by Jerry Feitelberg
Brooklyn, New York – The Golden State Warriors, without star defensive ace Draymond Green who returned to the Bay Area Thursday for the birth of his son, rallied from a sixteen-point halftime deficit to down the Brooklyn Nets 117-101.
The game was very competitive in the first quarter as the Nets led 34-33 at the end of the first twelve minutes. The Nets behind big Brook Lopez and point guard Jeremy Lin drove the lane and were able to score as the Dubs were not playing any defense at all. The Nets owned the second quarter as they outscored the Dubs 31-16 and led by sixteen at the half. The Warriors could not stop Brook Lopez as he tallied 23 in the half. The Warriors went cold late in the quarter and were able to score just 4 points in the last 4 minutes and 44 seconds of play in the half. Brooklyn led 65-49. The Nets started the second quarter on a 9-0 run, and they looked like they were going to upset the best team in the NBA.
However, teams have to play four quarters to win the game. The Nets may have won the first half but the Warriors, behind the stellar play of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Zaza Pachulia, and Steph Curry were no match for the Warriors. The Dubs played defense. They lead the NBA in steals and blocked shots, and they did exactly that as they held the Nets to nineteen in the third quarter and seventeen in the fourth. The Warriors forced the Nets to commit twenty-six turnovers. The Warriors had nineteen steals and seven blocked shots as they showed Brooklyn how good they are. The Dubs outscored Brooklyn 39-19 to take a four-point lead after three and by sixteen in the fourth to win 117-101.
Game Notes- The Warriors improve to 26-4 for the year while Brooklyn drops to 7-21. Kevin Durant led Golden State with 26 points,7 assists, and nine rebounds. He also blocked a shot. Klay Thompson knocked down 23, Steph 15, and Zaza Pachulia had a double-double. Zaza had a season-high 15 points to go along with 14 boards. Quite a performance. David West led the bench scoring with ten, and he blocked two shots. Ian Clark and Andre Iguodala added 8 each. Iguodala snagged six rebounds. The Dubs shot 45.2% from the floor, and they made twelve 3-point shots. They also had good ball movement as they recorded twenty-nine assists.
After the game, Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr said the players’ “intensity in the third got us going.” The Warriors started the period with a 17-2 run. “That changed the game.”He also said:”I didn’t expect to be down sixteen at the half, but I knew they(Brooklyn) would come out and give us a hell of a fight.” He remarked that the “transition defense in the first half was horrible and that no matter who you play, you have to defend” The Warriors did just that in the second half as they came back from the sixteen-point deficit to record the 26th win of the year.
The Warriors play the Pistons in Detroit Friday night. Game time is at 4:30 pm. The Warriors then play the Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday in Cleveland. Game time for the big game is at 11:30 am.