Durant’s block against a driving James with 24.5 seconds left went to an official review and was ruled clean. Durant finished with 25 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocks.
“He’s one of the leaders in shot blocks a game, and obviously he had five tonight, so he’s been doing a heck of a job of first of all taking the individual matchup and protecting the rim, too,” James said.
Kevin Love had 31 points and a season-best 18 rebounds, while James contributed 20 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in a rivalry missing one key piece: the Warriors star Stephen Curry, who missed his eighth straight game with a sprained right ankle.
Thompson scored 24 points for Golden State, which was playing on Christmas for the fifth consecutive year, and Draymond Green had a triple-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. The Warriors, whose 11-game winning streak was stopped by Denver on Saturday night, now have 12 victories in 13 games.
The Warriors were 10 of 37 on 3-point attempts, two days after shooting 3 for 27 from long range against the Nuggets.
James’s 3-pointer with 10:39 left cut Cleveland’s deficit to 1, but Green answered with a 3 and Andre Iguodala scored 2 of his 9 points on Golden State’s next possession. In another key sequence, Durant blocked Tristan Thompson’s shot with 6:23 to go and dunked moments later.
The Cavaliers, who had won six of seven and were playing for the first time since Thursday, saw their run of scoring at least 100 points end at 26 games. Their 31.8 percent field-goal shooting was the worst by a Warriors opponent in nearly four years. And just as they did in the 2017 and 2015 finals against the Warriors, the Cavaliers lost.
“We just didn’t make shots,” Cleveland Coach Tyronn Lue said.
The teams will see each other again soon, playing Jan. 15 in Cleveland.
WIZARDS 111, CELTICS 103 Bradley Beal scored 25 points, John Wall had 21 points and 14 assists, and Washington beat Boston in the Celtics’ first Christmas Day home game in franchise history.
Otto Porter Jr. added 20 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. finished with 16, helping the Wizards win the first meeting between the teams since Boston’s Game 7 victory at home in the second round of the playoffs last spring.
The Celtics, who lead the Eastern Conference, lost for the third time in four games. Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum each scored 20 points for Boston, and Terry Rozier had 16.
The Wizards led by 2 at halftime and opened the third quarter by scoring 13 of the first 17 points, pulling ahead, 65-54, on Marcin Gortat’s 3-point play.
In the fourth quarter, Boston opened a 95-90 lead on Irving’s 3-pointer with 6:18 left, but the Wizards responded with a 12-0 run. Beal capped the spurt with a 3-point play and a breakaway dunk off a turnover.
Wall added a layup and two free throws down the stretch to help Washington hold on.
Last season, the teams had a testy rivalry with a lot of trash talking and a few games filled with hard fouls. It was more civil on Monday — just a tight defensive game with numerous contested shots and a few hard screens.
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