Over the years, the Golden State Warriors have been extra depending on Stephen Curry than the entire “Strength in Numbers” mantra would counsel. Even throughout the Kevin Durant tremendous years, there have been two decidedly completely different Warriors groups: With and with out Curry.
Well, they’ll be, and so they do not have numerous room for error as they battle not simply to rise above the play-in line in a jam-packed Western Conference however to not fall into the lottery, which is an precise risk.
In their first full recreation with out Curry, since he went down with a left knee damage, the Warriors caught hearth from 3 and regarded about nearly as good as they’ve all season in a 141-114 win over the visiting Thunder. This after the Warriors completed off a win over Dallas within the recreation through which Curry was injured.
It continues with a pleasantly stunning theme this season: Golden State has been OK with out Curry. It has gone 8-8 total within the 16 video games he is missed and 7-2 within the final 9.
On Monday, Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson led the way in which because the Warriors related on 26 3-pointers, only one off the franchise file. Thompson accounted for 12 by himself, two off his single-game NBA file of 14. He wanted simply 16 makes an attempt. A 75-percent clip. Not dangerous.
It’s the ninth time in Thompson’s profession that he is made no less than 10 3s in a recreation, which might even be an NBA file if not for Curry, who has accomplished it 22 occasions. Curry and Thompson are the one gamers in historical past which have recorded a number of video games with no less than 12 3-pointers (they’ve every accomplished it twice).
Thompson’s craziest stat of the night time? He did not try a single free throw. His 42 factors are essentially the most within the league this season with out a free throw, topping Donovan Mitchell’s 38 towards the Knicks in October.
That’s not a stat the Warriors will likely be happy with, as spectacular as it’s to try this a lot harm on bounce photographs. No group within the league makes an attempt fewer free throws than the Warriors, who tried simply seven on Monday, and even a few of these had been in rubbish time.
Thompson has by no means been an enormous free-throw man. He hardly will get to the rim and even into the lane. Frankly, I’m unsure you need him dribbling greater than crucial. Still, it is a robust hill to climb for the Warriors, who not solely shoot the fewest free throws however quit essentially the most on the opposite finish.
It’s not more likely to change. They simply must make numerous photographs to beat the discrepancy.
But again to the positives: Poole was magnificent. For one night time, he was completely Steph-like. He killed the Thunder as a creator, registering a career-high 12 assists. This dash and kick to Thompson was a murals:
Here Poole assaults the vacant aspect of the rim, forcing Josh Giddey to rotate over, earlier than dropping a bounce cross to the subsequently vacated Andrew Wiggins for the gimme deuce.
Then, simply when it regarded prefer it may be a comparatively quiet scoring night time for Poole, he began looking his personal shot, winding up with 5 3-pointers and 21 factors in a masterfully expert and affected person efficiency. That’s such a Curry factor. A quiet capturing night time turned nuclear within the blink of a watch.
Poole and Thompson aren’t going to play like this each night time, clearly. But if they will catch a scorching streak over this subsequent week and a half to buoy the Warriors heading into the All-Star break, man, what a elevate it could be with each being so essential at this stage.
Next up is Portland on Wednesday.