackson made it clear on Tuesday that Andrew Bogut will play against the Cavaliers,but likely not more than 20 minutes or so.When Jackson was asked whether it was possible to bringBogut off the bench, and therefore get him more second-half minutes, he didntseem crazy about the idea. Jackson said he is concerned that after Bogut warmsup, his ankle will get tight while he waits for playing time late in the firstquarter or early in the second.Jackson did say he liked that Bogut played the last sevenminutes of the game against the Kings, and the idea is to have Bogut availablein crunch time during those games that he does play.

Iguodala making loud free agency case to Warriors in Durant's absence

Iguodala making loud free agency case to Warriors in Durant's absence

OAKLAND -- It was with impeccable timing, for the Warriors and for Andre Iguodala, that he has spent recent weeks summoning all the best parts of his game.

He has been a disruptive force on defense, as usual, but at a time when the Warriors needed something extra at both ends of the court, he is providing an abundance of offensive electricity.

Iguodala came through once more on Sunday as the Warriors suffocated Memphis in the fourth quarter to take a 106-94 win at Oracle Arena. Though the team’s Sixth Man again scored at an efficient clip -- 20 points on eight shot attempts -- his ability to energize teammates from Stephen Curry to Draymond Green to Klay Thompson and beyond is no less significant.

“We feed off his energy when we see him get a rebound or get a steal, push up the court, make a crazy inside-out dribble and finish at the rim, knock down threes or play-make for other guys,” Curry said. “It’s fun to watch.”

Iguodala’s rise has coincided with the loss of Kevin Durant, the team’s leading scorer and someone who plays the same position. With Durant out, Iguodala has taken on additional playing time, which can be risky for someone in his 13th season.

“He’s been fantastic,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He looks incredibly athletic, bouncy and fresh. He’s a pro. The guy just knows how to take care of his body. He’s done a great job of stepping up in KD’s absence and recognizing what we need from him.”

The Warriors have played 13 games since Durant went down with a knee injury, and Iguodala has played in 11 of them, shooting 44 percent from deep and 61.8 percent overall. The man who shot 62.3 percent from the line in his first three seasons as a Warrior is at 70.1 percent this season. Leadership also is part of the package.

“I try to read (what’s needed) when I get into the game,” Iguodala said. “Try to bring that energy. And, more than anything, lead by example. Not say too much. Just show it.”

When Iguodala is sprinting up and down the court, rising and dunking on one end, stripping balls away on the other, the Warriors are appreciably better team. If the Curry-Durant-Green-Thompson foursome is the engine, Iguodala is the turbo boost.

“We’re a completely different team when he’s as aggressive as he’s been of late,” Green said. “When he’s moving the way he’s been moving -- he’s beating everybody down the floor -- it makes us a completely different team. “

Igoudala’s minutes have spiked, from 23 per game in November, to 26 in December, to 27 in January and February, to almost 29 in March.

“I don’t want to run his minutes up too much,” Kerr said. “But if he has to play a couple extra minutes while KD is out, then that’s fine.”

It’s fine with Iguodala and it’s paying off for the Warriors.

Iguodala hopes it pays off, literally, when he becomes a free agent in July.

Though free agents entering their 14th season don’t often command big money, he is making a very impressive audition for the Warriors or any team that might be interested in his services.

Iguodala has made it clear he’d prefer to stay in the Bay Area, and at this rate the Warriors may have to find the necessary coins to bring him back.

Instant Replay: Warriors finish strong, grind past Grizzlies

Instant Replay: Warriors finish strong, grind past Grizzlies

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- There was plenty of tension and more than a few pulse-stopping moments, but the Warriors found a way to win their seventh consecutive game.

The Warriors’ 106-94 victory Sunday over the admirably recalcitrant Memphis Grizzlies was a work in persistence and overcome moments in which the worst of their work was on full display before a sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.

Klay Thompson scored 31 points to lead the offense. Stephen Curry had 21 points and a game-high 11 assists, Andre Iguodala had 20 and Matt Barnes finished with 10 as the Warriors evened the season series with the Grizzlies at 2-2.

The Warriors (59-14) fought off numerous Memphis rallies but turned up the defense in the fourth quarter, holding the Grizzlies to 13 points on 5-of-25 (20 percent) shooting over the final 12 minutes.

The Warriors offset 18 turnovers, giving the Grizzlies 16 point, by shooting 54.2 percent from the field.

Mike Conley scored 29 points to lead Memphis, which fell to 40-33.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

As good as the Splash Brothers were, and they were superb, it was Iguodala’s play at both ends that made a major difference.

Iguodala’s line: 20 points (7-of-8 shooting from the field, 2-of-3 from beyond the arc, 4-of-5 from the line), a team-high-tying seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and a blocked shot. He played 32 minutes and was plus-9 for the game.

TURNING POINT

After the Grizzlies pulled into an 81-81 tie with 25.2 left in the third quarter, the Warriors responded with a 15-5 run to go up 96-86 on a 3-pointer by Curry with 4:57 remaining.

Memphis got no closer than nine in the final minutes.

INJURY UPDATE

Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain and bone bruise) is listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Grizzlies: C Marc Gasol (L foot strain) was listed as questionable and declared out prior to tipoff. F Chandler Parsons (L knee rehab) was listed as out. C Deyonta Davis and F Jarell Martin are on assignment with Iowa of the D-League.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors travel Monday to Houston, where on Tuesday night they face the Rockets at Toyota Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.