Warriors takeaways: What we learned from bounce-back win vs. Hornets

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from bounce-back win vs. Hornets


The Warriors opened their four-game swing through the Eastern Conference with a 121-110 victory over the Hornets on Monday night at Spectrum Center in Charlotte.

All five starters scored in double digits, led by 26 points from Klay Thompson. DeMarcus Cousins poured in a season-high 24 points and Draymond Green flirted with his first triple-double of season, finishing with 14 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

Here are three takeaways for the Warriors’ 16th win over their last 18 road games:

It’s all in the timing

The Warriors seem to have a feel for when to crank up enough defense to turn back a team that refuse to go away -- if that team isn’t the Rockets. This was made easier by the fact that the Hornets, on offense, are nowhere near Houston’s level.

The Warriors held Charlotte to 43.1-percent shooting through three quarters and led by as much as 17 in the fourth quarter. But the Hornets stayed within striking distance, getting within seven (115-100) with 3:24 remaining.

So how did the Warriors respond? They forced four turnovers and held the Hornets to one field goal the rest of the way.

The killer instinct didn’t really surface until it had to. There was a threat, and then there wasn’t. Winning time was the right time.

The two Boogies

Word is out around the NBA. When playing the Warriors, find ways to attack the defense of DeMarcus Cousins. Ride your big man, no matter who he is.

That’s exactly what the Hornets did from the jump. Cody Zeller is, at best, a third-tier NBA center, but he looked like a star in the first quarter, using movement and slip screens to score 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting in only eight minutes.

Cousins was a step slow, a step late or completely out of position, with little backup.

This apparently ticked him off. He was a different dude in the second quarter, coming in and finding another gear. He scored 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting, including a 3-pointer, over seven minutes.

Cousins didn’t stop Zeller, who finished with a career-high 28 points on 13-of-14 shooting. But Boogie, finishing with 24 points and 11 rebounds -- over a season-high 31 minutes -- did just enough to neutralize the production of the Charlotte big man.

Still handing out gifts

The Warriors did it again. Tried to hand another game to another opponent with silly fouls and high-risk passes that led to turnovers.

They got away with it, but it’s a dangerous tendency that will be costly against most legitimate playoff-caliber teams.

The Warriors committed 15 turnovers, off which Charlotte scored 20 points. What’s worse is that the typically low-turnover Hornets totaled 12 turnovers -- a lot of them in the final minutes -- giving the Warriors 12 points.

As if the turnover discrepancy were not enough, the Warriors were whistled for 18 fouls, sending a hive of Hornets to the free throw line. Charlotte, much more disciplined, came away with a 26-13 advantage in free throws attempted.

They’ll snap out of it because they always do. But they’re giving the coaching staff plenty of salient talking points.

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 129-124 OT road loss to Blazers


Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 129-124 OT road loss to Blazers


PORTLAND -- The Warriors and Blazers matchup has provided plenty of memorable moments in the last decade. 

Now, even with both teams out of the playoff picture, they provided another thriller Monday night, with the Blazers (19-26) winning 129-124 in overtime at Moda Center. 

Along the way, Oakland-native Damian Lillard scored career-high 61 points, overcoming a balanced offensive effort from Eric Paschall, Alec Burks and D'Angelo Russell. 

After Lillard hit a 3-pointer to force overtime, the Blazers outscored Golden State 16-11 in the extra session, capped by two free throws from Lillard to seal the loss. In a season defined by injury, Monday's loss provided several lessons for the young core.

Here are the takeaways from a loss that gives the Warriors a 10-35 record:

Burks shines

With Russell struggling early and the Warriors failing to make any 3-pointers in the first quarter, an offensive spark was needed. By the end of the night, Burks provided that, scoring 33 points, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out eight assists. 

Burks started early, scoring Golden State's first nine points of the contest, becoming the lone bright spot in a quarter the Warriors shot 32.1 percent from the field. Down the stretch, he hit timely shots to combat Lillard's huge night. 

The performance was on brand for Burks, who came into Monday's game averaging 16.4 points over his last eight games. With most of Golden State's reputable scoring options on the bench, Burks will need to continue his current level of play for the team to have a chance. 

Marquese Chriss flies around

For the last week, Chriss has been adjusting to life as a two-way player, skipping most practices to preserve his active days on the roster. On Monday, he showed little sign of rust, scoring 14 points and pulling down six rebounds. 

Chriss was especially good in the second quarter, scoring six points in seven minutes, helping the Warriors take a 12-point lead. As he's shown throughout the season,  Chriss can be a difference-maker, especially as a lob threat. Under his current contract, he can prove to be a long-term difference maker. At his current pace, he's on track to do so. 

What rookie wall?

Recently, Paschall has been hearing questions about the drop from his early-season performance, prompting murmurs that he's hitting a "rookie wall." In the last week, he's momentarily quelled the noise, providing another strong display against the Blazers.

In 42 minutes, he scored 22 points and secured 13 rebounds. Paschall was especially good in the third quarter, scoring 10 points during the stretch, helping the Warriors take a five-point lead into the fourth quarter. 

The performance was indicative of Paschall's recent play. Entering Monday's game, he averaged 17.3 points and 5.7 rebounds over his last three games. If his latest output was any indication, he looks to be right back on track in his rookie season.

Charles Barkley calls Steph Curry, Klay Thompson 'Stay and Kleph'

Charles Barkley calls Steph Curry, Klay Thompson 'Stay and Kleph'

Charles Barkley needs to put some respect on Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.

But first, he needs to figure out how to say their names correctly.

At halftime of the Warriors-Blazers game, the TNT analyst was trying to say "Steph and Klay." Instead, he said this:

It was probably just a slip of the tongue, but considering it came from Barkley, Warriors fans wouldn't be faulted for thinking this was just another slight from the zero-time NBA champion.

All throughout the Warriors' five-year NBA Finals run, Barkley routinely criticized them. He kept saying a jump-shooting team couldn't win a championship (there's so many things wrong with that statement.)

Just last week, Barkley took a shot at Draymond Green, saying "Draymond don't talk as much since he's averaging that triple single."

On opening night in October, Thompson joined the TNT crew for their halftime show and Barkley told the All-Star shooting guard the Warriors wouldn't make the playoffs.

[RELATED: Steph targeting March 1 return]

In the end, Steph and Klay will always have the last laugh over Barkley. They have three rings (and counting). He has none.

Do you know how to say "none" correctly, Chuck?