Let’s be honest. Right now, the Warriors aren’t a good team.
They are even a worse team on the road. Of the past three games, two were away from the Oracle. And it paid dearly against the Warriors.
It started Friday night, when the Warriors visited the Utah Jazz. Coming off a win against Minnesota, you would hope the Warriors would carry some winning momentum. After staying close with the Jazz in three quarters, the fourth was relatively close as the Warriors lead 80-78. But with a bucket from the Jazz, they took control and never looked back. The Warriors also contributed to their demise by turning the ball over 17 times for 28 points.
But with that said, statistically, the Warriors were pretty good. Their percentage behind the arc and free throw was better than the Jazz. However, the Jazz got to the line 25 times compared to the 12 times the Warriors had. They also only loss the battle of the paint by eight (38-30) which is pretty good since the Jazz have a dominate big man, Al Jefferson (who finished a game high 30 points, 11 boards and five blocks). But timely threes by Devin Harris (he finished with 28 points and hit five threes, including a back to back and a lay-up to give the lead back to the Jazz for good) and buckets help the Jazz stave off a Warrior comeback (who pulled within three but then TURNOVERS!!!).
Again, the Warriors were led by workhorse David Lee, who finished with another stat filled night (26 points, 12 boards, 4 assists). Klay Thompson continues to play the Robin to Lee’s Batman and finished the night with 23 points, five boards and four steals. Jeremy Tyler scored his career high 14 points and collected five rebounds. Another good note is that while Andris Beidrins played a lot of minutes (27!!!) he managed to score no points but did collect seven rebounds. Not a bad day at the office.
But the Warriors couldn’t dwell on the loss as they traveled back to Oakland that night to take on the Denver Nuggets the next night.
Come Saturday, the Warriors should have looked mentally and physically tired. And maybe in the beginning they were just getting warmed up. But when the second quarter started, Lee and Brandon Rush took over.
The bench of the Warriors dominated the Nuggets to the point where the Warriors outscored the Nuggets in the paint 58-48! In every category, the Warriors were better, faster and more efficient than the Nuggets. Only after being down by one after the first quarter, the Warriors poured in the points. At one point, the Warriors led by 18.
Boy does it feel good to be home!
The bench was electric. They combined for 57 points, including 20 from Brandon Rush (who also had five boards), 14 from Nate Robinson (who dished out 7 dimes) and 10 from Richard Jefferson (who had four boards and three assists to complete the decent old man stat). Lee continued to lead the club by contributing 17 points and collecting nine boards. Thompson, content on being the number two at the moment, had 15 points. Dorell Wright made a cameo and had 11 points, three boards, two assists and two steals.
And lucky Warriors, they were going to play the same team again on Monday! Maybe a two game winning streak? It’s a lot to ask.
This game was over the minute it started. The Nuggets jumped on the Warriors, running around around and through them. And certainly all the good feelings that were felt after a small rally against the Nuggets at home, quickly disappeared at the Pepsi Center. While holding the Nuggets to 97 points on Saturday, the Warriors this time gave up 123. And after dominating all the stats on Saturday, the Warriors fell victim to the Nuggets winning ways. They were out-rebounded 60-35. As a team they only dished out 21 dimes compared to 35 by the Nuggets. They gave up 32 fast break points compared to their nine. They also didn’t have a lead in this game and fell behind at one point by 41 points. Of all the points the Nuggets had (123), about 60% of it came inside the paint (points in the paint 70-18).
Maybe there is really no place like home!
And this night, not only did the bench not come to play, neither did David Lee. By far one of his worst outing, Lee only had 10 points, three boards, three assists and two steals in 24 minutes. Thompson had a steady game with 17 points while Nate Robinson continues back off the bench with 16 points and five assists.
But if the Warriors had one of their worst showing, the Nuggets had one of their best. After being embarassed on Saturday, the Nuggets came out full force, returning with Danillo Gallinari, who has been out for several weeks. Along with rookie Kennenth Fariad, who had a monster game with 27 points, 17 rebounds and great defense against Lee, Gallinari returned to add 15 points, dish out six assists and collect five boards.
The next game is against the Portland Trailblazers on Wednesday. The game will be televised on ESPN with a start time of 7:30pm PST.