To be a good team in the NBA, you need to be able to play at your best and beat a team like the Heat. To be a great team, you should be able to win games that you have no business winning.
The Golden State Warriors did that on Friday night, winning 101-100 over the Atlanta Hawks on a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Andre Iguodala. The Warriors extended their league-high win-streak to eight and are 4-0 thus far on their seven game road trip.
Down by two with three seconds remaining, Iguodala couldn’t find anyone to inbound the ball to and settled for a pass to Stephen Curry, who was doubled teamed. But Curry found a wide-open Iguodala, who turned and knocked down the triple in the knick of time, and sprinted down the court in jubilation.
On the back-end of a back-to-back, the Warriors looked fatigued and played like it for three quarters. They were able to stay in the game for the most part, until the Hawks started the fourth on a spurt, putting them up 91-76 midway through the quarter.
But that’s when the Warriors came to life, going on a 20-4 run to take a 96-95 lead, capped off by a Curry breakaway layup. The Hawks responded with four straight points to go up four with 31 seconds remaining, but Curry scored and the Warriors got a key defensive stop, setting things up for Iguodala’s heroics.
Tale of the Tape
- Field Goals: 44.8% (39-87)
- 3-Pointers: 22.2% (6-27)
- Rebounds: 47
- Assists: 30
- Turnovers: 21
- Field Goals: 46.3% (37-80)
- 3-Pointers: 32.3% (10-31)
- Rebounds: 41
- Assists: 23
- Turnovers: 19
The Will to Win
The Warriors could have just easily rolled over and called it quits after three quarters. Playing the second game of a back-to-back after a tough win over the Heat, it would have been reasonable and probably even excusable had they lost.
But the Warriors didn’t quit tonight. Down by 15 in the fourth, they kept playing hard, and the right guys stepped up at the right time. No one player in particular stood out, but many made important plays. David Lee scored a few buckets that helped spur the late run. Curry knocked in a few shots late. Harrison Barnes made a key three-pointer that put the Warriors within one. And of course, Iguodala, who attempted just five shots the entire game, made the biggest play of the night.
Andrew Bogut suffered a strained right calf on Thursday night against the Heat. Although he started tonight in Atlanta, he was limited in 18 minutes of action and did not play the entire fourth quarter. He finished with six points, nine rebounds, and three blocks.
The Warriors are now 17-3 with their #FullSquad.
— David Lee (@Dlee042) January 4, 2014
What’s on Tap
The Warriors get a much-needed day off on Saturday before continuing their road trip in Washington to play the Wizards on Sunday.