Ah, the emotions of being a sports fan. The Warriors came out and started the game with one of those first halves that has Warriors faithful sweating. And in the end, we wound up winning the game by double digits. Were you worried? I was, but only a little, and only until the 3rd quarter started.
The opening stanza: Pain
This game was all Sacramento pretty much right from the tipoff. Coach Steve Kerr called his first timeout less than 20 seconds into the game, but nothing seemed to help (at first). Kerr is like the Warriors in this way. Is he unflappable? No, not at all, just ask one of the numerous shattered clipboards that this man has bashed to smithereens. But even in the depths of his angry timeout call, look at this man try and stop himself from laughing about this life he leads.
Why was Kerr so anxious? It was an ugly first half that saw the Warriors plagued by the troubles that generally herald an impending loss: poor shooting and too many turnovers. Rudy Gay scored 15 of his 23 points in the first quarter to go along with Demarcus Cousins’ 17.
These are the moments that cause some fans to lose their minds. For about 12 minutes to start the game, the Kings consistently looked like the better team. We had no answer for Cousins, and Rudy Gay couldn’t miss. Kings took a nine point lead into the second quarter and went into halftime with their lead at seven. The Warriors went 3 for 14 from long range in the first half. Live by the three, die by the three, right?
The tightening of the game
It all started turning for Sacramento in the 2nd quarter when Cousins got into foul trouble but it still took a 13-4 run to end the half for the Warriors to get the deficit down to single digits heading into halftime.
And then: Warriors
We hear it all the time, “this team is capable of playing so well, why do they ever fall behind?” Well, regardless of what contributed to the negative point differential in the first half, the Warriors obliterated the Kings with a 39-22 3rd quarter.
This play below highlights what we all think of when the term “Warriors ball” gets bandied about - solid team play on both ends - with an added bonus of a no-look behind the head pass from Zaza.
Curry and Durant are beginning to show their pick and roll game more now. As expected, it is so, so pretty:
The closing stanza: perspective brings understanding
I just want to take a quick look at some of the final stats. By all means, feel free to vent about the Warriors short comings, but let’s try and remember the end result of this game.
The Warriors have reached the 30-assist mark for the 26th time this season. By FAR the most out of any team in the NBA. Stephen Wardell Curry II had his third 30 point game in a row. The Warriors outrebounded the Kings by 15 (46-31) and it could even be argued that Zaza Pachulia outplayed Cousins tonight.
Basketball is a game of resilience. Much like a boxing match, the true champions are just as able to take a solid punch to the chin as they are to give one. These struggles, and the Warriors ability to respond to them, are incredibly important to this team as they prepare for the post season. And in each game, as with the season - it’s the final tally that matters. Tonight, the Warriors had a rough go early, but showed their resolve via a strong finish.
Warriors host Miami on Tuesday.
(if you haven’t done so yet, you should bookmark the Warriors soundcloud: