The Golden State Warriors came into this game without former MVP Kevin Durant, who sprained his ankle during last night’s emotional victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. Thankfully, they still had the two-time, Unanimous MVP Stephen Curry, who led them to a 118-111 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. The victory over the injury plagued Nets wasn’t easy, though.
Curry continued his torrid shooting early, drilling five of his first eight shots for 13 points in the quarter. He was very aggressive early, attempting to quickly convince the struggling Nets know it wouldn’t be their night.
A little back-to-back #SPLASH from @StephenCurry30 on @nbcsauthentic. pic.twitter.com/25z5jv1yfD— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) November 19, 2017
The Dubs raced out to a 32-20 lead, one of their rare hot starts this season. Omri Casspi looked solid replacing Durant in the starting unit, chipping in six points early, and playing active defense.
Without the services of the injured D’Angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin, the Nets looked awe struck by the champs aura. They were repeatedly out hustled and out smarted by Golden State’s defense, and would finish the half shooting an abysmal 28%. The Dubs cruised behind good ol’ Strength In Numbers, as ten different Warriors got in on the scoring action.
Additionally, Curry had 22 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals at the break! He also intentionally tested young Kevon Looney’s ability to handle a horrible behind-the-back pass (as all Warriors who play with Steph must eventually learn).
Dish and finish, @StephenCurry30 to @loon_rebel5 on @nbcsauthentic. pic.twitter.com/rjbFvdTyl6— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) November 20, 2017
At the half, Warriors 64, Nets 42.
Curry continued cooking with kerosene, adding another 13 points in the quarter.
#StephGonnaSteph in the third on @nbcsauthentic pic.twitter.com/MpzR5iXS1v— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) November 20, 2017
Offensive pyrotechnics notwithstanding, Warriors lapsed into a drowsy funk. Defensively, they allowed 42 points in the quarter. Allowing back to back games with 40+ point quarters is horrendous, especially when the second game is against lowly Brooklyn. The Dubs fueled Brooklyn’s transition game with five turnovers, and Curry closed the quarter with his fifth foul.
Ugly. Warriors 98, Nets 84 after three.
The Nets shockingly clawed back from the grave. They whittled away at the lead as the Warriors offense went ice cold. When Curry fouled out on a layup attempt with three minutes to go, the Nets were within five points, 107-102.
Steph fouls out - tough call pic.twitter.com/qIujgOpxwV— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) November 20, 2017
Then the champions finally roared back. The Warriors slammed the door with aggressive defense and Klay Thompson’s pretty jumpshots.
Klay Thompson with the clutch triple! pic.twitter.com/oT9Sb4pgOL— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) November 20, 2017
Thompson finished the game with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Curry finished with a monster 39 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, and (unfortunately) 7 turnovers before he fouled out. Casspi chipped in 12 points and 8 rebounds to help plug the massive hole at SF from Durant’s absence. Overall the Warriors shot 51% from the field, and held Brooklyn to 35%. Unfortunately, lazy defensive rotations against the Nets’ aggressive attack (and some interesting referee calls) yielded 39 free throw attempts that kept the home team hanging around.
Moving On To Cupcake City
The Warriors next game will be Wednesday as they continue the road trip versus the Oklahoma City Thunder. Whether or not Durant will play against his former team should be a juicy subplot. Do we even NEED him to win that game though? After the way this game almost slipped away, it’d be nice to have KD back.
Anyways, a win is a win, baby!