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J.R. Smith Comments on End of Warriors' Undefeated Streak

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIDecember 14, 2015

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 16:  Andre Iguodala #9 of the Golden State Warriors goes up against J.R. Smith #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game Six of the 2015 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena on June 16, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith was disappointed about his team not being the one to put a dent in the Golden State Warriors' perfect record.

The reigning champions won 24 straight before losing to the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.

Smith spoke about his desire, which likely stemmed from the Warriors defeating the Cavs in the 2015 NBA Finals, per ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin:

I was upset. I'm not going to lie. When it was a tough game against Boston, I was home watching the game and I was like, 'Man, y'all got to pull this out. Y'all got to pull this out.' I wanted them to go undefeated until they played us.

[...]

It had to come to an end sooner or later. They had a hell of a run.

Cleveland squares off with Golden State on Christmas Day in Oakland, which will be among the best regular-season games of 2015-16. It could well be a championship preview, as both squads sit atop their respective conferences at the moment.

Iman Shumpert just returned for the Cavs and scored 14 points in the team's recent victory over the Orlando Magic. He is key as a perimeter defender and will be a huge factor in the showdown against Golden State.

Smith arrived with Shumpert from New York in a trade last season and sparked Cleveland's run to the NBA Finals. Unfortunately, the former wasn't on his A-game in the pivotal six-game series, shooting just 31.2 percent overall and 29.4 percent from three-point range. That had to provide some fuel for Smith's comments.

Although he is struggling and shooting just 37.3 percent from the floor with an 11.2 points-per-game average, Smith stands to benefit from Shumpert's return as well as the eventual comeback of All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, who has yet to play this season and didn't play in the last five games of the Finals.

The Warriors have had the early upper hand in their title defense, but the Cavs have fared well at less than full strength and with Smith not shooting as accurately as usual. When the two sides do meet Christmas Day, Smith and Co. may well have the goods to hand Golden State another rare loss. ย 

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