OAKLAND -- Warriors forward David Lee went from experiencing flu-like symptoms to making the Cleveland Cavaliers sick. Lee finished with 22 points, 14 rebounds and six assists Wednesday night as the Warriors improved to 3-2 with a 106-96 win over the visiting Cavaliers.
"I really didn't feel well at all," said Lee, who said he was really feeling bad in the second half. "It was no fun."
Lee said he felt like he was on his death bed. He missed Tuesday's practice, stuck at home throwing up, among other things. He missed Wednesday's shootaround, stuck at home receiving fluids intravenously.
But he said he had every intention of playing, and the Warriors are glad he did. Lee made 10 of 16 shots en route to his best game of the season. He had half his assists in the fourth quarter as the Warriors held off Cleveland after blowing a 17-point first-half lead.
Certainly, the Cavaliers (2-3) didn't have much to stop him. They played without big man Anderson Varejao, who was averaging 14 points and 15 rebounds so far this season. A right knee contusion kept him out of Wednesday's matchup, leaving Cleveland with no chance of guarding Lee.
With no Varejao, and rookie guard Dion Waiters struggling offensively (12 points, 5 for 15 shooting), the Cavaliers' fate rested on point guard Kyrie Irving. Last season's Rookie of the Year totaled 28 points, seven assists and six rebounds. But he was 10 of 22 shooting. Despite his 10 fourth-quarter points, the Warriors held Cleveland to 8 for 23 shooting in the final period. Cleveland shot 41.9 percent for the game.
The Warriors, on the other hand, had several guys clicking.
In addition to Lee, Golden State point guard Stephen Curry had 21 points on 8 of 14 shooting. He also had six assists, five rebounds and two steals. He not only bounced back from Monday's 3-for-15 performance in Sacramento, he negated the production of Irving.
Curry played solid defensive against the slithery, sometimes unguardable Irving. But he also took it to Irving on the other end.
"He's tough," Curry said of Irving. "The way he can attack pick-and-rolls, get bigs off balance with his change of speed and direction. You just have to try to keep him in front and make tough shots. He made a lot of them tonight."
Backup forward Carl Landry, relatively quiet in Monday's loss at Sacramento, finished with 19 points and nine rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench. Rookie forward Harrison Barnes set a career-high with 14 points.
The Warriors shot 53.8 percent from the field and registered 28 assists. Backup point guard Jarrett Jack, who also missed the shootaround because of illness and was a game-time decision, was one of four players with five or more assists.
"It was a thing of beauty the way we played offensively," coach Mark Jackson said. "I liked the pace especially. We were sharing the basketball, and when we do that, we're tough to defend."
The Warriors posted a season-high in first-quarter points, taking a 37-21 lead into the second quarter. Their advantage got as high as 17 points, 48-31, after a step-back jumper by Landry. But Cleveland began chipping away.
Three-pointers by Irving and Daniel Gibson powered a 10-0 run that got the Cavaliers back in the game. Golden State's lead was down to 59-51 at the half. Cleveland then opened the third quarter with an 18-8 run -- getting six points and an assist from Irving -- to take a 69-67 lead.
The Warriors reclaimed control by closing the third quarter with a 17-4 run. Jack and Landry combined for 11 points during the spurt. Richard Jefferson got a fast-break dunk to send the Warriors into the fourth quarter up 85-74.
The Warriors never looked back.
"I don't like giving up leads, but at the same time it shows a lot about the character of this basketball team," Jackson said. "We are not going to surrender, fold the tent. We're not going to quit. We buckled down and made the proper adjustments. We separated ourselves. It was a great win."
He was an immediate presence, helping Golden State build an early lead. The Warriors' first seven baskets Wednesday were assisted. Three of them were by Bogut.