Klay’s breakout allows Warriors to avoid home embarrassment originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO – The morgue will have to wait. The ailing NBA patient that is the Golden State Warriors showed signs of recovery Monday night.
With veterans leading the way, they limited turnovers and at times ran the offense as designed. The defense was engaged and occasionally forceful. The 3-pointers were splashing often enough to dampen folks in the courtside seats at Chase Center. And they generally kept pace with the Houston Rockets, one of those athletic young teams that have treated them so rudely.
There might not have been a more welcome sight than that of Klay Thompson banging 3-pointers far more efficiently than at any time in the previous four weeks and walking off with his first 20-point game this season.
A 121-116 victory over a Houston team coming off a down-to-wire loss to the Lakers on Sunday in Los Angeles is not a panacea. Not for these Warriors. They still have very real ailments to treat in hopes of curing.
“Feels great and hopefully breaks the seal for many floodgates to open,” Thompson said. “Always feels good to shoot the ball well. Does not feel good to not shoot the ball well. I was very happy I made some shots tonight even though I feel like I could have made more. At least they were great looks.”
Winning was, however, the only way for Golden State to avoid the utter indignity of a 0-6 homestand.
“When you lose that many games in a row,” said Chris Paul, whose floor generalship set a positive tone, “you forget what it feels like to win.”
This victory is not a panacea, but it wipes some sweat from the collective brow and allows the Warriors to fly to Phoenix on Tuesday with their chins raised ever so slightly off their chests.
Five Warriors players scored in double figures, led by Stephen Curry’s game-high 32 points. Behind Thompson 20 were Dario Saric with 18, Paul with 15 and Andrew Wiggins with 12.
Undoubtedly weary of the doom narratives and eating Ls, the vets took the floor with a purpose – no one more than Klay, whose wretched start has made him the target of most of the groaning.
“Klay was much more patient offensively,” Kerr said. “He took a couple bad shots early, where we had plenty of time on the shot clock. Everybody keeps telling, ‘If you just move it, you’re going to get it back.’ And that’s what happened. He was a lot more patient, and the quality of his shots was much better.”
Thompson lit up the scoreboard early, draining three triples over a 70-second span during the first four minutes. He finished with 20 points on 7-of-16 shooting from the field, including 5-of-11 beyond the arc.
“I tell Klay all the time – and I’ve played against him for a long time – that every time he shoots it, I think it’s going in,” Paul said. “He’s a big part of our team and everything we do.”
Paul had 12 assists and one turnover. Curry was 8-of-14 from the field, including 5-of-9 from deep. All the thing the Warriors needed to happen actually did.
“We weren’t perfect, obviously, but at this stage you just need to win a game,” Kerr said. “That was the focus tonight. That’s why I played Steph the whole fourth (quarter). He was brilliant all night. Wiggs was fantastic guarding (Fred) VanVleet; that’s a tough assignment.
“Hopefully, this is a good sign, and we can get back on track.”
The Warriors still have hurdles to clear before they can even begin to consider themselves stable and consistently productive. They must start somewhere, though, and a victory is a requirement.
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