Three California rivals to start off the season for the Golden State Warriors, who mostly rely on the outside shooting of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, aka the Splash brothers, to get them through the early stretches of the season with some more impressive outside shooting.
The two combined to score 49 points, as Curry had 22 points and 12 assist while shooting 5-of-8 from beyond the arc, while Klay Thompson scored 27 points (3-of-8 from outside) to lead the Warriors on a 98-87 win over the Sacramento Kings which wasn’t really that close of a game.
Curry, just like last season, is looking historically good shooting from the outside, hitting 16 three pointers so far this season at an accuracy level of 59.3%, averaging nine attempts per game.
The Kings didn’t put up much of a fight, as none of their starters finished in double figures. The Warriors led by 20 points (56-36) at half time, as the bench was sent to finish the job for the Kings, while the Warriors simply took their foot of the gas.
David Lee was the only other Warriors player who scored in double figures, adding 15 points and adding 12 rebounds. Except for Andrew Bogut, who played only 20 minutes, all the starters were at least a +18 during their minutes in the game.
Andre Iguodala might not be putting up big numbers, but the Warriors made a great deal by signing him. Creating points isn’t their problem. Adding experience and toughness, not to mention defense and having another smart player to hold onto the ball while Stephen Curry tries to open up by moving without the ball, might prove to be the difference between how far they reached last season and taking their next step this year.
The Warriors don’t even have their bench at full strength yet – Harrison Barnes and Jermaine O’Neal are still injured, although in a game like this one, the Warriors didn’t really need anything more, not getting more than 23 points from their bench.
Despite the impressive shooting numbers from Thompson and Curry, it’s the defense Mark Jackson keeps preaching for and certainly upgraded last season that makes the Warriors a borderline contenders in the very tough Western conference.
Our defense is what won us the game, and it helped with a lot of opportunities on offense. Any time you get a stop, it’s easier to score on the other end. lay’s a great shooter, and when he has that extra touch in his shot, you notice it and try to get him looks, and it makes our job easier when other teams have to really key in on him and it opens up the floor for us. It’s always fun to see him shooting the ball like he has in the first three games; That’s who they are and it’s amazing. They have an incredible gift and it’s a beautiful thing. And I thought our defense was outstanding. We did an outstanding job of being aggressive and taking their home-run hitters out of the equation.