The first is that the Warriors trailed at halftime by six points, which felt a little inexcusable. The Rockets are bad. Really bad. The Warriors needed a win. Really needed a win.
The second is that Steph Curry went scorched earth and then some in the third quarter. He erupted for 23 points while making 5-of-7 shots from deep. He embarrassed the opposing defenders on more than one occasion, keeping the ball on a string and yo-yoing it across the court before drilling ruthless shot after insulting shot.
Just a few days after being on the receiving end of a 28-0 run by the Dallas Mavericks, Curry’s brilliance helped the Warriors dole out a 24-0 run that turned a decent-sized deficit into Alen Smailagić minutes.
And just like that, it was over.
Roll the tape.
Watch the movement here from SC30 pic.twitter.com/2J6p4rz2SG— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 2, 2021
3⃣0⃣ points (& counting) for 3⃣0⃣ pic.twitter.com/axFJFwNpXI— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 2, 2021
How are you supposed to defend that? Seriously, how? Don’t ask the Rockets, apparently, because they let Curry score 11 more points in the third quarter than their entire team tallied.
The 39-12 third frame was one of the Warriors most dominant quarters all season, and while Curry was the catalyst, the defense deserves a lot of credit for shutting down Houston. Draymond Green wreaked havoc, and Juan Toscano-Anderson was nothing short of a defensive superstar.
They both had vintage Draymond lines: 9 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists, and 1 steal for the actual Draymond, and 6 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, and 5 blocks for JTA (4 steals! 5 blocks!).
Add in quality scoring off the bench from Jordan Poole and Mychal Mulder, and the Dubs had the right equation for a successful win — it just took them a while to get to it.
All things considered, the Warriors followed a pretty strong blueprint. They outrebounded Houston, which isn’t something that commonly happens. They tallied 32 assists, and shot 39.1% from deep. They held the Rockets to 36.0% shooting, and didn’t let them live at the rim.
I’m not sure if a 113-87 win against arguably the worst team in the NBA qualifies as impressive, but it definitely qualifies as necessary. After the last two Dubs games, I’ll happily take that.