Klay, Warriors show they can overcome quiet Steph nights


Klay, Warriors show they can overcome quiet Steph nights originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

It usually isn’t a good sign when Stephen Curry’s 3-point shot isn’t falling. All too often, the Warriors haven’t been able to cover for him on night’s when the two-time NBA scoring champ is struggling.

This season, even when Curry is raining down 3-pointers, Golden State has had trouble making it hold up. Two weeks ago, he scored 60 points and drained 10 3s in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks. On Wednesday, he dropped 41 points and nine 3-pointers on the Los Angeles Clippers, only to see the Warriors wilt in the fourth quarter and lose.

Against Utah, in the Warriors’ final game before the All-Star break, Curry was held in check most of the night and scored 16 points while going only 2 of 8 on 3-point tries.

This time, however, it didn’t matter.

The Warriors gave Curry plenty of support in the 140-137 victory over the Jazz at Delta Center.

All five starters scored in double figures for just the third game this season. Golden State is 3-0 when that happens.

The Warriors also dished out a season-high 42 assists on the 49 made buckets. It’s the sixth consecutive game in which they have had 30 or more, the franchise’s longest such streak since they did it in seven straight games during the 2018 season.

That type of all-around team effort is going to be huge heading into the second half of the season. As good as Curry is, the future Hall of Famer turns 36 in March. And though he has yet to show any signs of slowing down, any help that the Warriors can provide him will save a lot of the wear and tear on his body and will keep him fresher for a potential NBA playoff run.

“It’s been an up-and-down season but things are definitely starting to take a turn for the best,” said Andrew Wiggins, who scored 19 points against Utah and has reached double digits in each of his past six games. “We just have to stay at it, stay connected and keep playing together, keep sharing the basketball and take care of our efforts defensively and we’ll be fine.”

The Warriors now have a pretty firm grasp on the No. 10 spot in the Western Conference, 2.5 games ahead of the Jazz and 1.5 games behind the Los Angeles Lakers.

Golden State has a chance to improve their status in the standings when they face the Lakers, Charlotte Hornets and Denver Nuggets all at Chase Center coming out of the All-Star break. After that, the Warriors head back out on the road to play the Washington Wizards, New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics before coming back home.

“We have a chance to really carry this momentum after the break,” Klay Thompson said. “We have a great six-game stand ahead of us when we come back. They’re all winnable games. We’re going to take them one at a time. But at the end of the day we think we still have what it takes to reach our ultimate goal, and that’s obviously win a championship. But it’s going to take some great high-level, thoughtful basketball from here on out.”

Thompson was one of the Warriors who stepped up against the Jazz and helped offset Curry’s fairly quiet night.

Coming off the bench for the first time since he was a rookie in 2011-12, Thompson dropped a cool season-high 35 on Utah and was the Warriors’ best offensive threat.

Thompson also coolly accepted being benched. His reaction – no griping or complaining, just accepting the decision by coach Steve Kerr and moving forward – served as a great example to the rest of the team and might have served as an inspiration to the rest of his teammates.

For now, however, he and the Warriors are ready for some time off. With the exception of Curry, who is headed to the NBA All-Star game as a reserve, and rookie Brandin Podziemski, who will play in the Rising Stars game, the rest of the team is ready for a break from what has already been a trying season.

The Warriors have had to deal with a variety of injuries, losing Draymond Green twice to NBA suspensions and the shocking and sudden death of assistant coach Dejan Milojević.

Thompson’s benching was just the latest adjustment that the Warriors have had to make. Yet through it all, Golden State has tried to maintain a positive outlook and it seems that it might be paying off.

“It’s a long season. We’ve had some really tragic instances,” Thompson said. “Obviously Deki’s passing hit us like nothing we’ve ever experience before. I know everyone in the organization’s just going to need this mental break to reset.”

With more overall efforts like what they got in Utah, the Warriors might force people around the NBA to reset their evaluations of the four-time champs and start talking about them as legitimate contenders once again.

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Source link: https://sports.yahoo.com/klay-warriors-show-overcome-quiet-064400396.html

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