Sometimes a players performance doesnt quite sink in untila little bit after. Which is what Stephen Currys game against Dallas just did.The boxscore will say Curry had 31 points on 9-for-21 fromthe field, including 3-for-7 from 3-point range and nine assists in 43minutes in the Warriors 105-101 overtime win against the Mavericks. And thatscertainly a nice game.But it doesnt really capture the impact Curry had on thegame. Currys had big games before, but hes never had one like this where hetook over a game late and brought home a win for the Warriors.In short, it was the best game of Currys NBA career. Howcould it not be? Of the Warriors 15 overtime points, Curry had a hand in 13of them. He had six points and three assists in overtime, including aspoon-feed to David Lee with 31 seconds left, which put the Warriors up two andwas the games biggest basket.The only two points he wasnt in on were two meaninglessfree throws inside of 10 seconds. Other than that, heres how Currys overtimebasically went: bucket, assist, assist, two foul shots, assist, two foul shots.Truth be told, Curry did miss a shot in there and commit aturnover so it wasnt quite perfection.But Curry might have been even better at the end of regulation.In fact, after he tweaked his ankle with 8:07 remaining in the fourth quarteron a drive, he was by far the best player on the court and that includedDallas O.J. Mayo, who was doing some things of his own.Curry scored the teams last eight points in regulation, andthey were all must-haves. His jumper with six minutes left put the Warriors upone; His two foul shots with four-and-a-half minutes left tied the game at 84,and two more free throws 50 seconds later pulled Golden State withinone.His foul-line jumper put the Warriors up 90-88 with 1:57left.Taking Currys play back a little further, youll find thathe had a hand in 16 of the Warriors last 17 points of the fourth quarter 14points and an assist in the last eight-plus minutes.He also had two steals in the final eight minutes ofregulation.On top of all that, if you take a look at Currys oppositenumber, Darren Collison, youll find that he didnt play very well, to say theleast.Collison finished with seven points on 2-for-11 shooting,five assists and five turnovers in 38 minutes. Now, all of that wasnt Curry,of course, but some of it had to be.Which means in addition to making virtually every big playin the last 13 minutes of a big road win, Curry also shut down the opposingpoint guard.That would have to be Currys best-ever game as aWarrior.
OAKLAND -- The defending champion Warriors started cracking in the hours before tipoff Tuesday night and broke apart when they usually come together.
The fourth quarter was a disaster area and it cost the Warriors, as the Houston Rockets wiped out a 13-point deficit and tagged them with a 122-121 loss before a stunned sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.
So ends, as it should, the spurious notion of a rubber-stamp championship for the Warriors. A strain here and a tweak there and they found themselves on the painful end of the score.
The Warriors learned prior to the game that forward Andre Iguodala, their valuable Sixth Man, would be out nursing a strained back. They were hit with another injury, this one to Draymond Green, who was highly effective, late in the third quarter.
“He was our best player tonight,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He was the guy who was bringing the energy and the life.”
Green’s numbers -- 9 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists -- barely hint at his value in this game. Green and Iguodala are the primary defensive communicators, and Green held it down fairly well -- until he, too, was gone.
“Our communication wasn’t very good and we didn’t stick to the game plan; we gave them too many wide-open threes,” said Klay Thompson, who scored 11 first-quarter points but only 5 over the final three.
“We did a good job in the half-court of keeping them in front,” said Kevin Durant, who also scolded himself for committing eight turnovers. “But in transition we got cross-matched so many times and we just didn’t communicate well enough.”
Games aren’t always lost in the fourth, despite the frequent narrative, but this one most assuredly was. With Green in the locker room accompanied by ice, the Warriors were outscored 34-20 in the fourth quarter.
After shooting 45.8 percent through three quarters, the Rockets took it to 56 percent in the fourth, closing the game on a 13-5 run over the final 4:01.
The Warriors don’t yet know when Green and Iguodala will return, whether it’s as soon as Friday at New Orleans or a matter of weeks. Until they do, Kerr will have to resort to patching things together.
Problem is, aside from the scoring of Nick Young (23 points on 8-of-9 shooting, including 6-of-7 from deep) and Jordan Bell (8 points on 4-of-5 shooting in 12 minutes), the bench did not distinguish itself.
That was particularly true on defense, which happen to be where Iguodala and Green make their greatest impact. The reserves accounted for 13 of the 25 fouls called on the Warriors.
“We’ve got to be better,” Durant said. “We’ve got to be better, and we’re looking forward to practice Wednesday.”
Draymond Green usually gets the last word.
Not this time.
"Somebody said we don't take it seriously on defense. Well obviously they don't take it seriously either," Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni said after the Rockets knocked off the Warriors 122-121 on Tuesday night., according to Santa Rosa Press Democrat's Phil Barber.
The jab stems from Green's comments after practice on Monday.
"You should believe that. I'm turning over a new leaf. Number 1 -- they want it to be a shootout, which is fine. But we're gonna play some defense. We score pretty well, but we're a damn good defensive team, too. So we're gonna play some defense.
"I don't know how serious they take defense with that comment, but I know they added some good defensive players," Green told reporters Monday.
Green won't get his next shot at D'Antoni and the Rockets until January 4 in Houston.