Good Morning Dub Nation,
It took a month and a half, but the Golden State Warriors finally snapped their 11-game road losing streak after beating the Houston Rockets, 121-108. It was their first road victory since beating the Oklahoma City Thunder on Jan. 30 and although it wasn’t the most convincing win, it was a necessary one that they could not afford to lose.
"Ironically, I thought this was the worst of the four games that we've played on this trip."— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 21, 2023
Steve Kerr talks about the Dubs' first road win since Jan. 30 pic.twitter.com/H4eLG8tgrg
The game began in typical road Warriors fashion as the team’s lack of focus early on led to 12 first half turnovers. However, Golden State cleaned it up in the second half, committing only six turnovers for the rest of the game as they slowly pulled away from a young and feisty Houston team.
Draymond says the Warriors' focus in the first half was "pathetic" pic.twitter.com/nmLY5dFwT9— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 21, 2023
One bright spot on the season has been the development of second-year player Jonathan Kuminga. The Warriors’ athletic, young forward was a difference maker in this one – providing the team with size and athleticism that they have desperately been missing at the wing position. In his latest article, Golden State of Mind’s Joe Viray broke down how Kuminga is adapting his game to better fit the Warriors’ offense.
With the Warriors running “Chicago” action for Curry (a pindown into a dribble handoff), the Rockets’ Jabari Smith Jr. shows early help as the weak-side low man to account for Curry’s downhill drive. This leaves Kuminga momentarily unguarded in the corner, with Anthony Lamb next to him on the wing.
When Curry kicks the ball out to the short corner, Kuminga immediately realizes that Smith isn’t guarding him. He takes advantages by quickly going into handoff action with Lamb. With Smith sagging off, he’s not in a position to crowd Lamb’s space, and Lamb takes advantage by drilling the corner three.
Making quick decisions on the fly goes a long way toward thriving in this often chaotic and randomized offensive system. Kuminga’s showing flashes of being capable of that kind of rapid processing, especially during situations when he’s a release valve on the short roll.
Aside from Kuminga, the rest of the team graded out solidly in this must-win game for the Warriors. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson led the way in the scoring department as they combined for 59 points including 10-made threes between the both of them. After the game, the Splash Brothers made it clear that the team must continue to play better as they keep their focus on the playoffs.
Steph knows the Dubs still need to play better than they did tonight pic.twitter.com/C2IoPVBirN— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 21, 2023
Klay is looking forward to using the last nine games as preparation for the playoffs pic.twitter.com/ZFBotvvutc— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 21, 2023
Golden State is now sixth in the West with a half game lead over the Dallas Mavericks. This makes their upcoming matchup against the Mavericks on Wednesday that much more pivotal as a win there would give them the tie-breaker and essentially a two game lead over them in the standings.
Here are the rest of today’s stories:
In case you missed it from Golden State of Mind:
- A look at the promising flashes of Jonathan Kuminga as an offensive connector
- Player grades: Warriors vs. Rockets
- Recap: Warriors shock the world and win a road game against the Rockets
- Back to the G-League: Warriors reassign Patrick Baldwin Jr. to Santa Cruz
- The Warriors kind of need to win tonight
Other Warriors News:
- Warriors win in Houston, setting up a high-stakes game in Dallas on Wednesday (The Athletic)
- Hollinger: Warriors’ catastrophic road woes, up close; March Madness scouting (The Athletic)
- Steph Curry starting fourth quarter might be Warriors’ best late-season answer (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Paul George explains how Steph Curry plan vs. Warriors went horribly wrong (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- NBA Power Rankings: Warriors drop after more road woes; streaking 76ers stay No. 1; Knicks back in top five(CBS Sports)
- Knicks’ Julius Randle scores career-high 57 points in loss (ESPN)
- Dillon Brooks faces 1-game suspension after taunting Mavs bench (ESPN)
- Karl-Anthony Towns, nearing return for Timberwolves, can see ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ (The Athletic)
- Jayson Tatum and the variance problem (SB Nation)
- Fans of the Dallas Mavericks want Jason Kidd to care at least as much as they do (SB Nation)