Now, that’s more like it.
After suffering a blowout defeat their last time out, the Golden State Warriors rebounded with a 137-122 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Former NBA MVP Stephen Curry put on a show, going 18-of-31 from the field and finished with a career-high 62 points to lead the Dubs to the victory.
It’s only been six games, but this was a big win for Golden State. Quality teams had dominated the team during its three losses, and the Warriors needed to show they can compete with playoff-caliber squads.
Here are three takeaways from the Warriors’ victory over Portland.
Curry shuts up his critics
The face of the franchise has been dealing with a ton of criticism early in the season. The haters will have to stay quiet after this one.
STEPHEN CURRY— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 4, 2021
62 POINTS pic.twitter.com/3Y8BQGI7lj
Curry was on fire throughout the game and had the determination of a honey badger. He wasn’t shy about pulling the trigger and attacked the rim with ferocity, as evidenced by his 19 free-throw attempts.
The 32-year-old started hot, scoring 21 points in the first quarter and had 31 at the break. Curry looked more comfortable in this game than he did over the previous five outings. He looks determined to lead his squad back to the playoffs after missing all but five contests last season.
“It’s just kind of slowing down, every game we are going to get better,” Curry said after the win. “Shoot shots, make them and then everything opens up from there.”
Curry’s Splash Brother, Klay Thompson, tweeted about it after the game.
Sheeeesh @StephenCurry30 !! Welcome to the club big bro #62— klay thompson (@KlayThompson) January 4, 2021
The Warriors’ defense looked much better
Head coach Steve Kerr hasn’t been happy with his squad’s play at the defensive end. The players were playing lazy defense and not moving their feet enough over the first five contests.
That changed in the second of back-to-back games against Portland. The Dubs held the Trail Blazers to 39.1% shooting in the first half and limited their opponents’ outside shooting. After Portland went 20-of-43 from beyond the arc on Friday, Golden State’s defense forced the Trail Blazers to go 14-of-43 from the 3-point line.
The Warriors were able to get out and challenge Portland’s shooters faster than they did in the previous matchup. It’s still a work in progress, but Draymond Green’s return should help stabilize the defense.
Green is still getting back into game shape, but you can see what his presence means for the team. He’s not the same athlete he was three years ago, but his smarts and positioning helped the Dubs keep Portland in check.
“He’s a great leader on the court,” Kelly Oubre Jr. said about Green following the win. “He’s a great anchor on the defensive end, and he’s a great facilitator on offense.”
Even though he only had one point, Green was a game-high +22.
The formula for Oubre is becoming clearer
Oubre has struggled shooting from the outside early this season. He has connected on just two-of-30 attempts from the beyond the arc through six games. Those numbers will undoubtedly improve as the season goes on, but Oubre needs to get back to the basics.
The 25-year-old had 17 points against the Trail Blazers, most of which came on drives or cuts to the hoop. Although Kerr’s offense places a premium on shooting, Oubre needs to focus on his strengths to open up things for himself on the offensive end.
Take a look at his shot chart from this game:
Oubre is a gifted athlete and he needs to use that in his favor. He’s fast and has the tools to get to the rim by attacking off the dribble. When he does that, it will open up more for him on the outside.
The Warriors still have a ton of things they need to work on, but they looked much more comfortable playing with each other. It also helps when Curry is red-hot like he was in this one, hopefully it’s a sign of things to come.
How fun was it for you watching Steph torch the Blazers? Do you have any other takeaways from this game?
Let us know in the comments below!