By winning their ninth consecutive games, the warriors showed enough new assets to overcome a few in bad old habits.
It took several trials on Thursday night, but when the warriors finally came away with a 126-118 victory over the Washington Wizards, there was almost as much relief as there was discovery.
Here are some positive and negative results from the game:
The Boogie Effect
The Wizards had played well off late and that is because they make a visible effort to defend. They did a fantastic job of taking away a Warrior's staple, the dispiriting 3-pointer. So what did the warriors do? They consistently attacked the rim and scored a season high of 70 points in the paint. DeMarcus Cousins was the hub that forced its way to the rim for easy buckets or to find shooters and cutters. He was a problem and the guides had no solution.
The warriors, for the first time under coach Steve Kerr, have the ability to punish defense by going big.
Losing sight of the finish
The warriors were 1
Warriors have paid a steep price for blowing leads. They avoided it, but letting a wobble opponent hang around is never a welcome sight.
A double shot of brilliance
Consistency is part of what defines Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. But seeing Curry score 38 points, while only two triple times stunned the guides and reminded people of his extensive scoring arsenal. Watching Kevin Durant scoring 21 points blocked three shots in the first quarter, reminding people that he is one of the NBA's low-key rim protectors.
Excellence Curry and Durant can be overlooked because it is a good routine. There is rarely a game where both do not have a profound effect.
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Although it was largely responsible for allowing Washington to trim nine points out of the deficit in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, the Warriors reserves were restored with key play down the line. Other Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Kevon Looney and Alfonzo McKinnie combined to score 34 points (on 12-of-15 shots), get 22 rebounds and record 11 assists and three steals.
Looney had 10 retures in 17 minutes. Iguodala had five dimers without turnover. Livingston (five assists) and McKinnie (six rebounds) collaborated on a beautiful game to give Warriors an 11-point lead with 3:56 playing. All four reserves were valuable.