Warriors Bounce Back after Tough Loss and Tough Day, Beat Atlanta 110-103.
Before the game recap, let’s quickly just set the tone of the Warriors team right now, regardless of the outcome of tonight’s game.
After losing a heated game in overtime last night to the Clippers, the Golden State Warriors (11-3) took on the Atlanta Hawks (3-10) at home. The Warriors were without Stephen Curry (abductor strain) and Draymond Green (team-issued one-game suspension), and were looking to right the ship and put yesterday’s events behind them. The Hawks were trying to see how they stacked up against a formidable Western Conference opponent, and see if Trae Young really is a nephew of the Splash Brothers. The Golden State Warriors went on to win 110-103.
Klay Thompson got the scoring started in the first quarter with an jumper from the left elbow, and Kent Bazemore got the Hawks started with a reverse layup. Neither team scored again for the next two minutes before Kevin Durant got to the line and made two free throws, Taurean Prince answered back for the Hawks with an elbow jumper before Alex Len threw down a dunk. Jonas Jerebko made the game’s first three. Kevin Durant got a tough driving layup to fall, and that was the last shot made before the first timeout of the game. The stoppage occurred with 6:39 left to go in the opening quarter and the Warriors had a 9-6 lead. Kevin Durant got a tough jumper to fall to start the scoring again before the ageless Vince Carter nailed a deep three. Carter nailed another three on the next possession to give the Hawks a lead, but KD tied it up again on a technical free throw. Quinn Cook drilled a three after several minutes where the only points came on free throws, and the Warriors had a four-point lead heading into a Hawks timeout. The timeout was called with 2:33 left to go in the first half and the Warriors had a 17-13 lead, but on a more fun note, both teams successfully built a house in the first ten minutes of the game. Kevon Looney got the scoring started again by going 1/2 at the free throw line, and KD scored on the next possession with a Dirk-fadeaway from the right elbow. Kent Bazemore then made a bank shot before DeAndre’ Bembry made two free throws to cut the lead down to three points. Kent Bazemore tied the game within the within the final minute of the quarter, and he nailed another one to give them the lead. Kevin Durant led the Warriors in scoring with 11 points on 3/7 shooting, and Kent Bazemore led the Hawks with seven points on 3/5 shooting. After the first quarter the Hawks led the Warriors 23-20.
DeAndre’ Bembry got a tough and-1 layup to fall to open the second quarter, and Jordan Bell got the Warriors on the board with a putback layup to end a long scoring drought. Jonas Jerebko nailed a three on the next possession and the Warriors were within one point of the Hawks. Jordan Bell got the Warriors a lead again by nailing two free throws, and he was looking active on both ends, blocking a bazemore layup. Jonas Jerebko got a flip shot to fall from the baseline, and the Hawks responded with two free throws. Jordan Bell drove down the lane and threw down a powerful one-handed jam. That dunk was the last basket made before a timeout with 7:19 left in the half and the Warriors leading 31-28. Jordan Bell and Jonas Jerebko were both very impressive to open the second quarter. Klay Thompson got a runner to fall to start the scoring after the stoppage, and Taurean Prince got the Hawks going with a three. Klay Thompson nailed ihs first three of the night to force a timeout from the Hawks. The timeout was called with 5:46 to play in the half and the Warriors leading 36-31. Vince Carter got a hook shot to fall to get things started, and Quinn Cook answered with a mid range jumper. Trae Young connected on a layup for his first points of the game, and Kevin Huerter scored for the Hawks to make it a one-point game again. That one-point lead became a two-point deficit for the Warriors on a Taurean Prince three, but Alfonzo McKinnie answered with a three for his first basket of the game. Alex Len got a tough layup to fall though, and it looked like this game was starting to heat up. Len then got an and-1 layup to fall and stretched the lead to three-points after missing the “-1” part of the “and-1”. KD got two free throws to fall on the other end, and Quinn Cook nailed a jumper from inside the paint to get the lead again. Taurean Prince then nailed another three, but kD got a layup to fall after a Hawks turnover. The layup forced a timeout with 1:26 left in the quarter and the score knotted up at 47 points. Trae Young to a tough reverse layup to fall to get the Hawks going before Klay nailed a deep two. Vince Carter nailed another three, and that was the last made shot of the half. When the buzzer sounded the Hawks led the Warriors 52-49.
Kevin Durant was leading all scorers with 15 points on 4/10 shooting, and he also had three rebounds. Klay Thompson had nine points on 4/11 shooting with four rebounds and three assists. Jonas Jerebko had a very solid first half with eight points and six rebounds. Quinn Cook added seven points and Jordan Bell was behind him with six. The Warriors combined to shoot 38.6% (17/44) from the floor 38.5% (5/13) from three, and 90.0% (10/11) from the line. The Hawks were led by Taurean Prince and Vince Carter, who both had 11 and missed a combined three shots (8/11 combined). Alex Len and DeAndre’ Bembry both had eight points. The Hawks shot a combined 43.2% (19/44) from the floor, 42.1% (8/19) from three, and 60% (6/10) from the stripe.
Alex Len scored the first points of the third quarter on a laup for the Hawks after several empty Warriors possessions. Quinn Cook nailed a deep two to get the Warriors on the board in the second half. Kent Bazemore got a floater to fall for the Hawks, and KD responded with a mid range jumper before Alex Len threw down a lob. Quinn Cook got a tough layup to fall over Alex Len, but Len committed a flagrant foul on Klay during a fast break. He nailed both the free throws and KD hit a mid range jumper to give the Warriors a lead. Kent Bazemore threw down a dunk off of a jump ball, but Klay nailed a corner three in response. Quinn Cook then nailed a corner three of his own on the next possession to force a timeout from the Hawks. The timeout came after a 12-2 Warrior run with 7:23 left in the half, and the Warriors had a 65-60 lead. Jonas Jerebko got the scoring started again with a catch-and-shoot three, and Damian Jones threw down a powerful dunk on the next possession to force another Atlanta timeout. The timeout came with 5:43 left in the quarter and the Warriors leading 70-60. Taurean Prince naked a corner three to get the Hawks back on the board and temporarily top the bleeding, but Jonas Jerebko nailed a three on the nex possession for the Warriors. Miles Plumlee got a shot to fall from inside the paint, and Prince nailed a deep three on the next possession to get the lead back down to Six fo the Warriors. Andre Iguodala drilled a corner three and Jeremy Lin got a layup to fall before Quinn Cook got a tough baseline fadeaway to drop. DeAndre’ Bembry threw down a dunk for the Hawks before KD got sent to the line o make two free throws. Miles Plumlee threw down a dunk and Kevin Durant got a tough layup to fall to get the Warriors lead back up to nine. DeAndre’ Bembry got a three to fall with less than 10 seconds left to cut the lead to six points. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 23 points, and three other Warriors were in double figures. Cook had 16 while Jerebko and Klay both had 14. The Hawks were led by Taurean Prince with 16 points. The Warriors shot a combined 42% (29/69) from the floor and 47.6% (10/21) from three while the Hawks shot 44.1% (30/68) from the field and 37% (10/27) from three. After three quarters the Warriors led 82-76.
Klay Thompson nailed a deep two to get the scoring started in the fourth quarter, and Andre Iguodala threw down a putback jam to get the lead back up to 10 points. Alex Poythress threw down a dunk for the Hawks first points of the quarter before Kevon Looney threw down an and-1 jam. He has been like 75% better than he was last year ever since he started wearing an arm sleeve. Poythress got a tip-in to fall on the other end but Shaun Livingston got a bank shot to fall from the post to get the lead to 11 points. Taurean Prince got a tough runner to fall before Andre Iguodala nailed his second three of the night (!!!) to get the lead to 12 points. Klay then got fouled while beyond the arc and made all three free throws to get the lead to 15. Jeremy Lin knocked down a three, and Klay Thompson nailed a mid range jumper. The Warriors fouled Taurean Prince to send him to the line, but he wouldn’t take the free throws until after the timeout Steve Kerr called with 6:45 to play and the Warriors up 99-85. After the free throws form Prince, Quinn Cook nailed a ridiculous turnaround jumper from the free throw line, which Jeremy Lin responded to with a midrange two. Lin nailed a three on the next possession to cut the lead back down to single digits, but Klay nailed a three to get the cushion back. Kent Bazemore got an and-1 layup to fall to get the lead to nine again, but KD nailed a stepback over Jeremy Lin to get the lead to 11 again. Alex Len got a post-up hookshot to fall, and then the scoring stopped for a minute, leading to a timeout. The timeout was called with 2:55 left to play and the Warriors leading 106-97. Kent Bazemore got a floater to fall to cut the lead to seven for the Hawks, and Bazemore made two free throws after a couple possessions to cut the lead down to five points. Kevin Durant got a fadeaway jumper to fall from the right elbow to give the Warriors a seven-point lead to put the game on ice with less than a minute left to play. The game finished with some free throws and another Hawks bucket, but when the final buzzer sounded the Warriors had won by a final score of 110-103.
Kevin Durant finished as the game’s leading scorer with 29 points on 9/23 shooting with six rebounds and three assists. Klay Thompson added 24 points of his own on 8/19 shooting with five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Quinn Cook and Jonas Jerebko both played a HUGE role for the Warriors tonight. Cook had 18 points on 8/18 shooting with six assists and four rebounds, while Jonas Jerebko had an incredible game with 14 points on 5/10 shooting with a career-high 13 rebounds. Everyone who played for the Warriors tonight scored, and this was a solid bounce-back game for the squad. They finished the game shooting a combined 42.9% (39/91) from the floor, 44.4% (12/27) from three, and 95.2% (20/21) from the line.
The Hawks were led by Taurean Prince, who had 22 points on 8/14 shooting. He was lights-out for them tonight. He was one of six players in double figures for scoring. Kent Bazemore had 18 points, Alex Len had 14, DeAndre’ Bembry had 13, Vince Carter had 11, and Jeremy Lin had 10. The Hawks finished the game shooting a combined 44.9% (40/89) from the floor, 37.5% (12/32) from three, and 73.3% (11/15) from the charity stripe.
While KD and Klay both had very solid scoring efforts, the star of the game for the Warriors was Jonas Jerebko. He played what was undoubtedly his best game for the Warriors. He may look like a villain in a 1980’s beach movie, some of his efforts for the Warriors have been nothing short of heroic.
This game wasn’t pretty, it was slow, and at sometimes it looked bleak, but the Warriors got the job done. Without Stephen Curry this team is a lot less exciting, I’m not saying that they are bad, but they are less fast and less fun. These games without him do show his true value and importance to the team though, and if anything it should help to solidify his MVP case in the eyes of skeptics.
Now, the drama from last night did not carry over into tonight’s game. It didn’t look like there was tension between KD and any other players, and while I have been freaking out about the whole situation for basically 24 hours, one can only hope that the situation will normalize as soon as possible. Sometimes people can get carried away in the heat of the moment. In his postgame press conference, KD didn’t appear to be in the best of moods about the situation, but he said they were going to work it out in-house, which is the best thing they can do. If I had to guess I would say that the whole situation will blow over sooner rather than later.
The Warriors play next on Thursday, November 15, in Houston against the Rockets at 5:00 p.m. on TNT. The first of three rematches of last year’s Western Conference Finals.