Good Morning Dub Nation,
Don’t look now but the Golden State Warriors are beginning to find their groove as they ride a three-game winning streak while currently placing fifth in the Western Conference standings. Just when it looked like the team was in jeopardy of getting blown out last night against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Warriors put on a vintage third quarter performance to pull off the comeback victory, 123-105. Head coach Steve Kerr was proud of Golden State’s effort on Tuesday night and praised the team for their grit and toughness.
Steve Kerr: "It just feels like we're coming together. Like there's some chemistry. Some energy that's forming." pic.twitter.com/RgHzoU2jX2— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) March 1, 2023
The Warriors got off to a slow start on both sides of the floor to begin the game. Their biggest problem was containing Portland point guard Damian Lillard who followed up his 71-point performance on Sunday night by getting off to a quick 15-point first quarter. With Lillard going off and his supporting cast also hitting shots, things were looking bleak as the Dubs found themselves down by much as 23 points in the first half.
Donte's reaction to Dame putting up 15 points in the first quarter pic.twitter.com/tXUN1IrrZQ— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 1, 2023
However, it was a completely different game in the second half as Golden State picked up the intensity on both offense and defense. Unlike the first half, they were aggressive in attacking the rim with 22 points in the paint in the third quarter alone. Defensively, the Warriors deployed a box-and-one to prevent Lillard from getting the ball — betting on the chances that the rest of his Trail Blazer teammates could not beat them on their own. Golden State was right as they outscored Portland 75-40 in the second half en route to their third consecutive win of this five-game homestand.
Draymond details what sparked the Dubs in the second half— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 1, 2023
Warriors Postgame Live is airing right now on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming here: https://t.co/bmYQcf4Z63 pic.twitter.com/Oj5mRehVLg
Steve Kerr: “You don’t win in the playoffs unless you’re really good defensively. And in our case we may not get to the playoffs if we’re not really good defensively.”— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) March 1, 2023
With positive grades up and down the roster, it’s hard not to be optimistic about the Warriors after a performance like this, especially knowing that they can play even better once Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins, and Gary Payton II return to the lineup. Klay Thompson, who recovered nicely with 23 points after a slow start, made another bold proclamation during his postgame interview.
"I promise you this ... when we're healthy, no one wants to see us in the postseason." - Klay pic.twitter.com/bmQAvDgNNc— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 1, 2023
Here are the rest of today’s stories:
In case you missed it from Golden State of Mind:
- Boxed In: How the Warriors targeted Damian Lillard on both ends of the floor
- Player grades: Warriors vs. Blazers
- Warriors magically turn 23-point deficit into blowout win
- Andre Iguodala compares Steph Curry to Jesus
- LeBron James out indefinitely amidst Western Conference playoff race
Other Warriors News:
- Warriors bottle up Blazers’ Damian Lillard using playoff-like defensive scheme (The Athletic)
- Kawakami: How Patrick Baldwin Jr. fits the Warriors now and into the future — and they fit him (The Athletic)
- Klay has Warriors trending up before reinforcements arrive (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Steph Curry takes encouraging step in lead-up to return, though timetable still unknown (Mercury News)
- Stephen Curry goes undercover, surprises 20 Bay Area kids with Warriors shopping spree (ABC 7 News)
- Sources: Lakers expect to reassess LeBron James in 2 weeks (ESPN)
- Nikola Jokic sixth player with 100 career triple-doubles (ESPN)
- Suns say Kevin Durant expected to make debut vs. Hornets (NBA)
- What the NBA Can Learn From Formula 1 (Stratechery)
- Vanessa Bryant to receive $28.85 million in settlement for photos taken at helicopter crash: Report (The Athletic)