The beauty about the NBA is the fact that there is no time to dwell on disappointments, missed opportunities and slumps.
Case in point, tonight against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Warriors put last night’s loss to the Spurs and the circumstances around it behind them. Last night’s loss, as Klay Thompson would say, is “in the past like a ponytail”
After a bizarre and horrid shooting night that consisted of only shooting 14 of 43 from the filed, the Splash Brothers combined for 64 points tonight on 23 for 42 shooting. Stephen Curry led all scorers with 36 points. Thompson poured in 28 of his own. Kevin Durant and Jonas Jerebko chipped in with 17 and 18 points respectively, as the Warriors beat the Timberwolves 117-107.
Great sense of poise
Tonight’s game was without a doubt a game of runs. The Warriors drew first blood with five quick points from Thompson. Midway thought the first, Karl Anthony Towns led the Wolves on a run to give them a 22-9 lead. As the game progressed, the two teams went run for run. However, the Warriors’ offense remained constant. They didn't deviate from their game plan to move the ball for the best shots and looks available. In the first half alone, the Warriors recorded 19 assists to 4 turnovers. They ended the game with 44 field goals off of 39 assists. Whatever defense the Wolves threw at the Warriors, they remained committed to ball movement to the delight of their stat sheet and ultimately the scoreboard.
Defense and bench production
The Warriors held Minnesota to 36 of 89 from the field, including an anemic 25 percent from three. The defense forceed 13 turnovers and scored 15 points off of them. The common theme for the Warriors is that the defense catalyzes the offense, and tonight’s game is only the latest example of many.
Jonas Jerebko had himself a game coming off the bench, leading the way for the second unit with 18 points off of 6 for 10 shooting, including 3 of 4 from three. Despite scoring only five points, Quinn Cook is looking more assertive and more confident than before. Cook realizes that in order to stay on the floor, he has to look for his shot while he’s out there, be assertive and score. He did exactly that tonight.
Emptying the Clip
For an entire month, Stephen Curry has struggled to find his rhythm and his shot. That trend seemed as if it would continue tonight because he was still missing shots that he routinely makes. That was until the third quarter happened. Curry scored 22 of his 36 points in the Warriors’ favorite stanza and finished 12 of 21 from the field including 8 of 14 from deep.
Klay Thompson shook off his rough shooting night against San Antonio and finished with 28 off of 11 of 21 shooting including 4 of 10 from three. With slumps, it is a given that one must play through it. However, it’s a fine line between playing through them and shooting the team out of the game. The Splash Brothers walked that fine line well tonight as they shot well and aggressively looked for their shots but were also committed to zipping the ball around. There was no need to force anything because the game came to them.