Once again, the Golden State Warriors let a team hang around for the first half. This time, it was the slow-playing Detroit Pistons. How slow, you ask? Detroit managed to score a whopping two fast break points — and they came in garbage time.
Despite scoring 60 points in the first half, the Warriors had their trademark turnover trouble, allowed several second chance points for the Pistons, and entered the locker room at halftime with just a two point lead.
But just as they had earlier this week against the Sacramento Kings and the Miami Heat, the Warriors put together a great second half. This time, all it really took was the third quarter.
Third quarter heavy lifting
Golden State outscored Detroit 41-19 in the third quarter, shooting 62% from the field and going 8-for-12 from beyond the arc. Even better, the eight three-pointers came from five different players as the entire team began to get into a groove.
Reminiscent of last season, Stephen Curry’s dominance earned him a fourth quarter respite. He finished the game with 24 points, six assists and five steals; the only splotches on his box score tonight were his eight turnovers — six of which came during the first quarter.
Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson also poured in 25 and 23 points, respectively, keeping the Warriors undefeated when Curry, Durant and Thompson each score at least 20 points.
Add on Draymond Green’s 13 assists and nine rebounds, as well as 24 four points from Shaun Livingston and Ian Clark, and you have the ideal formula for a blowout.
Rise of Ian Clark
It’s amazing to see how much Clark has grown from just last season. He is a legitimate scoring option off the bench and fulfills his role as offensive spark-plug with aplomb.
Tonight he showed up, scoring 14 points in just 16 minutes of play, including this nifty eight second stretch.
Not too shabby Ian Clark. #SPLASH (x2) on @CSNAuthentic #NBAVote pic.twitter.com/qlfSJ70ua0— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) January 13, 2017
Clark is playing the most confident ball of his career and should be a major asset come playoffs.
Not to mention he’s one of the most amusing guys on the team.
#IanGonnaIan pic.twitter.com/fEh1NE5Q9S— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) January 13, 2017
Anderson Varejao sighting
The Warriors did so well that fans were treated to a fourth quarter appearance by Anderson Varejao. Varejao got some love from the crowd, especially on his pick-and-roll lay-up. But his attempted behind-the-back pass had the bench laughing into their towels.
At least we can laugh about one Golden State player’s behind-the-back passes...
The Warriors will get several days off and should be fresh for their rematch against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday. Hopefully they can take the momentum from their past three wins and play 48 minutes of dominant basketball.