Well, how about that for a pick-me-up?
The Warriors team that we've seen dominate all season showed up tonight, after a two-game hiatus where the Grizzlies were able to impose their will.
Many chalked up Golden State's struggles to "shots weren't falling," and while that was partly true, Memphis bullied the Warriors in both Game 2 and Game 3. So Steve Kerr made an important, if ballsy, adjustment: He started the game with Andrew Bogut on Tony Allen, to be a rover on defense and disrupt Memphis' flow, and put Harrison Barnes on Zach Randolph -- aiming to double the post much more.
It worked. Allen missed his first four field goal attempts and with the increased amount of double-teaming, the Warriors were able to play at a much more frenetic pace than had been played in the previous two games. Golden State was able to get out in transition, something that had been lacking in Game 2 and especially Game 3, and attack the paint. Ball movement was critical; the Warriors whipped the ball around the perimeter with precision, leading to 22 assists and more good looks at 3-pointers. Golden State made 14 3-pointers tonight, after struggling mightily in Games 2 and 3. And their defense came alive tonight as well, limiting Memphis to just four threes on 18 attempts.
Stephen Curry excelled and finally played like the MVP that he is tonight. Though he didn't score in the first six minutes of the first quarter, he distributed nicely to Barnes and Draymond Green, who were able to hit shots and spread the floor. Further, his deep three-pointer to end the first quarter put the Warriors up 28-20 and catapulted a dominating effort in the second frame, with the Warriors taking a 17-point lead into halftime. Behind Steph and Klay Thompson, the Warriors built a 25-point lead in the third quarter, and from there Game 4 was all but over.
Golden State is heading back home to Oracle Arena for Game 5, with the series tied at two apiece, home-court advantage taken right back, and their poise regained. After the Game 4 domination from basically start to finish, the Warriors have gained momentum and look to have turned a corner. Now, they are hoping that leads to a berth in the Western Conference Finals.