The Golden State Warriors finished their road trip exactly the way they hoped, with a 108-88 win in Boston that was about as taxing as an afternoon of mall-walking. The only worry was Stephen Curry icing his leg and sitting out most of the second half, so here’s Mark Jackson to put everyone at ease.
“He’s doing fine,” Jackson said. “He was more than capable of staying in, but I wasn’t going to risk it. He had a well-deserved rest.”
He also had a dunk! With two hands! And you thought that screenshot at the top of the post was just some bad photoshoppery.
The Warriors didn’t suffer a letdown after last night’s last-second win in Indiana (crazy enough, the Pacers lost by 22 in Charlotte tonight). Far from it. The first quarter was a barrage of steals and layups. That continued in the second quarter, only Golden State’s defense was a little better. Then the Celtics scored only 14 points in the third, the Warriors built a lead of over 30+, and they cruised from there.
David Lee got the postgame interview because he went for 18 and 10, and he was a put-back wizard on this night. But it was the defense of Andre Iguodala, Andrew Bogut and Klay Thompson that sucked the life out of TD Garden and the Celtics, who looked smaller and slower than the Warriors throughout.
Iguodala had 11 points, but was only credited with one assist and one steal … it sure seemed like more. He did make his only three attempt, which means maybe the silly comment I made last night, that dislocating his finger could help him relocate his jumpshot, might have some merit. Or not.
Thompson followed up one of his best games of the year with another solid performance, which seems crazy to say after a guy goes 1-for-8 on threes. It helped that he went 6-for-7 from inside the arc. Thompson had 18 points, three steals and continued doing damage by penetrating and scoring on some nifty moves near the basket, a fantastic trend we’ve seen flashes of since the All-Star Break.
Bogut had three blocks for the third straight game. Perhaps what I said yesterday about Bogut looking like he was less than 100% was off the mark. Can’t get them all right, I guess.
“For the 22nd time, we held a team under 40%. That’s getting it done defensively,” said Jackson. “I thought we did a great job against a team, in all honesty, at this point, that we’re better than.”
You’ve got to hand it to Jackson, he isn’t shy when he thinks his is the superior team.
It almost seems like bad news that the Warriors only have seven games left on the road, where they’re 20-14. They’re 18-10 at home, and the Warriors sound awfully confident that they can avoid the same letdown they suffered after their last successful road trip.
“Going into Oracle with some momentum feels great,” Thompson said. “I think we’re in a great position. I feel like this team is peaking, and it’s going up from here.”
– Countdown to 50 wins: only 12 left. Might be time for a new goal.
– Thompson on beating up Boston: “It was huge, especially coming into these last 20 games. If you want to climb up the rankings in the playoff seeding, you gotta treat every game like your last. The West is a dogfight.”
– Draymond Green has got to be the most annoying guy to face during garbage time. Everyone else is going through the motions, trying to make sure they get at least one shot up every two minutes, and Green is running full speed and picking guys’ pockets from behind. So rude.
– The bench wasn’t dominant like they were against Indiana, but they didn’t need to be. They held the lead, allowed every Warriors starter to play less than 30 minutes, and seem to be getting incrementally better in each game since trading for Steve Blake. Blake had six assists for the second straight night, and Lee talked afterward about the new guy’s impact.
“It gives us some steadiness in that second group. It’s let Jordan Crawford go to the two-guard and be a scorer, like he’s supposed to be,” said Lee. “The addition of Steve Blake really shores things up. Being able to put him with the first unit some, kind of like we did with Jarrett Jack last year, take Steph off the ball.”
– Remember when people thought it’d be a good idea to trade Curry for Rajon Rondo? Yeah, Rondo is coming off ACL surgery and he’s playing with a bunch of sleepy forwards and anonymous guards, but Danny Ainge would do that trade in a split-second now.