OAKLAND – Considering both teams were on the second night of a back-to-back set, the Warriors and Clippers put on quite the show Sunday night at Oracle Arena.
We take a closer look at the Warriors positives and negatives culled from a game that had most everything a fan could ask for:
No doubt Stephen Curry knew what was coming. He studies the scouting reports, sees the video and, moreover, knows the history of premier defenders Avery Bradley and Patrick Beverley, both of whom fancy themselves as Steph Stoppers.
Any such thought is history, too, as Curry went for 42 points on 12-of-22 shooting, including 6-of-15 from deep. He saw a threat, and he beat it down.
It’s always risky to doubt Curry, never more than when he out to make a point.
Kevin Durant is such a consistent scorer that his other production can get lost. Oh, he scored 35, 14 of which came in a pivotal third quarter. He drained big triples, grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and had five assists. But his rim protection was downright energizing.
His big block on Montrezl Harrell late in the third ignited a fast break that sent the Warriors into the fourth quarter with palpable momentum.
Durant played 38 minutes and was a team-best plus-13. When he’s making plays at both ends, there may not be a better player in the league.
Couldn’t stop the rain
The Clippers missed their first 3-point shot and then made their next six. That’s about how it went all night, as they rained triples down upon the Warriors. LA was 18-of-23 from beyond the arc, setting an NBA record for best percentage (78.3) for a team making at least 15 or taking at least 20. T
hey made open 3s, contested 3s and stubborn 3s that told the Warriors they were not going away.
There is plenty of video ammo for the coaching staff to evaluate, and nobody will be happy about the frequency of lazy closeouts or miscommunications.
It’s called respecting the ball
Even with the fantastic performances of Curry and Durant, it’s likely nothing made the coaching staff happier than the Warriors committing seven turnovers, tying a season-low. No player had more than two (Draymond Green, Jonas Jerebko) and Clippers scored only 7 points off Warriors giveaways.
Curry, who averages 3.1 turnovers per game, committed exactly zero.
Yeah, this is one category Steve Kerr and his assistants wish they could bottle and re-open every game.