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Back to the future: Warriors vs. Nets

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How did Golden State do with their pregame keys to victory against Brooklyn?

Brooklyn Nets v Golden State Warriors Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

We know that the Brooklyn Nets took it to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, winning 134-117. But how did they get there?

Let’s revisit the Dubs pregame keys to victory and find out.

Keep it close

The key: Stay competitive through the first quarter.

The outcome: For the first 10 or so minutes, the Warriors made it look like we were going to get a fun, close game. Inside of three minutes left in the first quarter, the Warriors actually had the lead.

And then they slipped at the end of the quarter, allowing Brooklyn to end the frame on a 15-4 run.

As a result, the Nets led by nine points after the first quarter. Given how rough the Warriors second unit has been at times, you’d be forgiven for thinking the game was over as things headed to the second quarter.

Grading the key: 4 out of 10.

Make it about Kyrie

The key: Try and force the ball away from James Harden and Kevin Durant and into Kyrie Irving’s hands.

The outcome: I’ll admit that “make Kyrie Irving beat you” is probably not a key that makes very many Warriors fans comfortable. There’s a wee bit of history there. It is not good.

But when the other options are Durant and Harden, you plug your nose and march forward.

The Dubs didn’t do horribly here, as Irving took 17 shots — fewer than Durant (19), but far more than Harden (11). Golden State sold out to stop Durant early, and Irving was the beneficiary for a while.

It didn’t really work out, because Irving is still exceptional, but the Warriors did OK with this one, and neither Harden nor Durant had a dominant game.

Grading the key: 5.5 out of 10.

Discipline

The key: Play committed and disciplined defense with limited fouling and competitive rebounding.

The outcome: It feels weird to say this, given how easily Brooklyn scored, but it wasn’t a bad defensive performance by Golden State. They were pretty disciplined, and committed just 15 fouls.

They had a limited amount of head-scratching defensive plays, and didn’t make life too easy for the Nets star triumvirate.

Rebounding wasn’t quite as successful, as Brooklyn had 45 boards to Golden State’s 37. But much of that was due to the Warriors having far more missed shots.

Either way, discipline and defense was fine, if not inspiring.

Grading the key: 6.5 out of 10.

Chef Curry

The key: Steph Curry do the damn thing.

The outcome: Curry had a fine game. He shot 10-for-17 from the field for 27 points and 5 assists.

There were some flaws, though. He had 4 turnovers, shot just 2-for-9 from beyond the arc, and didn’t take enough advantage of Brooklyn’s lack of interior defense. He got whatever he wanted when he got inside the arc — he went 8-for-8 on twos — but still didn’t wander in there too much.

Ultimately, Curry had a good game, which would be a great game for most players. But it wasn’t one of the special performances he’s been having lately.

Grading the key: 5.5 out of 10.

Back to it on Monday.