What do the Golden State Warriors do when superstar MVP Stephen Curry is off the court in foul trouble?
Turn up the defense, of course.
After Curry left the game in the first quarter with two fouls, the Warriors held the visiting L.A. Clippers to just 38.9% shooting for the rest of the quarter to add to their lead and eventually take a 63-56 lead into halftime.
Key thing with Golden State. Sure, Curry’s got 2 fouls, the team’s not blistering the nets. When that defense ratchets up, you STRUGGLE.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) November 5, 2015
The Warriors were able to use their small ball lineup to great effect to switch everything defensively throughout the half. But setting the tone for that defensive effort was Festus Ezeli, who came up big with a monster block on Blake Griffin shortly after Curry left the game.
Festus Ezeli DENYING Blake Griffin. Someone pay that man! https://t.co/bJcqxuZPvm— Nate P (@NateP_SBN) November 5, 2015
Despite sitting most of the first quarter in foul trouble, Curry finished the half with a team-high 16 points on 4-for-6 shooting with a few of his stunningly routine highlights. But it was Chris Paul who put on the top individual performance of the half, recording 20 points on 7-for-9 shooting as well as 6 assists to lead all players in both categories. However, foul trouble will be something to watch for the Clippers as well: Paul finished with three fouls in the half.