Without Draymond Green and Stephen Curry and with a lot of unnecessary drama emanating from the Bay, the Golden State Warriors had no choice but to lock in and focus as they scraped up enough fight to dismiss the Atlanta Hawks 110-103 at Oracle Arena.
Four Warriors scored in double figures with Kevin Durant leading the way with 29 points. While Klay Thompson chipped in with 24.
Aesthetically, this game was hideous to watch at times. However, this was one of those games that tested the Warriors’ will to win. Luckily, they passed this test.
Ugly win beats a pretty loss.
The Warriors, by no means shot the ball well. Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson shot a combined 17-for-41 from the field. Durant was uncharacteristically inefficient, shooting 9-for-23.
It wasn’t the offense that the Warriors ran on Tuesday night, it was hustle. The Warriors out rebounded Atlanta 48-42, forced 13 turnovers and scored 23 points. Plus, the Dubs threw a block party, rejecting six shots to the Hawks’ two.
Points in the paint still a concern
While the Warriors’ unit of young bigs were more aggressive and active in this game, the Hawks still won the battle in the paint. Granted the Hawks didn't do the damage that the Bucks (84), Nets (52) and Clippers (62) did but they outscored the Warriors in the lane none the less. Compared to surrounding a combined 198 points in the paint during the past three games, I’m pretty certain they are thrilled with only surrendering 48.
Filling in for the embattled Green, Jonas Jerebko provided the Warriors with much needed energy at the 4. In his 24 minutes, Jerebko recorded a solid double double with a line of 14 points and 13 rebounds. His hustle for boards and loose, 50-50 balls were much needed in a night without Green to provide that hustle and energy. After struggling at the start of the season, it seems as if Jerebko has found his footing and is thriving in a system where he is required to score and defend solidly off the bench.
Iguodala turning back the clock
During the last two games, Andre Iguodala’s been looking spry on the floor. He scored only 8 points in the game but it’s more about how he scored them. Iguodala got up for and threw down some impressive slams. Not to mention he had confidence in shooting the three and rightfully so. He shot 2/2 from deep against the Hawks. This was fresh off of 14 point night where he shot 2-3 from three. Here’s to hoping that Iguodala will save some energy for the season’s home stretch.
The Warriors will kick off their three game Texas Roadtrip Thursday as they travel to Houston to battle the Rockets.