The Warriors should feel good about going 2-2 on their Texas road trip. And they should feel even better about how they responded in their second game against the Spurs Tuesday night -- a 114-91 win.
After a loss just one night before that was plagued with turnovers, the Warriors turned the tables, finishing with just eight turnovers and scoring 19 points off the Spurs' 14 turnovers.
The Warriors also need to be proud of how they secured this game. After the first half, it could have gone either way. They played a solid half, but too many empty possessions and missed free-throws made it look like it could be their downfall. But they had a different energy in the second half, executing their plays, getting shots off on nearly every possession, and holding their own on defense. The biggest positive sign: everyone was involved.
This is a win the Warriors should feel good about building from. Here are three takeaways' from their win in San Antonio:
Finally, others chipped in
When Steve Kerr said he wouldn't be increasing Steph Curry's minutes anytime soon, it was almost another way of saying he's not going to just rely on Curry to win games. Other players are going to have to step up.
Curry scored 32 points in his 32 minutes Tuesday, but six other Warriors finished in double figures.
Eric Paschall had 15 and went 3-for-3 from 3-point range. Andrew Wiggins scored 14, Kelly Oubre Jr. finished with 12, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Damion Lee each added 11 and Kent Bazemore scored 10.
This is what needs to happen for the Warriors to start winning at a consistent level. Curry scored 57 points a few nights ago in a loss. Clearly, he cannot do it alone.
And rather than just one or two players helping Curry out, it was several players. Finally getting everyone on a good night shows what this team is actually capable of, and that's putting together some good basketball.
Leaving money on the table
As good as the game ended, the first stretch was rough.
The final play of the first half summed up the early part of the game for the Warriors. Toscano-Anderson caught a pass from Curry just underneath the basket. Toscano-Anderson tried to lay it up and in, but missed. He caught his own rebound and tried to tip it in again. Once again, it fell out of the hoop.
The Warriors couldn't buy a basket: the free-throw line, and from within five feet of the rim.
The Warriors went 5-11 from the free-throw line in the first half and shot what felt like a similar percentage from a few feet from the hoop. They improved but still finished the game shooting 68.4 percent from the stripe.
As the Warriors continue to find their identity and consistency, they need every basket they can get. They are making it far harder on themselves -- especially in close games -- when they can't make the easy shot. Curry has said that every night, particularly every loss, it feels like there is one glaring issue that defined the game. Tuesday night, missed easy layups could have been the glaring issue.
The third quarter (which we'll get to) allowed the Warriors to get a comfortable lead that was sustained through the rest of the game, but if that didn't happen, the first half and those missed shots could have come back to haunt them.
A big third quarter
After one of their sloppiest halves of the season, the Warriors finally managed to create some separation in the third quarter.
The period started with the game tied at 50, but the momentum quickly swung in the Warriors' direction. Continued strong defense and finally offense that saw far fewer missed layups and made shots from the perimeter, the Warriors outscored the Spurs 36-20 in the third (64-41 in the second half), building a 21-point lead at one point.
Curry hit three of his four 3-pointers in the third quarter and matched his 16-point total from the first half. But that's also when players who aren't part of the Curry family finally got involved.
The Warriors took their foot off the gas a bit at the end of the period, but it gave them enough of a lead after a sloppy first half to carry the momentum until the end.