Recap: GS Warriors rout Atlanta Hawks, 115-93

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors came through big tonight, finishing their historic 6-1 road trip with a decisive win over the Hawks. It was the statement blowout many fans have been waiting for, and will go a long way in establishing that Golden State is a team to take seriously.

Here it is, folks. That blowout win against a quality team. The win you and Pythagoras have waited for. The one that says the Warriors are for real.

Just don't read too much into the margin of victory tonight. Like our one blowout loss to the Lakers, this win is outside the range of scores you can expect. What it does is balance that out for the year so far - nothing more, and nothing less.

The reality is that our average margin of victory has been going up since the Dallas game. In the first 10 games, it was -2.5. In the last 15 games, it's been +2.9, and over 4.0 for the last 10. Trends matter, and the trends for the Dubs have been getting steadily better. They rank in the top third of the league for the last few weeks.

Random Notes:

David Lee is playing at an all-star level. His scoring average of 19.2 puts him 15th in the league, and he's sixth in rebounding per game at 11.5. After going 10-14 tonight, his fg% has climbed to .523, and "Mr Consistency" (as LeBron called him, or WCW if you prefer) has continued to rack up steals and assists while playing arguably the best defense of his life.

Stephen Curry is, too. He's 10th in scoring (tied with Paul Pierce), 14th in assists, and third in 3-point makes. Games like tonight make it clear we have to distinguish between a poor shooting night and playing badly. Pulling down 8 rebounds, along with 11 assists and 3 steals and 18 points, is not a bad game even when you shoot .300.

If you haven't yet, go here and vote for them both. Do it daily - you'll be glad you did.

Keys to the game, and how that worked out:
1. Put the ball in the hoop. Golden State did that really well in the first half. Barnes in particular had his best-shooting half since the last Atlanta game. After three quarters most of the Warriors were still hot, and Barnes hottest. Golden State finished the night shooting .495 from the field, despite .300 shooting from Curry.

2. Rebound. Warriors rebounded well in the first half, with a 28-22 edge on the boards. The third quarter increased the margin by another board, and the fourth extended it again to 54-45 for a nine rebound advantage on the night.

3. Take care of the ball. The first half we weren't so hot, with 4 more turnovers than the Hawks. After 3 the differential had shrunk to 2, and the Dubs finished the game even, at 11-11.

Predictions for tonight, and how they went:
  • Draymond Green shuts down at least 2 Hawks, and hits one shot. Ok, I was kinda wrong. Draymond made two shots.
  • Harrison Barnes remembers he's an offensive player and hits more than 25% of his shots. 8-14, and 3 of 4 from three point, 19 points. Yep.
  • David Lee exceeds his rebounding, scoring, and assist averages - again. Half an assist and point over, half a rebound under. You make the call.
  • Warriors win by 6. Totally wrong, as we win by 22.
So I'd give myself a passing grade tonight. (Passing grade would be A, with a season-high 32 assists.)

Wonder_medium_medium_medium

Our Warrior Wonder tonight is Harrison Barnes. He needed to step up to the plate and he did, scoring 19 points on 8 of 14 shooting, and going 3 of 4 from deep. It was his pair of three-pointers in the first two minutes of the second quarter that gave the Warriors their initial separation from the Hawks, and they never looked back.

Gsom-ww-barnes_medium

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