In case you missed the big news, the Golden State Warriors are, for the first time all season, owners of a shiny new three-game winning streak, courtesy of a lovely 130-121 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.
It wasn’t the prettiest game — not by a long stretch. But the Dubs felt in control all night long, and walked away with an important W.
Let’s revisit the preview and see how they did with their pregame keys to victory, shall we?
Outgun the centers
The key: Take advantage of Charlotte’s slow centers with small ball and strong James Wiseman minutes.
The outcome: The Hornets threw a little bit of a wrench in this plan when Cody Zeller didn’t play. Charlotte played a lineup with two power forwards, and used their backup center, Bismack Biyombo, for only 12 minutes.
Still, the Warriors did make the game small and athletic, with Draymond Green dominating and James Wiseman having a solid enough performance. But without Zeller in there, this key ended up not being applicable.
Grading the key: Incomplete.
Limit Scary Terry and Hayward
The key: Don’t let Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward have efficient nights.
The outcome: A week after torching the Dubs, Rozier had a much quieter game. But “much quieter” was still really good, as he finished with 24 points on 9-for-16 shooting.
Hayward felt like a non-factor, and recorded just 12 points on 10 shots, despite making all three of his triples. Golden State did a stellar job on him all night long.
Grading the key: 6 out of 10.
The key: Strong two-way play from Kelly Oubre Jr.
The outcome: Whew am I glad I included this one.
Oubre dominated the first quarter, and had one of his best games as a Warrior. He cut. He made smart passes and decisions. He knocked down threes. He made good passes. He had lock down defense. And he dunked the crap out of the ball.
All in all, he finished with 27 points on 11-for-15 shooting, and 3-for-6 from distance. He added 6 rebounds and 3 assists, and the Warriors outscored Charlotte by 23 points in his minutes.
That version of Oubre is a gamechanger.
Grading the key: 10 out of 10.
The key: Steph Curry. That’s it, that’s the key.
The outcome: Curry didn’t feel like the story nearly as much as Oubre and Draymond Green did. But that’s a testament to just how good he is.
Because even though it felt like he took a backseat to his teammates, Curry finished with 29 points and 9 assists on 8-for-15 shooting. That’s the best game of the year for about 420 players in the league.
And it’s worth noting that Green’s 19 assists, and Oubre’s offensive explosion were due in no small part to Curry’s gravity.
I hope you’ve got superlatives for him. Because I’m all out.
Grading the key: 9 out of 10.
That was a good win. They should do those more often.