Warriors Beat the Nets for 10th Straight Home Win
With the Win, Dubs Become First Team to Clinch a Playoff Berth in 2017
The Splash Brothers combined for 51 points and the Warriors beat the Nets 112-95 on Saturday night at Oracle Arena. And not that it was in question at all, but the win made it official: the Dubs will have a spot in the 2017 NBA Playoffs, marking the second straight season that the Warriors clinched a playoff berth in February.
Although the game ended up with the Warriors in pure control, the Nets made the Dubs work for it. An inverse matchup of the league’s best record – the Warriors (now 49-9) – and the league’s worst record – Brooklyn (9-49) – the Warriors held the lead for pretty much the entire game, but Brooklyn made a run for it in the fourth quarter and trimmed a 14-point deficit down to eight midway through the period.
But the Warriors had an answer, and his name was Stephen Curry. The two-time reigning MVP took advantage of Brooklyn’s defensive switch and put on a dribbling display before getting by Nets center Brook Lopez, absorbing some contact and converting at the basket. Curry followed that three-point play with a 3-pointer on the team’s next possession, his fifth of the game, and the Dubs were back in control.
Curry’s wizardry ignited an 11-0 run for the Dubs, who held Brooklyn scoreless for nearly four minutes immediately after the Nets had cut their initial fourth quarter deficit into single digits.
Curry led the Warriors with 27 points, including 13 in the first quarter. He only had four points in the second quarter, but they came in dramatic fashion, as he ended the first half with his second four-point play in as many games.
Klay Thompson added 11 of his 24 points in the third quarter and a balanced effort from the rest of the squad made up for the absence of Kevin Durant, who sat out the game with a left hand contusion.
Among the highlights of the night was Oracle Arena’s support for JaVale McGee, who was in the news this week for his public feud with Shaquille O’Neal. Dub Nation gave McGee a warm ovation when he checked into the game midway through the first quarter, and the veteran center did what he always does and provided energy and hustle. McGee provided tremendous activity for the Dubs and finished with seven points, nine rebounds and one very impressive block in his 12 minutes on the floor.
Rookie Patrick McCaw started in place of Kevin Durant and tallied nine points and Zaza Pachulia combined with McGee to limit Brooklyn’s leading scorer Brook Lopez to nine points on 3-of-13 shooting. Among Warriors reserves, Andre Iguodala stood out with nine of the team’s 30 assists, the team’s 38th game with at least 30 helpers.
Now winners of 10 straight at home, the Warriors will embark on a five-game Eastern Conference road trip that opens in Philadelphia on Monday.