Warriors

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from 137-90 win over Hornets

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from 137-90 win over Hornets

OAKLAND -- Maybe the Warriors' anger in the wake of their bitter overtime loss two nights earlier in Minnesota spilled over into Sunday.

They came after Charlotte quickly and with destructive intentions, and cruised to a 137-90 triumph over the Hornets before a relaxed sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.

The win gave the Warriors (52-24) their fifth consecutive Pacific Division title and a one-game lead over the Denver Nuggets, who lost to the Washington Wizards on Sunday, atop the Western Conference standings.

Here are three takeaways from a victory in which every available Warrior played:

Let it rain

When the Warriors are making 3-pointers at a high rate, the opponent, no matter how good, has almost no chance. They shot a franchise-best (for 30 or more attempts) 63.6 percent from deep, with Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry leading the way.

Thompson scored 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting, including 6 of 9 from deep. He moved past Rashard Lewis and into 16th place on the NBA's all-time list at 1,788 -- 39 behind Kobe Bryant.

Curry scored a game-high 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 5 of 8 from beyond the arc. This was his career-high eighth consecutive game with at least five triples.

Draymond Green was 2 of 4 from deep, and is 11 of 24 (45.8 percent) from deep over his last nine games.

The Warriors over the last four games shot a preposterous 51.9 percent from deep -- yet somehow lost at Minnesota on Friday.

[WATCH: DeMarcus Cousins ejected for Flagrant 2]

Point KD

Kevin Durant, one of the greatest scorers in NBA history, continues to flourish in the role of ... point forward, finishing with a game-high-tying nine assists in 27 minutes.

Meanwhile, his scoring efficiency remains rather absurd. He scored 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting, including 1 of 1 from deep.

Durant routinely brings the ball up court, motioning teammates into position. It’s clear he is looking to set up others more than get his own shot, which he can do whenever he pleases.

But the most telling stat about the focus of the four-time scoring leader is that over the last four games Durant has more assists (32) than field goals (30).

Cook on fire

Quinn Cook’s shooting slump, which lasted for the better part of two months, definitely is a thing of the past.

[RELATED: Draymond busts Quinn's chops]

The diminutive backup point guard scored 13 of his 21 points in the first half on 5-of-5 shooting, including 3 of 3 from beyond the arc. After going 10 of 45 from deep over the months of January and February, Cook was 20 of 40 (adjust) in March -- and 10 of 12 over his last four games.

Inasmuch as he is a liability on defense, the only way for Cook to get playing time is with effective scoring. He has found his rhythm, and is rolling toward the end of the regular season.

How Warriors are affected by EuroLeague canceling rest of 2019-20 season

How Warriors are affected by EuroLeague canceling rest of 2019-20 season

While the NBA is inching closer to resuming the 2019-20 season, Europe's top basketball league decided not to pursue the same avenue.

The EuroLeague announced Monday that it was canceling the remainder of its 2019-20 season.

Each EuroLeague team had played 28 of their 34 regular-season games.

Ordinarily, the EuroLeague ending its season wouldn't be news for the Warriors and their fans. But 2020 has been a completely different year for the Warriors. Mired in a 15-50 season, Golden State will have a top-five pick in this year's NBA draft.

That means 19-year-old Israeli prospect Deni Avdija, who plays for Maccabi Tel-Aviv, is on the Warriors' radar. NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole reported at the end of April that the Warriors have traveled to Europe to take a look at Avdija, who could be a top-five draft pick.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

With the Warriors missing the playoffs this season, the team was going to use the unexpected free time in May to go scout prospects in Europe. Coach Steve Kerr reportedly was supposed to go watch Killian Hayes and Théo Maledon, while Kent Lacob, director of team development, was going to scout Avdija. But the coronavirus pandemic forced the Warriors to cancel those travel plans.

Due to travel restrictions, the Warriors likely wouldn't have been able to send anyone to watch Avdija play in the final six EuroLeague games had they been held, but they could have at least gotten more film on him. Now, they will have to form their opinion of Avdija with the in-person scouting they've already done and the film they have on hand.

In 21 games this season against Israel Basketball Super League competition, Avdija averaged 12.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 26.6 minutes.

[RELATED: 2020 NBA Mock Draft 7.0]

Avdija hasn't seen as much playing time in the EuroLeague, so his numbers aren't great. In 26 games against better competition, he's averaging 4.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 14.2 minutes.

We don't know when the NBA will hold the 2020 draft, but if the Warriors select Avdija, we'll know they saw enough of him before the coronavirus put a stop to basketball around the world.

Michael Jordan-Steph Curry 'The Match' pairing posed by Colin Cowherd

Michael Jordan-Steph Curry 'The Match' pairing posed by Colin Cowherd

Sunday’s “The Match,” featuring a showdown between NFL stars Peyton Manning and Tom Brady along with PGA icons Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods was a smashing success. The event raised $20 million for coronavirus relief in the United States, and was the highest-rated golf event in cable television history.

The access and humorous trash talk throughout has led many to speculate as to which duo from sports could be part of the next iteration of the event. Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd discussed this on Monday and posed some interesting potential pairings.

"Michael has always let it be known that he's pretty good at golf," Cowherd said. "Steph is easily the best current NBA golfer, that I would pay to see."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Steph Curry tweeted Sunday that he’d like to be included next time around, and sure enough Cowherd first mentioned a duel between the Warriors star and another NBA icon with North Carolina roots in Michael Jordan. MJ was shown to play golf frequently throughout his NBA career during ESPN’s “The Last Dance,” and continues to be a fan of the sport.

Curry is an avid golf fan and was glued to his television Sunday during “The Match.” He’s played in some professional golf events in the past, and always is among the best current athletes at the celebrity-laden American Century Championship each summer in Lake Tahoe.

Given MJ’s propensity to trash talk during his historic NBA career, it’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t be trading barbs constantly with Curry. Steph’s confidence never has been in question and he likely would have plenty of fun going back and forth with Jordan.

[RELATED: Who Warriors fans think Steph Curry should team up with in 'The Match']

Throwing a couple PGA pros in, especially two who are avid NBA fans could make for some great conversation. As we saw throughout Sunday’s foursome, Mickelson and Woods were more than willing to engage and dish out some one-liners.

MJ likely wouldn’t be thrilled about being mic’d up for an entire round with no editorial control. But if both parties would be willing, this would be the most highly-anticipated event in the history of golf.

Plus we finally could settle that pesky debate of which team was more dominant between Curry’s 2016-17 Warriors and Jordan’s 1995-96 Bulls.