Warriors welcome back Barnes with a beatdown
The answer just happened to be “Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks” — for all three of them.
The Warriors blitzed the short-handed Dallas Mavericks from the start, never trailing on the way to a 116-95 victory.
It was a pretty familiar story for Warriors’ fans over the last couple seasons, with Thompson and Green burying three after three, the Warriors blitzing an undermanned and less talented team at Oracle, and Harrison Barnes clanking many isolation jumpers.
But it’s a story that hasn’t been told almost at all this year.
Both Green and Thompson came into the game just arctic cold from three-point range this year, shooting a combined 15-for-72. Both were able to shake out of their season long slumber to shoot a combined 8-for-13, which is about the worst possible sign for the rest of the NBA.
Steve Kerr said it was great to see Thompson finally get his long-range shot going:
“I’ve been calling him Rip Hamilton lately because all he does is shoot 18-footers. You can see it coming with Klay. The main thing we tell him is to not let the missed shots affect the rest of his game.”
Thompson outscored the Mavericks by himself in the first quarter, going for 18 points on 7-for-8 shooting with four threes. Though he would finish the game with just 20.
Green said that everyone knew that this kind of game from Thompson was an inevitability:
“You just know it’s going to happen eventually, Klay is a great shooter and one thing about him is he’s never going to stop shooting. So you know eventually he’s going to come out of his slump and start hitting shots and it was good to see that tonight.”
Green — who had reached double figures just twice this season — pitched in eight points of his own and with Thompson, scored 26 of the Warriors 34 first-quarter points. He would finish with 16 points, 10 boards and four assists.
Green said that he’s been a little hesitant to shoot the 3, just because of how much he’s struggled with it:
“I haven’t been shooting well. It hasn’t even been feeling well in practice or just getting extra shots up. The one thing I told myself was regardless shooting well or not, you have to shoot the ball and shoot it with confidence. And tonight I did that.”
Kevin Durant, who scored the other eight first quarter points, finished the game like he has the previous 71 — by scoring over 20 points, chipping in 28 tonight.
And Stephen Curry followed up his record-breaking game with four more threes. He did leave the game with an ankle injury, but returned with five minutes left in the third. Curry walked with a noticeable limp, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from his numbers, 24 points on just 12 shots.
Everyone on the Warriors had an efficient night scoring the ball, which is a great sign for a team that has struggled to find its shot in the early going. They became the first team in NBA history to have four different players make at least four 3-pointers’s in a game, and all four players just happened to be four of their starters.
Golden State as a team came into the game shooting a very un-Warriors like 32.4 percent on just nine made 3-pointers coming into the game, finally returned to the Warriors we know, striping 17 threes at a 51 percent clip.
Ironically, Barnes, who famously had his struggles shooting in a Warriors’ uniform, has been lights out this year. He came into the game shooting over 50 percent for the year and had scored over 30 in his last two games. He finished with 25 points, more than he scored in any game for the Warriors last year.
Thompson said that while it was weird to see Barnes in across the court he has no doubt he’s going to be great:
“He’s having a great year, I’m just proud of him. That’s why he got paid what he did, because he’s got so much potential. He’s playing great this year and I expect him to sustain it.”
But he had almost no offensive help as the Mavericks were without injured starters Dirk Nowitzki (achilles) and Deron Williams (calf) and held out Wesley Matthews, J.J. Barea and Andrew Bogut for rest.
This was the game the Warriors have been waiting for, where they put everything together, something that resembled what they did last season.
And what a coincidence that it comes when two of their key players from that team came back to Oracle.
The Warriors have no time to rest as they travel to take on the Denver Nuggets tomorrow night. The Warriors will need all their strength, as the back-to-back at Denver is considered one of the hardest travel games in the NBA.
Both Seth and Stephen Curry started tonight’s game, it marks the first time in their careers both brothers have started a game against each other… Klay Thompson entered the game shooting 20.8 percent from the 3-point line, which is second to last in the NBA for qualified players… Patrick McCaw returned to game action after missing the last five games with an ankle sprain, he played 19 total minutes.