The Cleveland Cavaliers making their lone trip to Oracle Arena to face the Warriors used to be one of the marquee games of the year. But that is no longer the case.
With LeBron James now playing for the Lakers, the Cavs (19-60) have returned to being bound for the lottery and are simply playing out the remainder of the season. The Warriors (54-24), meanwhile, remain a juggernaut and have all but locked up the No. 1 seed in the West.
The Warriors will be without DeMarcus Cousins (load management) and Andre Iguodala (toe) for the game.
Golden State is playing on the second night of a back-to-back after they blew out the LeBron-less Lakers on Thursday night. Cousins led the way with 21 points.
The Cavs are led by promising rookie Collin Sexton, who is averaging 16.6 points per game.
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Here's how you can watch Warriors vs. Cavs on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming online on the MyTeams app:
When: Friday, April 5, at 7:30 p.m. PT (pregame at 6:30 p.m.)
TV Channel: NBC Sports Bay Area
Live Stream: MyTeams by NBC Sports app
OAKLAND – There was a time, not long ago, when Oracle Arena would be buzzing with anticipation and dripping with drama at the thought of the Cleveland Cavaliers playing the Warriors.
Steph vs. Kyrie. KD vs. LeBron. Draymond vs. the entire Cleveland roster.
None of those factors, with the possible exception of Draymond Green challenging every Cav, will be present when the teams meet Friday night. Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6 p.m. with Warriors Outsiders, followed by Warriors Pregame Live at 6:30, with tipoff scheduled for 7:40.
[RELATED: How to watch Warriors vs. Cavs live online on MyTeams]
The Warriors (54-24) will be trying to clinch best record in the Western Conference. A victory combined with a Denver Nuggets loss to the Portland Trail Blazers would give the Warriors homecourt advantage throughout the first three rounds of the NBA playoffs.
Cleveland was, by contrast, eliminated from the playoffs four weeks ago. With Kyrie Irving being traded two years ago and LeBron James leaving last summer, the current Cavs (19-60) have lost seven in a row, and are a skeletal reflection of the squad that faced the Warriors in four consecutive NBA Finals.
Rather than possibly being too hyped up for this matchup, the Warriors will have to find motivation in the greater goal of ensuring that any potential Game 7 comes through Oakland.
F Kevin DurantF Draymond GreenC Andrew BogutG Klay Thompson
G Stephen Curry
F Cedi OsmanF Larry Nance Jr.C Tristan ThompsonG Brandon Knight
G Collin Sexton
Warriors: Center DeMarcus Cousins (load management), forward Andre Iguodala (left toe soreness) and center Damian Jones (left pectoral surgery) are listed as out.
Cavaliers: Guard Matthew Dellavedova (concussion), forward/center John Henson (left wrist surgery) and forward Kevin Love (left shoulder soreness) are listed as out. Guard J.R/ Smith (personal) is not with the team.
Warriors: The absence of Cousins and Iguodala likely means more minutes for Bogut and guard Shaun Livingston, both of whom rested Thursday against the Los Angeles Lakers, as well as guard Alfonzo McKinnie ... If the Warriors build a big early lead against a struggling team, as they did in LA, guards Quinn Cook and Damion Lee could see significant time ... Curry needs 24 points to move past Paul Arizin (16,226) on the franchise’s career scoring list ... If you’re looking for an indicator that the Warriors are gearing up for the postseason, here’s one: Their 98.3 defensive rating over the last five games is No. 1 in the league ... The Warriors this season are 8-3 in the second game of back-to-back sets.
Cavaliers: Rookie point guard Collin Sexton has had a solid second half, and looks like a keeper. He has scored at least 20 points in 12 of last 14 games. Averaging 16.6 ppg and shooting 41.1 percent from deep, he’s on pace to become the third rookie (joining Larry Bird and Stephen Curry) to average at least 16 ppg and shoot at least 40 percent from deep ... Guard Jordan Clarkson, the team’s sixth man, is the leading scorer among active Cavs (17.1 ppg). He also has 70 double-digit scoring games this season, tops among all reserves ... As poorly as the Cavs have played on their 0-4 road trip, they’ve outrebounded opponents by an average of 7.5 a game. Nance is averaging 12.3 per game on the trip. Rebounding is an area in which the Warriors can be vulnerable.
Officials: Ken Mauer (crew chief), Tony Brown, Leroy Richardson
Steph Curry is the gift that keeps on giving. Well, at least he's the guy that keeps giving the gifts.
Recently, the six-time All-Star surprised the Notre Dame women's basketball team with pairs of his new Under Armour Curry 6s before the team took on UConn on Friday night in the Final Four. He gifted Curry 6s to the Texas Tech men's hoops team ahead of their Final Four matchup as well.
He wished the Fighting Irish the best of luck in a video message:
Our squad got a special surprise from a certain MVP before Friday’s National Semifinal.
We’re proud to have you in our corner, @StephenCurry30.#WFinalFour #GoIrish pic.twitter.com/OrtTYf5h5Y
— Notre Dame WBB (@ndwbb) April 5, 2019
Curry gifted the girls with the "Coy Fish colorways." This particular style was a nod "to the vibrant beauty of the koi fish, featuring a bright yellow fully knit upper, a full-length HOVR midsole and a water-like clear outsole for best-in-class traction," according to the Under Armour website. He also told a fun, prankster story about how the name came about -- and it had to do with jumping in a koi fish pond at a restaurant.
[RELATED: KD mum on details of hushed conversation with LeBron]
Notre Dame will take on UConn in the Final Four Semifinals on Friday night at 9:00 p.m. PT on ESPN2.