Warriors tighten up in time to avoid back-to-back losses

The Golden State Warriors have played 124 straight contests without losing consecutively, the longest streak in NBA history.
The Golden State Warriors have played 124 straight contests without losing consecutively, the longest streak in NBA history.PHOTO: EPA

SACRAMENTO • Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors offered the Sacramento Kings and the rest of the National Basketball Association (NBA) a refresher course on Sunday on what makes them tick.

Here is a hint: It is not their offence.

"I'm not saying we're invincible. We've proven that," Curry said after Golden State's stifling third-quarter defence turned a potentially bad loss into a 117-106 victory over Sacramento at the Golden 1 Centre.

"But (defence) gives us our best shot to let our talent shine at the other end," he added.

That talent was on display during a 39-point blitz immediately after half-time that turned a 51-58 deficit at intermission into the Warriors' 13th straight win over their Northern California rivals.

  • 124

  • Record number of games the Golden State Warriors have played without losing consecutively.

The win came only two nights after the Warriors squandered a 24-point second-half lead in an overtime loss at home to the Memphis Grizzlies in their previous NBA game.

They have played 124 straight contests without losing consecutively, the longest streak in NBA history.

Curry scored 17 of his game-high 30 points in the second half, and Kevin Durant added 28 points for Golden State.

The Warriors (32-6) ripped Sacramento 22-3 during a 5:06 stretch of the third quarter that turned a 55-64 deficit into a 77-67 lead.

Golden State forced six straight missed shots and four turnovers during the turnaround.

"We didn't defend in the first half," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "We kind of started in the last five minutes of the second quarter, and we knew that we had to make them feel us defensively. The third quarter started, we did a much better job of getting into them."

The defence woke up the Warriors offensively. Golden State canned 15 of 25 shots in the third quarter, including half of their eight three-point attempts.

Against the Kings (15-22), the Warriors stumbled through nine- of-23 shooting in the first quarter, including two of nine from long distance, in falling behind 33-24.

Curry also got rolling after half-time, knocking down five of seven shots, including two of three from beyond the arc.

After the Grizzlies loss, Warriors forward Draymond Green pointed to the team's offence as a reason for the struggles. Green finished with nine points, 10 assists and seven rebounds against Sacramento.

"A lot has been said about our fourth-quarter offence and execution and line-ups," Curry said.

"But if we can work through that while getting stops and using the length and activity that we usually have at (the defensive) end, we'll be all right."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 10, 2017, with the headline 'Warriors tighten up in time to avoid back-to-back losses'. Print Edition | Subscribe