The Weekly Dish

As the Warriors approach the end of the regular season, they're shaping into playoff form.

For the week of Monday, Mar. 27 – Sunday, Apr. 2

Record: 4-0

And just like that, we’re down to single digits.

Coming off their second consecutive undefeated week, the Warriors are now riding a seven-game winning streak with nine games remaining in their regular season. It’s Golden State’s fourth winning streak this season of at least seven games, whereas the rest of the league has combined for 11.

The four victories over the Thunder, Mavericks, Kings and Grizzlies last week pushed the Warriors’ record to 59-14 on the season. That leaves them one win away from becoming the fifth franchise in NBA history with three consecutive 60-win campaigns; Chicago, Los Angeles (Lakers), Boston (twice) and Milwaukee are the others to previously accomplish the feat.

The Dubs have posted an average margin of victory of 17.7 points per game during their current winning streak and have recorded at least 30 assists in three straight and five of their last six games. That pushes their number of 30-assist games to 45 on the season, which now stands as the second-most all-time behind only the Showtime Lakers of 1984-85, who topped the 30-assist mark a record 52 times. When the Warriors set the NBA single-season record with 73 wins a year ago, they totaled 30-or-more assists 44 times. No other team has more than 15 games with at least 30 assists this season.

Of course, in order to record an assist, a basket must be made. Thus, it’s no coincidence that as proficiently as the Dubs have been passing the ball as of late, so too have they been shooting it, from both near and far. In Sunday’s win over Memphis, Golden State shot 54.2 percent from the field, and improved to 33-0 this season when making at least half their shots from the floor. In fact, the Warriors have converted at least 50 percent of their field goal attempts four times in their last six games.

The Warriors have been heating up from long range, as well. After totaling just 18 combined three-pointers over the course of their three-game losing streak earlier in the month, the Dubs have recorded double-digit three-pointers in every contest since. It’s their longest such streak this season since a nine-game stretch from November 19th to December 5th.

In their four victories last week, Golden State shot 44.0 percent from three-point range as a team, although the vast majority of their makes came from a likely source. 74.5 percent of the Warriors’ 55 made three-pointers last week came from Golden State’s backcourt duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, who totaled 20 and 21, respectively. The Splash Brothers combined for 12 three-pointers in Sunday’s win over the Grizzlies, in which Memphis totaled just eight as a team. It marked the 21st time this season that Curry and Thompson have combined for more three-pointers than the opposition, with the Warriors prevailing in all but one of those contests.

It’s not just offense, though. Golden State held all of their opponents last week to 100 points or fewer, and were a plus-27 in points off turnovers. Their 14 steals against the Kings on Friday marked the Warriors’ 37th game this season with double-digit thefts, which leads the NBA.

It’s some of the best basketball the Dubs have played all year, and now the focus turns to maintaining that high-level of play into the upcoming playoffs.

Two-and-a-half weeks. That’s all that lies in between the Warriors and the postseason. It’ll be here before you know it.

Standout Spotlight: Andre Iguodala

With apologies to Klay Thompson, who nearly stole this spot by making nine consecutive shots in Sunday’s win over Memphis, Andre Iguodala’s play as of late has simply been too good to ignore.

“He brings this incredible level of athletic ability and amazing awareness at both ends of the floor. Great defender, recognizes the game, the angles and setting screens. I think I’ve said it, recently, but Andre’s been our best player here the last few weeks. He’s been phenomenal.”

That was Steve Kerr following Sunday’s victory, and he hit the nail on the head. Iguodala had just notched his third 20-point game of the season in the contest, which has proven to be a magic number of sorts for Golden State ever since he was acquired in a three-team trade back in July of 2013. It marked the 16th time (regular season and playoffs) that Iguodala scored at least 20 points as a member of the Warriors, and the Dubs are a perfect 16-0 in those games.

A day prior, Kerr opined that Iguodala was playing his best basketball since his 2015 NBA Finals MVP performance, and Sunday’s explosion was just further proof of that.

In March, he’s averaging 10.8 points per game, compared to his season average of 7.0. He’s also shooting 7.8 percent better from the field and 3.6 percent better from three-point range this month, while averaging 2.8 free throw attempts per game; that’s more than twice his season average.

He’s been more assertive and efficient offensively, but not at the expense of his consistently terrific defense and all-around impact on the team.

“He brings so much energy off the bench with all sorts of different lineups,” said Curry. “His ability is always evident. It shows up all across the stat sheet. He’s aggressive with scoring and knocking down shots. Playing inspired basketball, it’s unbelievable.”

The Week Ahead:

Only nine games remain on the Warriors’ regular season schedule, but the week ahead won’t be an easy one. Golden State is just a hair away from leading the league in both offensive and defensive efficiency, and they’ll take on their closest competitors in each category in their final road back-to-back sequence of the season to begin the week. First, the Warriors will travel to Houston to take on the Rockets on Tuesday, who trail Golden State by just a tenth of a point for the highest scoring average in the league. Following that game, the Dubs will make the short jaunt over to San Antonio to face the Spurs for the fourth and final time this season on Wednesday night. The Warriors and Spurs not only have the two best records in the entire NBA, but also lead the league in defensive efficiency with identical defensive ratings of 101.0 points allowed per 100 possessions. When Golden State completes that back-to-back set, they’ll have only one road game remaining on their regular season schedule. The Warriors will then round out the week with two home games against high-quality opponents, first hosting the Rockets on Friday before welcoming the Washington Wizards for their lone trip to Oracle Arena this season on Sunday. That’s four games against three teams who all rank among the top-three teams in their respective conferences, making the Warriors’ slate in the week ahead a daunting one, to say the least.