The Warriors found themselves in a hole Thursday night in Cleveland against an undermanned Cavs team.
Golden State slept-walked through the first three quarters against a Cavs team without Evan Mobley, Collin Sexton, Lauri Markkanen and Jarrett Allen, finding itself trailing 81-68 entering the fourth. But, as he so often does, Steph Curry came alive late, scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Warriors to a 104-89 win.
In doing so, the Warriors became the first team since the 2015 Detroit Pistons to enter the fourth quarter trailing by at least 13 points and win by 15 or more. Thursday night was the first time the Warriors have ever accomplished the feat in franchise history, per Elias Sports Bureau.
Curry's fourth-quarter barrage will get all the headlines, but the Warriors star pointed to the team's defense as the main reason for the comeback. Golden State held Cleveland to just eight points in the final frame.
"The only reason that we opened the game up is we went on a 13-0 run and they struggled to score and through 36 minutes, we really struggled to get stops and then force them into tough looks and we were playing against set defense the whole night, and they had a lot of energy, they're playing well, so fourth quarter, we just let it go, intensity and focus on the defensive end, that unit was unbelievable. That was a real good, feel-good win," Curry told Bob Fitzgerald and Kelenna Azubuike postgame.
The Warriors now are 13-2 on the season and look like the most complete team in the league. That they are doing all of this without Klay Thompson and James Wiseman speaks to the depth and talent on the roster Bob Myers assembled.
As for Curry, well, the early NBA MVP front-runner continues to leave everyone shaking their head in amazement.
"Nothing surprises me anymore, and yet I'm amazed if that makes sense," Kerr said after the win vs. the Cavs. "It's still incredible to watch, but you sort of expect it. That's what greatness is about ... you sort of expect something to happen and then he does it and you're just in awe."