April 17, 2024

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Warriors defeat Devils last game in impressive win over Lakers – NBC Sports Bay Area and California

Warriors defeat Devils last game in impressive win over Lakers – NBC Sports Bay Area and California

SAN FRANCISCO – Too often this season, the Warriors have bowed to their most persistent demons. They now realize that beating them is the only way to have a legitimate chance of reaching their goal in the regular season.

Those Devils started moving late in the third quarter on Thursday night. When the Lakers took less than three minutes to cut a 17-point deficit to nine, it sent a wave of post-shock anxiety through the elimination crowd (18,064) at Chase Center.

Having seen the Warriors go up, then slide down — that last happened eight days ago in the Chase — they feared the worst.

Not this time. The warriors closed the door on the monster. Strong enough and loud enough to secure a 128-110 win to move within a half a game of Los Angeles in the Western Conference standings, and furthermore, tie the season series at 1-1, with two more games remaining in Los Angeles.

Golden State's goal, as coach Steve Kerr stated this week, with roster alignment, is to climb into the top six in the West. To avoid playing in the tournament. They're in 10th place now, largely because they've cost themselves too many wins with terrible finishes.

“He gave a great speech about all of that yesterday,” Stephen Curry said of Kerr. “The way I'm approaching it, the goal is to get six seeds because that guarantees you a place in the series. That's what you want.

“But the way our season has gone, scoring a big goal and smashing it, that's probably the ultimate test of the 'stay there, win every game in front of you, and build that joy and that energy' push.”

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Curry and his teammates want to keep their focus narrow because they've seen what can happen when they get ahead of themselves, especially after shooting for double-digit leads. Be sloppy in defence, neglect fundamentals, abandon the attacking spirit that brought success, and it's enough to see the lead disappear and the game fall into the “holding” category in the final five minutes.

With five minutes left tonight, the Warriors had a 15-point lead, which in six games this season hasn't been enough to secure a win. With four minutes left, Kerr emptied the bench.

All because when the Lakers threatened, the Warriors retaliated. They led by 11 points (67-56) at halftime, pushed it to 17 (86-69) with 4:47 remaining in the third quarter, and watched Los Angeles soar to nine (89-80) with 2:02 remaining — and from Then the planes hit.

Golden State took their defense seriously and ended the quarter on a 9-2 run as the Lakers got just two free throws.

After leading 98-82 after three quarters, Andrew Wiggins took it upon himself to banish any thought of a Los Angeles comeback. After opening the fourth quarter by scoring Golden State's first nine points, the Lakers never got closer than 13 before being shut out.

Seeing Wiggins take over wasn't so much an encouraging sign as it was the kind of finish that has often eluded the Warriors.

“He looks more comfortable,” Kerr said. “He's attacking the rim more. The way we're playing and the lineup he starts the game in gives him more space to attack. He's looked really good for a while.”

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“The way our team has developed, the lineup we're playing with, it kind of feeds into everything he does well. He's playing at a high level, he's playing unselfish, he's playing simple. I like the way the Whigs are playing right now.”

Wiggins, who finished with 20 points (on 8-of-14 shooting from the field), was among five Warriors to score in double figures, led by Curry, who tried to set the tone by scoring 16 of his game-high 32 points in a 10-minute quarter. the first.

The win puts the Warriors (28-26) two games above .500 for the first time since Nov. 11. Given where they are, and how far they want to go, it didn't matter that they crushed a Lakers team without a star. LeBron James and key rotation players Jared Vanderbilt and Christian Wood.

What matters is that the Warriors finish it. They have bared teeth late in the game that have often not been seen this season, winning nine of their last 11 games, and giving themselves reason to believe they can rise above Championship play.

“This is a good window we have,” Carey said. “But every game is important for us to (win). I think I'm just trying to enjoy what happens in each game, and what it takes to win that particular game. It's a lofty goal but we know we can reach it.”

Maybe they can, but only if they can keep their demons from spoiling things over the final 28 games.

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