Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Warriors 104, Pistons 97

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Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Warriors 104, Pistons 97

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Player of the game: Point guard Stephen Curry finished with 22 points and 10 assists, giving the Warriors (11-7) a victory in the first game of a seven-game road trip. It was the fourth consecutive game that Curry had at least 20 points and 10 assists, the first time a Warrior has done that since 1992, when Tim Hardaway did it.

Key stretch: The Warriors – and more specifically, their backcourt – was brilliant during the first eight minutes of the third quarter and turned a tight game into something far more comfortable.

Klay Thompson had 19 points in the third quarter – and 27 points for the game -- and Curry had 10 points and six assists in the period as the Warriors went from up just two points at halftime to ahead 79-61.

The Warriors scored just 40 points in the first half but had 39 in the third quarter, alone.

“We just upped the tempo,” Thompson said. "They want to play a little slower pace. My teammates did a great job of finding me and we really shared the ball. We moved the ball well. That’s the toughest thing to defend – when you move the ball. I was just ready to shoot, in a stance.”

Said Warriors coach Mark Jackson: “39 points is our season-high in any quarter. We moved the ball, made plays, were aggressive. It started on the defensive end and pushed it in transtion.”

Clangs aplenty: The Warriors led 40-38 at halftime, and the reason for the low scoring could be seen in each teams’ field goal percentage.

The Warriors shot 35 percent in the first half, and the Pistons hit on just 33 percent from the floor. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson both struggled from the field in the first half, combining to shoot 3-for-9.

But the Warriors did a much better job than the Pistons when it came to taking care of the ball. The Warriors, who entered the game averaging 16.4 turnovers per game, had just six in the first half.

Meanwhile, the Pistons turned the ball over 11 times.

“We did a much better job in the second half of playing at our pace,” Jackson said. “We defended. I’m awfully proud of my guys.”

Quick start: The Warriors got off to a real nice start against the Pistons, taking control 19-7 midway through the first quarter.

But Golden State scored just one bucket in the quarter’s final 4:51, allowing the Pistons close to within 21-20 by the end of the period. Things seemed to change in Detroit’s favor when rookie center Andre Drummond was inserted into the game.

Drummond began changing some of the Warriors’ interior shots and he also had six points.

Jefferson available: Warriors small forward Richard Jefferson was available for Wednesday’s game. Jefferson hadn’t played since Nov. 18 because of a strained right calf.

David West is coming up big for the Warriors

David West is coming up big for the Warriors

OAKLAND -- David West is as much a cleanup man as he is a basketball player.

The veteran power forward, masquerading as a center for the Warriors, cleans up behind teammates, cleans the clocks of opponents and probably cleans his plate after every meal. And he’d hit fourth in any manager’s batting order.

The Warriors during their renaissance haven’t had such a personality. They’ve been a fun bunch, enjoying life, each other and their pillaging of the NBA.

West, 36, brings a more laconic dynamic, and it’s on full display as the Warriors lean into the final weeks of this regular season. He’s a leader who is producing and, more and more, winning over a fan base that was somewhat skeptical early this season.

“David West has been playing brilliantly,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Friday night, after West came off the bench for a highly efficient 14-minute stint in a 114-100 win over the Kings.

Showcasing sharp passing, splendid shooting, solid rim protection and his usual old-jerky toughness, West totaled 8 points, four assists, three rebounds, three blocks and one steal. The Warriors were plus-8 when he was on the floor.

Such production, it seems, is a bit of a bonus.

“He’s been very good for us as a veteran leader,” Draymond Green said. “He’s been playing well, but just his presence also has meant a lot to this team.

“D-West is just kind of a no-bull---- type of a guy. He doesn’t say much. But when he does, you know it means a lot. And everybody hears him.”

Said West: “It’s just about adjusting and learning personalities. Obviously, this group has been very successful. I just try to add my 2 cents where I feel like it fits. Try not to over-talk people. I speak to guys directly and just make sure that we’re all on the same page.”

West is in his 14th season. Drafted by the New Orleans Hornets in 2003, he also has played for the Pacers and, last season, the Spurs, before joining the Warriors in July.

The question at the time was whether he still had a lot to give. West is a two-time All-Star and one of the most widely respected players in the league. But did he still have the legs to compete at a high level?

The answer is visible, particularly over the past month, since he returned from fractured left thumb on Feb. 23. West is shooting 53.0 percent from the field, he’s rebounding consistently and he has proven to be a spectacularly good passer -- easily one of the best in the league among big men.

Earlier this week, to quell any lingering concerns about how much athleticism he still has, West rose up and dunked over a crowd of three Dallas Mavericks. It was clock-cleaning at its finest.

“I’m just getting more comfortable,” West said, referring to his game and his locker-room influence. “We’ve developed good chemistry, communicating, harping on our defense more than anything else at this moment, because we feel that’s going to give us a chance if shots aren’t falling.”

West is on a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, $1.55 million. He sacrificed bigger dollars for a chance at his first championship. He’s doing his part. And he neither takes nor leaves any mess.

Warriors set franchise record, match 1985-86 Showtime Lakers

Warriors set franchise record, match 1985-86 Showtime Lakers

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For the 44th time in the 2016-17 season, the Warriors dished out 30-plus assists in one game. Not only does that set a franchise record, Golden State is also the first to do so since one of the greatest teams in NBA history. 

On a Steph Curry heave down the court that resulted in an Andre Iguodala running reverse dunk with 38 seconds left in the third quarter, the Warriors made history with their 31st assist of the game. The nifty assist made the Warriors the first team since the 1985-86 Showtime Lakers to hand out more than 30 assists 44 times in one season.

Last season, when the Warriors set an NBA record record with 73 wins, the team finished 43 games with the feat.

The '85-86 Lakers were looking to repeat as NBA champions 31 years ago but came up short in five games to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals. 

Golden State finsihed Friday night with 37 assists in a 114-100 win over the Kings. Curry led the way with 12 dimes.