How did Golden State do with their keys to victory against Denver?
For the second time in less than two weeks, the Golden State Warriors put together an impressive victory over the Denver Nuggets. This time they didn’t even need a 53-point explosion from Steph Curry — they just cruised to a 21-point win.
They’re finding their groove. But are they finding their keys to victory?
Doesn’t matter, as long as they’re winning. But let’s revisit my preview anyway to find out.
The key: Another other-worldly Steph Curry performance.
The outcome: It wasn’t the most dominant performance that we’ve seen from Curry in the last few weeks, but that’s only because he’s put together one of the all-time greatest stretches in NBA history.
Remove the lens of his recent accomplishments — 53 points on 24 shots, 49 points on 28 shots, 47 points on 27 shots, etc. — and his performance was phenomenal. 11-18 from the field and 4-for-9 from deep. 32 points on 77.5% true shooting. 8 rebounds, 3 assists, +27, and a true sense of the moment for when to put his opponent away.
An MVP masterclass.
Grading the key: 9 out of 10.
The key: Limit the fouls committed and all-around defensive discipline.
The outcome: The Warriors played very disciplined defense. There’s no other way to hold a Nikola Jokić team under 100 points, even if the Nuggets were playing without Jamal Murray and Will Barton.
The Dubs only fouled 15 times, which is a minor miracle for them, and it resulted in a rather average 20 free throw attempts.
But the defense was disciplined beyond just not fouling, as they didn’t get beat backdoor regularly, or much at all on cuts. They stayed locked on their assignments, kept their eyes on the ball, and played aggressive yet intelligent defense.
Grading the key: 8.5 out of 10.
The key: Strong play from Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre Jr., and
Kent Bazemore Jordan Poole.
The outcome: Stat lines don’t always do players justice, but in this case they do. So let’s look at the three:
Wiggins: 19 points, 7-for-14 shooting, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks
Oubre: 23 points, 9-for-16 shooting, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks
Poole: 15 points, 5-for-12 shooting, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 2 steals
Add in solid defense by Poole, and spectacular defense by Wiggins and Oubre, and you had the perfect night from the wings.
Pair that with Curry and Draymond Green, and you’ll win far more than you lose.
Grading the key: 9.5 out of 10.
That was fun.