The Golden State Warriors (41-31) finally broke through last night and defeated the Los Angeles Lakers (36-35). It might not mean much in terms of wins and losses, but it certainly gives the team a confidence boost.
The Dubs are now 10 games over .500 and finally beat a team that had been tormenting them for the better part of the last few years. The Purple and Gold had won 19 of the past 22 contests against the Warriors entering last’s night Pacific division tilt.
The Lakers’ backcourt came out strong with an opportunity to make a statement at Oracle Arena. A win would have helped solidify their spot in the Western Conference standings and also given them a chance to climb up.
Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant combined for 57 points on 20-for46 field goal shooting in a venue that both Hall of Fame players have enjoyed over the course of their illustrious careers.
Mind you, the combo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson answered the bell last night and gave the business to the Lake Show. The Splash Brothers combined for 47 points on 17-for-42 shooting from the field.
Logic would dictate the Lakers’ guard tandem had the better outing but that would be inaccurate. Curry and Thompson produced momentum-swinging jumpers while Bryant and Nash’s scoring opportunities simply helped cut the deficit.
The Golden State starting backcourt answered every run and helped close the game out.
With the win, Golden State is in the driver’s seat for the sixth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. According to Hollinger’s Playoff Odds, they should wrap up the regular season exactly in the spot they are today: in the postseason.
There are still 10 games left to be played though. Here’s the breakdown:
- Home games left: 7
- Road games left: 3
- Games versus opponents with .500 record or better: 3
- Games versus opponents with sub-.500 record: 7
Winning 50 games is in sight.
To be fair though, that would require finishing the season with only one loss the rest of the way. The big “50” isn’t necessarily needed at this point in time but it would be an impressive milestone for this particular Warriors team.
Warrior of the Week
This might feel a little like groundhog’s day given that we have a repeat winner in this section. The honor was bestowed upon Stephen Curry last week, and he’s earned it once again.
The Warriors won four-of-five games in the last nine days and defeated two opponents they had been unable to conquer this season up until last week. They blew out the Houston Rockets (39-31) and took care of the Lakers last night.
In those five contests, Curry’s averaged 28.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game on 50.5 percent field goal shooting and 51.1 percent 3-point field goal shooting.
The most impressive aspect of the guard’s play this season has been his ability to seize the moment and build on runs with dagger long-range bombs. He takes a few questionable shots here and there, but for the most part he changes the flow of games.
Curry might just be one of the top momentum assassins in the league.
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