Kevin Durant delivered at both ends as the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 99-92 in a Christmas Day rematch of opponents from the past three NBA Finals series.
Durant, the Finals MVP six months ago, finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots while also defending against LeBron James.
After teammate Klay Thompson hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 1:33 left, Durant's block against a driving James with 24.5 seconds left went to official review and was ruled clean.
Kevin Love had 31 points with six three-pointers and a season-best 18 rebounds for the Cavaliers, while James contributed 20 points, six rebounds and six assists in a rivalry missing one key piece: the Warriors' two-time MVP Stephen Curry, who missed his eighth straight game with a sprained right ankle.
For the Warriors, Thompson scored 24 points and Draymond Green had a triple-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.
It was Golden State's 12th win in 13 games after their 11-game winning streak was snapped by Denver on Saturday night.
No surprise, the up-tempo, running rivals provided high entertainment once again. The Warriors last June captured a second championship in three years against James and the Cavaliers.
"I forgot all about it," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said with a chuckle.
He certainly can recall Cleveland's title-clinching victory at Oracle Arena in 2016 after the Warriors won it all in 2015 for their first title in 40 years.
The teams will see each other again soon, playing on January 15 in Cleveland.
The Cavs, having won six of seven and playing for the first time since Thursday, had their run of scoring at least 100 points end at 26 games.
They were three of 24 in the 2nd quarter, going 0 for 17 from inside the arc.
The Warriors were at nearly full strength again aside from Curry, who could return this week once he goes through some scrimmages at practice.
In another Christmas Day clash, Australia's rising superstar Ben Simmons struggled offensively and finished with just eight points but his Philadelphia 76ers snapped their season-high five-game losing streak in a 105-98 win over the New York Knicks.
Centre Joel Embiid lead the way for the 76ers with 25 points and 16 rebounds, while J.J. Redick added 24 points with four 3-pointers.
Simmons had a crucial steal and breakaway dunk with one minute, six seconds left, jumping in front of a Kristaps Porzingis pass and taking it the other way to give the 76ers an eight-point cushion.
He then forced a turnover on New York's next possession, and Philadelphia was able to juice the clock late. ,