In the midst of a prolonged winning streak, the Golden State Warriors face off with the Rockets again on Friday night, following their smash win in Houston on Tuesday. Tuesday’s game resulted in a 113-106 win for the Warriors, after they gained an impressive 22-point lead in the first 15 minutes of play. Normally known for their ability to make three pointers, the Rockets made only five of 31 attempts on Tuesday, effectively handing the game to Golden State.
Wednesday night’s win against the Spurs in San Antonio set the Warriors in a good place to take out the Western Conference, sitting a full 3.5 games ahead of the Spurs. With less than two weeks left in the regular season, things are looking good for Golden State.
Wednesday’s win over the Spurs in Texas brings the Warrior’s hot streak to nine games. The game marked a complete turnaround from their last clash with the Spurs, after losing 85-107 in San Antonio at the beginning of the month. Since then, the Warriors have gone from strength to strength, gaining a formidable winning streak even without Durant.
In the first quarter of the game things were not looking good for the Warriors, who failed to score any points early on, leaving the Spurs to gain a 15 point lead. The Spurs managed to gain a 29-7 lead before Golden State turned things around.
Discussing the comeback with media following the game, Stephen Curry highlighted the importance of perseverance.
“Every team is different, but you can’t let go of the rope. Whether you’re down 15-0 in the first quarter, night in and night out, you just have to be ready to play.”
Curry, along with shooter Klay Thompson, came through for the team, outscoring the Spurs in the second quarter to narrow San Antonio’s lead to three points. This comeback seemed to heighten the team’s spirits, who persevered through the second half to achieve an impressive 12-point win.
Speaking to reporters before Wednesday night’s came in San Antonio, Warriors coach Steve Kerr admitted that he has learned from the tactics of his old coach, Gregg Popovic, the current Spurs coach.
“I was watching (Popovich) pretty closely my last year.”
During the 2002-2003 season, his last as a player, Kerr averaged just 12.7 minutes per game for the Spurs, the rest Kerr spent observing from the bench. In his coaching career so far, the biggest threat to his team have been the San Antonio Spurs.
Meanwhile, Kevin Durant has responded to calls from NBA commissioner Adam Silver for the association to become more involved with the resting of marquee players, arguing that the practice of teams allowing their star players to take time off had become an “extremely significant issue” for the league.
Durant, who is currently recovering from a knee injury suffered earlier in the season, spoke with ESPN about Silver’s comments.
“Players, if anything, need a mental break sometimes. And sorry, they’re human. They go through so much every single day. There are so many obligations off the court that you don’t know about. It might not be a physical break, it might just be a reset mentally, and I get that. And I also get if I was a fan and could afford to get tickets, and I’m circling LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook on my calendar, I would want to see them play live. I would be disappointed as well. I see it from the fans’ perspective and the players’ perspective. I’m caught right in the middle.”
On the back of a bumper couple of weeks, the Golden State Warriors again face off against the Houston Rockets on Friday night in Oakland at 7:30 p.m. PT
[Featured Image by Marcio Jose Sanchez/ AP Images]