That’s six wins in a row for the Golden State Warriors. Seemed like just a short time ago this team was in chaos, having lost 5 of 7, which represented their worst stretch of basketball in the Steve Kerr era.
But a 114-100 victory over the Sacramento Kings at Oracle Arena on Friday night kept the Warriors rolling and gives them a 2.5 game lead over the San Antonio Spurs in the battle for home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
Stephen Curry fought off some defensive rustiness but made up for it and then some with 27 points, 12 assists and six steals. Draymond Green finished with 23 points and eight assists.
Things get a little tricky now for the Warriors. They play the Grizzlies on Sunday night, then travel to Houston and San Antonio for a back-to-back. Then the Warriors play at home against the Rockets and then against the Wizards. That’s a tough, little stretch.
The Warriors didn’t play a great first half, but they did have a lot of players make contributions. Eleven Warriors’ players scored in the first half, helping them to a 57-50 lead.
While much of the focus on Curry has centered on his 3-point shooting fall-off, what’s been discussed less is perhaps his step back defensively. Last season, Curry seemed to make strides defensively; he was active and focused on a consistent basis.
But this season he’s been taken advantage of more than in 2015-16. Some of that is likely that teams are attacking Curry more frequently this season, identifying him as the team’s weakest link at that end of the floor. The other part is on Curry.
Ty Lawson ran circles around Curry in the first half, going into intermission with 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field. Maybe the most alarming part of that performance was Lawson’s ability to get to the rim with as much frequency as he did.