Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Warriors 104, Pistons 97

Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Warriors 104, Pistons 97
December 5, 2012, 7:45 pm
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Klay Thompson connected on 5 of 8 3's, and scored a season-high 27 points. (USA TODAY IMAGES)


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.