Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 113-105 Game 4 win vs. Clippers

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 113-105 Game 4 win vs. Clippers


LOS ANGELES -- The Warriors have struggled with complacency all season long, sometimes letting inferior teams get the best of them on a national stage. 

That did not happen Sunday afternoon, when Golden State beat the LA Clippers 113-105 in Game 4 of their first-round NBA playoff series, taking a three-games-to-one series lead back to Oakland. Game 5 is scheduled for Wednesday night.

Any concern of early morning fatigue quickly vanished as the Warriors shot 50 percent in the first quarter, taking a quick 10-point lead. 

Here are the takeaways from the win at Staples Center.

Klay day (and everybody's celebratin')

Thompson got going early, making his first seven shots. He had 27 points by halftime, and finished with 32 points on 12-of-20 shooting from the field. 

With LA keeping a close eye on Kevin Durant after his Game 3 performance and Stephen Curry struggling, there were many looks to be had for the veteran marksman. 

Thompson's Game 4 performance came with a bit of redemption. Entering Sunday, he had made just five 3-pointers in the series. As the postseason drags on, performances like what Thompson did Sunday will be increasingly imperative for the Warriors. 

Easy money

Following Thompson's lead, Durant churned in an impressive performance, finishing with 33 points, seven rebounds and six assists. 

Durant provided a stabilizing force in the third quarter as the Clippers took a brief lead, hitting a few jumpers to keep the Warriors afloat and take a three-point lead into the fourth. 

Much has been made of Durant's facilitating over the last few weeks, but he's been as aggressive as ever in the two games in Los Angeles, scoring more than 30 points in each outing. 

Curry getting too personal(s)

While Thompson and Durant cooked, Curry was cold, finishing with just 12 points on 3-of-14 shooting from the field. A big reason for Curry's shooting woes was his foul trouble, as he racked up four personals, two of which came in the first quarter. 

Fouling has been an impediment for Curry in this series. Through four games, he has committed 17 personals, and he nearly fouled out of Game 3. 

For the Warriors and Curry to be successful, he'll have to stay on the floor and out of foul trouble.

Watch Steph Curry get soaked in dunk tank at 'Eat. Learn. Play.' event

Watch Steph Curry get soaked in dunk tank at 'Eat. Learn. Play.' event

Some NBA players can say they have dunked on Steph Curry, but can they say they dunked the Warriors star?

Curry and his wife Ayesha launched their "Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation" at a kickoff event in Oakland on Thursday, hosting nearly 1,000 kids for a day of activities. One of those activities was a dunk tank, and the two Currys -- one of whom forms one half of the Splash Brothers -- got very wet.  

The foundation aims to bring out the best in children "By fighting to end childhood hunger, ensuring access to education and enabling active lifestyles," according to its mission statement.

"[The kids are] having fun today, but obviously the back-end -- we're trying to create programs and do stuff that helps the entire youth in Oakland and the Bay Area," Steph said Thursday. "So, you gotta have energy for that."

Steph spent the first entirety of his first decade in the NBA in Oakland, but he and the Warriors will move to San Francisco's Chase Center next season. Despite the pending move, Ayesha said staying active in community efforts in The Town is necessary for the family.

[RELATED: Pelicans GM Griffin cites Warriors when talking philosophy]

"We hope to always be involved in this community," she said. "It's important to us." 

That community is better for their endeavors, and the Currys were wetter for theirs Thursday. 

Pelicans GM David Griffin cites Warriors blueprint when talking philosophy

Pelicans GM David Griffin cites Warriors blueprint when talking philosophy

On June 15, the Pelicans agreed to trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers.

In return, New Orleans received guards Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, forward Brandon Ingram, three first-round picks and the right to swap selections with Los Angeles in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Less than a week later, the Pelicans drafted Zion Williamson, Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker in the first round.

They added JJ Redick and Derrick Favors in free agency, and the franchise legitimately believes it can make the playoffs next season.

So despite losing The Brow, Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin is maintaining a "win now" approach.

What does this have to do with the Warriors? Well, Griffin provided the following explanation on "The Full 48" podcast with Howard Beck:

"Everybody gets so fixated on this in a binary way -- you're either trying to win a championship or you're supposed to tank and play for the lottery. Well, the value of growing together and learning how to win together is what really made the Golden State Warriors the animal and the flamethrower that they were.

"That nucleus of Steph [Curry], Klay [Thompson] and Draymond [Green] took their lumps together -- they learned how to win together -- in meaningful basketball games. They were a playoff team when Mark Jackson was let go. And Steve [Kerr] came in and sort of took them to an all together different level.

"But those playoff losses early on is what made it possible for them to embrace what Steve was doing and the value of what Steve was doing. Learning how to win together is a really big deal.

"And so everybody says they want to be the Warriors. They want to do this or do that. Well then do what they did. Keep a nucleus together and try to win basketball games ... raise kids in an environment in which winning matters.

"If we end up drafting 16 or 17 because we 'got in our own way,' well then the upside benefitted those kids playing meaningful basketball."

This is some awesome perspective.

Curry was the No. 7 pick in 2009, Klay was taken at No. 11 in 2011, and Draymond went No. 35 in 2012.

The No. 6 seed Warriors upset the No. 3 seed Nuggets in the first round of the 2013 playoffs before falling in six games to the Spurs in the second round.

[RELATEDWhy Gottlieb is very wrong about Draymond's place in NBA]

In 2014, the Dubs dropped Game 7 on the road to the Clippers in the opening round.

In 2015, they won the franchise's first championship since 1975.

As Griffin said, they learned how to win together and they continued to win even more.

But will the trio capture another championship? If they do, it just might be the most meaningful of all.

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