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What we learned in Warriors' blowout win over lowly Pistons

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Warriors' Draymond Green

It seems the critiques issued by coach Steve Kerr and Steph Curry after the loss two nights ago in Phoenix were heard throughout from one end of the Warriors’ roster to the other.

They were a different team Saturday night, and the poor Detroit Pistons never had a chance as Golden State rolled to a 118-91 rout at Chase Center.

The Warriors took a 10-point lead in the first five minutes and maintained a double-digit cushion from late in the first quarter until the final horn.

Here are three takeaways from a game that could serve as a reference for Kerr and Curry whenever they want to remind the Warriors how they look when engaged at both ends.

Draymond makes his presence felt

There were times when it seemed Pistons star Blake Griffin longed for a way out, seeking an exit through which he could flee. Anything to get away from Draymond Green.

The Green-Griffin matchup, which dates back to the 2014 playoffs, never ceases to entertain. Draymond’s respect for Griffin is nonexistent. Blake knows it and it shows when they share company.

Two nights after scoring 23 points in an upset of the Lakers, Griffin finished with five points on 1-of-8 shooting in just over 21 minutes, mostly with Green as the primary defender. Griffin looked, by turns, annoyed and forlorn.

His stats were drab -- four points, six assists, five rebounds -- but it’s generally wrong to measure Draymond by numbers. He’s an igniter at both ends, and his energy in this game was set on ultra-high. He's a defensive menace, particularly when assigned to Griffin.

 

This is the Draymond the Warriors need to consistently compete.

The defense never rests

From sidelines to mountaintops, Kerr has spent much of the season shouting the same message: We can’t consistently succeed unless we consistently defend.

The Warriors heard it Saturday night and, from the opening tip, responded appropriately.

With the Warriors harassing every man wearing a blue jersey, Detroit missed nine of its first 10 shots. It didn’t get much better for the Pistons as the game went on. They shot 27.3 percent in the first quarter, 34.1 for the half and 37.7 percent for the night.

In addition to silencing Griffin, the Warriors totally erased guard Wayne Ellington. One of the hottest scorers in the league and shooting 61.9 percent beyond the arc over his last five games, was scoreless, missing all five of his 3-point shots before calling it a night. Kelly Oubre Jr. barely let Ellington breathe.

The Pistons are not very good. That doesn’t matter if the goal is to build good habits. If the Warriors play with similar energy, they’ll find wins against good teams.

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Curry cooks

Curry talked the talk and went out and walked the walk.

He was superb, playing perhaps his most offensively efficient game of the season. He scored a game-high 28 points in 30 minutes, shooting 11-of-17 from the field and 6-of-8 beyond the arc. He added seven assists and five rebounds, finishing a team-best plus-26. Curry could have gone 35 or 40. He was that locked in, and the defense was that exploitable.

If there is a nit to pick with Curry, it’s turnovers. He had five against the Pistons, the eighth time in nine games that he committed at least three.