LOS ANGELES -- Boogie Night went well for the Warriors, exceedingly so for DeMarcus Cousins and just enough for his new teammates.
The Warriors went full junkyard dog in the second half, taking apart the Clippers in a 112-94 win Friday night at Staples Center.
It was the seventh straight victory for the Warriors, and also their NBA-best sixth in a row on the road.
Here are some of the positive and negatives taken from the game:
The glory of Cuz
The Warriors, players and coaches, had only an idea about how Cousins would fare in his first game. They thought he’d be OK as long as he didn’t try to do too much. Turns out, Boogie packed a lot of good in his 15 minutes: 14 points (5-of-11 shooting, 3-of-4 from deep, 1-of-2 from the line), six rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal. He was plus-21. Walking off the floor after fouling out, he had to realize he met some expectations and exceeded others.
He did a lot of reaching and got too impetuous at times, but in the context of a preseason game -- that’s what it was for Cousins -- he was outstanding.
Draymond stays sharp
Remember when Draymond Green was giving away the ball every third blink of an eye? He committed 25 turnovers in the first six games of the season, 13 in his first four games after missing 11 games with a toe injury. The undersized power forward has turned it around quite nicely. He had a team-high nine assists and one turnover against the Clips. This was after an extraordinary 14-1 ratio against New Orleans on Wednesday. Over his last six games, he's had 60 assists and seven turnovers.
Green has settled down and cut back on passes that were high-risk or even reckless. His point forward skills are in a beautiful groove.
KD’s first half
If not for Kevin Durant, the Warriors would have gone into intermission with one turnover. They would have ended the game with a season-low five. KD, however, committed five in the first half. A couple went directly into the hands of the Clippers. He was playing as if anxious or desperate, perhaps trying to force things in hopes of benefitting Cousins. He came out in the second half, kept it simple and committed no turnovers. Durant finished with five, half of the team’s total for the game.
Though Durant’s passing has been a highlight all season, he sometimes gets too adventurous. He did in the first half, did not in the second. He figured it out.
After sauntering through most of the first half, giving up 20 points to Tobias Harris and allowing the Clippers to be within a point (52-51), the Warriors after halftime went into lockup mode. Harris was limited to eight points in the second half, all on free throws. He was 0-of-8 from the field. LA shot 33.3 percent over the final 24 minutes, with Green and Cousins being especially effective.
The Warriors can take over most games with a few minutes of stifling defense. Holding LA to one field goal in the first five minutes of the second half qualifies.
Curry’s triple trouble
A pattern is emerging within the 3-point shooting of Stephen Curry. Every fourth of fifth game, his shot becomes fallible. This was such a night. He was 3-of-11 (27.3 percent) from beyond the arc. He was not alone in this regard; the Warriors were 9-of-37 (24.3 percent) from deep. But this was the fifth time in 23 games since Curry returned to the lineup on Dec. 1 that he shot less than 30 percent from deep.
When Curry misses three of every four triples he takes, it stands out. Truth is, most NBA players would pray to have an “off” shooting night every fifth game.