Mark Jackson often mentions how defense travels, and that’s why they’ve been a successful road team over the last two seasons. It took a 37-point first quarter from the Pistons to give the Warriors a wakeup call, but after that they unpacked that part of their game and surrendered just 59 points over the last three quarters.
That included just 13 points for the Pistons in the fourth quarter, when the Warriors finished the game with a 15-6 run to win 104-96.
“It was an ugly, ugly game for us, but we found a way to win,” said Jermaine O’Neal. O’Neal had another “fountain of youth” kind of game — 16 rebounds, 10 rebounds, three blocks — but he was part of a starting lineup that played lackluster basketball from the start as they reintroduced Andrew Bogut back to the court.
Luckily, the Warriors seem to have an actual NBA bench these days.
“Our bench was the key, they got us back in the ball game. they increased the intensity and offensively they did a great job of making the right play, unselfish play, turning down shots for better ones,” said Mark Jackson.
Golden State’s reserves outscored Detroit’s by a huge margin, 42-15, with Jordan Crawford pouring in 15 and Harrison Barnes scoring 10. They also came in and added intensity that was easy to see.
“We needed to bring some energy. The first unit, they didn’t have the energy to start the game off,” said Draymond Green, who probably would’ve started alongside Bogut if the Pistons didn’t start two guys as big as Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.
“As the second unit, it’s our job to bring some energy to the game. We were able to do that, and then the first unit was able to pick it up.”
Curry had a rough shooting night through most of this game, going 3-for-12 through the first three quarters. But he made all three shots he took in the fourth, and still managed to end up with 19 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Klay Thompson went 8-for-12 from the field, his best night shooting in two months.
There were some bright spots for the Warriors in this win, but anyone paying attention to the NBA knows the Warriors should have had a much easier time beating the Pistons. But despite their lethargic start, at least they didn’t give another game away to an inferior opponent.
“The thing I’m proud about is, we didn’t have much energy tonight as a team. But (the difference between) not having much energy now, and not having much energy a month ago, (is a month ago) we would have lost by 20,” Green said.
— Klay dunked on Kyle Singler (who had a really good game against the Warriors other than this play), and here it is narrated by Jim Ross. Make sure to check out the audio as Thompson sends Singler into the poor guys holding the cameras.
— Bogut looked tired/rusty, but that behind-the-back dribble while taking it coast-to-coast was ridiculous.
— David Lee was out once again with the flu, but it sounds like he’ll be back on Wednesday in Chicago. Guess it’s time to start breaking out hashtag #FullSquad again (unless they lose, then everyone will freak out and say Mark Jackson should lose his job).
— Steve Blake’s numbers weren’t ridiculous — he made a couple threes, had a couple assists and a rebound while turning the ball over twice — but he and Barnes were both +17 for the game, the highest +/- mark of the game. In just a few games he seems to have fit in as a guy who calms things down and brings order to the bench. This trade might be the best thing that could’ve happened to Barnes and Crawford.
— Time to review those MAGIC NUMBERS …
— If they finish 15-10 (.600), they’ll get 50 wins. Their current winning percentage is .614, so 50 certainly seems within reach.
— They committed 13 turnovers on Monday night; they haven’t hit the 15-turnover mark yet and have only turned it over 42 times in four games after the All-Star break.