The Warriors rediscovered their shooting touch Saturday night and it paved the way a 115-105 victory over the Trail Blazers at Moda Center in Portland.
After shooting 42.5 percent in a loss to the Blazers on Thursday in Oakland, the Warriors torched the nets at a 49.4-percent clip. Four players scored in double figures, led by 32 points from Klay Thompson.
The Warriors (24-13) prevailed despite losing Andre Iguodala to an ejection at the end of the first half. By throwing the ball into the stands with force after the halftime buzzer, Iguodala was guilty of a “hostile act” according to the officiating crew.
Here are three takeaways from a win that gave the Warriors a split of their games with the Blazers this week.
The return of Klay Thompson
The Warriors have been patiently awaiting the return of the Klay Thompson they’ve known for seven years. He arrived on Saturday.
Thompson’s 32 points came on 12-of-21 shooting from the field, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. He was plus-1 over 34 minutes.
Thompson had averaged 12.3 points, on 30.9-percent shooting, including 17.9 percent from deep, over the previous five games. This was Thompson’s first 30-point game this month, and the first time since Nov. 23 against Portland that Thompson shot more than 50 percent from the field.
Thompson went home – his family lived in the Portland area until Klay was 13 – and found his shot. When he is this efficient, it’s tough for any team to beat the Warriors.
Good defense, better offense
The Warriors didn’t play defense quite as well as they did on Thursday, when Portland shot 36.2 percent, but holding the Blazers to 42.9 percent did the trick.
On offense, though, the Warriors utterly sparkled, particularly from deep. After going on 13-of-44 (29.5 percent) on Thursday, they went 12-of-25 (48 percent) on Saturday.
They used Kevon Looney, with nine first-quarter points, to soften the Portland defense, and then Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Thompson took over.
Curry scored 25 points on 6-of-15 shooting (2-of-8 from deep) but made 11-of-14 from the line. He was plus-10 over 36 minutes.
Durant finished with 25 points on 10-of-19 shooting but missed his only 3-point attempt. He was plus-3 over 34 minutes.
The rotation expands
After utilizing an eight-man rotation for all but a few minutes on Thursday, coach Steve Kerr followed through on his plan to go deeper into the bench for the rematch.
Eleven different Warriors played at least seven minutes.
Quinn Cook played 12 minutes Saturday after playing three minutes against the Blazers on Thursday. He played nine minutes total over the five previous games.
Alfonzo McKinnie, who also played three minutes on Thursday, was on the floor for 13. And Jordan Bell, who played 55 seconds on Thursday and 11 minutes in the four previous games, put in seven minutes.
Cook was particularly effective, making a pair of 3-pointers and grabbing three rebounds.
This was Kerr going back to his “Strength In Numbers” credo. It doesn’t always work, but it did in this game.