Oracle crowd energizes Warriors past Nets
ORACLE ARENA — In the Warriors‘ loss to the Spurs Tuesday, the home crowd was uncharacteristically flat.
Stephen Curry told SFBay the importance of having the crowd engaged and in the game is invaluable:
“It’s huge. We have the best fans in the NBA, they’re the loudest and most engaged. They’ve got an opportunity to get in the game and help us make plays. They keep the momentum on our side and we had it tonight.”
Maybe the Splash Brothers were shaken by the pregame speech from Hulk Hogan, or maybe they were just warming up in hopes of letting loose later in the game. Either way, the first quarter saw very little in scoring from Curry and Klay Thompson.
Other Warriors found a way to keep them in the game against Brooklyn. With consecutive threes from Draymond Green (17 points) followed by a trey from Harrison Barnes (12 points), and a spark from Marreese Speights, Golden State stayed on the Nets’ heels.
Curry continued to stay silent in the second quarter, but the Warriors bench provided depth, scoring 15 points in the frame to 19 for the entire Nets team.
After a monstrous end-to-end jam from Andre Iguodala brought the crowd roaring to their feet, and a season-low three turnovers in the first half, the Warriors headed into the second half with a 66-55 lead.
Kerr called the crowd a huge factor in the Warriors goal of dominating home court. He said the way to get them going is on the defensive side of the ball:
“You have to do that when you have fans like these and a venue like this one, you have to be able to take advantage of it. I think the whole key to getting the crowd involved is defense, because once you can get stops and rebounds you can get out and run and then the crowd gets into it. … Once our defense kicked in the second quarter we found some momentum.”
The Warriors’ defense and ball movement continued and maintained a double-digit lead in the third quarter. But in the fourth, the Nets put together a 9-0 run, cutting the Golden State lead to just five.
Kerr called a timeout and, after the stoppage, Curry drained a three to silence the Nets’ run. Though Curry finished the night with just 17 points — lower than his usual 20-plus— Kerr said the post-timeout trey was key to the Warriors victory:
“I thought he made the biggest shot of the game…that was the big one. Tonight it wasn’t like scintillating Steph, but it was workman like Steph and I was really happy with his play.”
Seconds later, Curry picked up his fifth foul and was forced to the bench.
But “Let’s Go Warriors” and “Defense” chants from the crowd — on their feet for the final three minutes of the game — encouraged the team and the Warriors stole the ball, knocked down crunch time buckets, and made big stops to seal the victory.
The Warriors finish their three-game home stand Saturday against the Charlotte Hornets before heading to Los Angeles Sunday to face the Lakers.
The Warriors committed a season-low 11 turnovers, six fewer than their previous low this season (17). They had just three miscues in the first half while dishing out 18 assists, a 6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. … All five Warriors starters scored in double figures for the first time since Dec. 13, 2013 vs Houston. … Draymond Green tallied 17 points, eight rebounds and a career-high seven assists, hitting 3-of-8 from distance. … Stephen Curry finished with 17 points, going over the 7,000-point mark for his career (now 7,013). … Marreese Speights recorded season highs of nine rebounds and three blocks to go with eight points in 16 minutes off the bench. … Former Warrior Jarrett Jack finished a perfect 10-for-10 from the field, the first guard to go perfect from the field on at least 10 attempts in a road game since Seattle’s Gary Payton (14-of-14) on Jan. 4, 1995 at Cleveland. Jack finished with a team-high 23 points in 26 minutes off the bench.