Wednesday's meeting at Quicken Loans Arena between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors was a rematch of the last four NBA Finals, but the game didn't possess the aura of some of their past clashes.
After Golden State blew out Cleveland by 24 points, Warriors guard Stephen Curry acknowledged the once great rivalry between the two teams is effectively over, and Cavs fans may know it.
"Yeah ... Considering all the battles we've had in the last four years, it was a little weird here," said Curry when asked about the lethargic crowd in attendance.
The current iteration of the Cavaliers is vastly different from the one Curry and Co. challenged for the Larry O'Brien trophy on numerous occasions. LeBron James took his talents to the Los Angeles Lakers over the summer, Kevin Love is sidelined with a toe injury, and key role players like Kyle Korver and J.R. Smith are also no longer in the fold. What's left is a young core that owns one of the worst records in the Association at 5-19.
Curry has fond memories of his team's tussles with Cleveland, especially considering his side captured three titles along the way. His focus is on adding another championship to the mantle, so while it was somewhat nostalgic being back at the Q, Curry knows now is not the time to focus on the past.
"I mean, it was a historic battle I think in terms of how people will look at those four years when it's all said and done," he explained. "Right now, it's still a little soon. We're still obviously in the fight to continue to win championships, so we most likely won't be here (in Cleveland) in the Finals, but in terms of our chase for what's next, there's not much time to really think about that as we go forward.
"Obviously great memories and tough memories in this building. I'll definitely sit back on the couch in 10, 12 years when it's all over and think about what it was like to play here, how high the stakes were every time we came into this building."
Curry was back in uniform for just the third time after sitting 11 straight contests with a groin injury. He finished with a game-high 42 points on 11-of-20 shooting and a scorching nine 3-pointers, adding nine boards and seven dimes in Golden State's 129-105 road victory.