Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green (23) fouls Oklahoma City Thunder's Steven Adams (12) as Adams is double teamed by David West (3) in the fourth quarter of their NBA game at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. The Warriors won the game 112-80. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

There will not be a sweep.

The Warriors, after losing in embarrassing fashion to the Thunder in the teams’ previous two matchups, found redemption Saturday, blitzing Oklahoma City with stifling defense throughout and a trademark third-quarter run to win 112-80.

Kevin Durant led the way for the Warriors with 28 points, Stephen Curry chipped in 21, and Nick Young came off the bench and scored 16 points in what might have been the mercurial guard’s best performance since opening night.

The Warriors will now head to New York for a week-long road trip against Eastern Conference opponents, but they’ll fly happy, knowing that they’ll no longer have to wonder if Oklahoma City is their foil in the Western Conference.

For that reason, and many more, Saturday’s game carried significant weight.

Here’s what we learned in the contest:

The Warriors can still play championship-level defense
(Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

We know that the Warriors can score — when the season is over, Golden State might have the best offense in NBA history.

But it had been a minute since the Warriors flashed championship-level defense.

So long, in fact, that it was becoming viable to question what the Warriors’ top defensive gear might be.

Offense can win you a lot of regular season games — the Warriors have proved that this year — but defense, as the saying goes, wins championships.

(The truth is that you need both to win in the modern NBA, but the point stands.)

The Warriors have been both a top offensive and defensive team in the league for the last three years — that’s what’s separated them from the pack — but going into Saturday’s game, Golden State was 18th in the NBA in defensive rating since the calendar flipped to 2018.

Yes, the Warriors still had the fifth-best defensive rating in the league and the third-best defensive field …read more

Source:: East Bay – Sports


(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *