OAKLAND -- Behind closed locker room doors, the Warriors talked among themselves about what needed to change after a 103-94 loss to lowly Cleveland.

Golden State blew an 18-point first-half lead Friday and then went quietly as its defense faltered against one of the worst teams in the NBA.

"We can't rely on our offense to win us every single game," Warriors guard Stephen Curry said. "That just needed to be said."

Curry poured in 27 points and dished out eight assists on his 26th birthday, but with Klay Thompson missing the game and some of his teammates in a funk, the Warriors couldn't recover after allowing the largest comeback win by an opponent this season.

The Cavaliers entered the game 15 game under .500 and appeared to be just what the Warriors needed playing at home to get back on track, but Golden State ended up losing consecutive games for the first time since January.

"Terrible loss," Curry said.

"Everything went bad," said coach Mark Jackson, who Curry said "got into" the team after the game.

Jackson was particularly annoyed that following a 36-point second quarter from Cleveland, the Cavaliers scored 32 more in the third quarter.

"That's not our brand of defense," he said. "I don't care who we're facing. For us, it's a recipe for disaster and is unacceptable. That's the biggest thing that bothered me and bothered us."


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When the time came for the Warriors to attempt to cut into a lead, they were unable to get stops on defense, as Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters hit big shots for Cleveland down the stretch.

Spencer Hawes led the Cavaliers with 22 points and 13 rebounds, Waiters had 18, and Irving and Luol Deng added 16 apiece.

Draymond Green matched a career high with 18 points, and David Lee had 13 of his 16 points in the first half, but the Warriors also committed 17 turnovers.

Harrison Barnes, who replaced Thompson in the lineup, scored six points, missing both his 3-point attempts, each of his four free throw tries, and a layup on a fast break that would have cut a fourth-quarter lead to single digits.

Even while Curry heated up in the second half and finished 5 for 10 from 3-point range, he had little help. Thompson missed his first NBA game attending his grandfather's funeral, and the Warriors missed him on both ends of the floor.

Needing only the opening 5:41 to race out a 16-point lead after Andre Iguodala hit back-to-back 3-pointers, the Warriors finished the first quarter with that lead and pushed it to 18 in the second.

"Everything was going our way, so that's the thing that's bad about it," Jackson said.

Cleveland responded with a stunning 23-2 run that enabled the Cavaliers to take the lead as the Warriors offense became stagnant. Matthew Dellavedova, the former Saint Mary's star, came off the bench to hit two 3-pointers during that stretch and also dished out three assists.

  • Jermaine O'Neal felt a verbal altercation with Blake Griffin during Wednesday's game did "cross the line," so he felt it was appropriate to address it with the Clippers star after the loss.

    Clippers beat writers observed O'Neal in a Staples Center hallway initiating a tense conversation with Griffin that ended with a handshake.

    O'Neal, who had been assessed a technical foul with 8:55 left after jawing at Griffin during a timeout, said he addressed his postgame conversation Thursday with the NBA office, which did not announce any formal reprimand.

    "Things are said during games that necessarily shouldn't be said or done," O'Neal said. "But then as men, you sit down and you talk about it. Or you stand up and you talk about it, and you shake on it and move on."

    For more on the O'Neal-Griffin story, go to www.mercurynews.com/warriors.

    SUNDAY'S GAME
    Warriors (41-26) at Portland (43-23), 6 p.m. CSNBA

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    INSIDE
    Phil Jackson to run Knicks. PAGE 4