Warriors Observations

What we learned as Steph, JK lead Warriors to eighth consecutive road win

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Stephen Curry was back in vintage 3-point form again, connecting on seven shots from deep and finishing with 25 points, six rebounds and six assists as the Warriors grabbed their eighth consecutive road win, beating the Toronto Raptors 120-105 on Friday.

Jonathan Kuminga added 24 points and six rebounds as Golden State rode a dominant third quarter and then held on for the victory in the second half of a back-to-back.

This came after the Warriors were delayed on the tarmac in New York a day earlier and didn’t arrive in Canada until 8 a.m.

Golden State also was short-handed. Andrew Wiggins missed his third consecutive game due to personal reasons, while upstart rookie Brandin Podziemski was held out because of a sore right ankle.

That opened the door for Klay Thompson to return to the starting unit. He had 14 points (four 3-pointers) and seven rebounds. Moses Moody, who made another start in place of Wiggins, scored 17 points and was a plus-17. Golden State is 6-1 in games that Moody starts.

Chris Paul added 13 points, five rebounds and two steals.

The Warriors trailed much of the first half then flipped things around coming out of halftime when they outscored the Raptors by a whopping 32-19. Toronto never recovered after that.

Here are the takeaways from Friday’s game.

Curry cooking again from deep

The NBA’s 3-point king is back to being on point with his shooting behind the arc. Curry has made 15 3s in his last two games, including seven against the Raptors.

That’s a very encouraging sign after Curry had been sputtering with his deep shot. In the five games prior to playing in New York, Curry endured one of his toughest stretches of the 2023-24 season in terms of the deep ball. He had made fewer than 28 percent of his 3-point attempts (16 of 58).

The majority of NBA players would be completely satisfied with those type of numbers, but Curry has been so remarkable throughout his career that any hiccup in his shooting gets magnified.

Now the future Hall-of-Famer is looking a lot more like his old self, bombing and connecting on his deep shots. As long as he can keep it up, the Warriors have to like their chances as they head down the stretch.

Late arrival leads to slow start

The Warriors seemed out of sorts a little to start the game, and that wasn’t a complete surprise. They were delayed by about six hours flying out of New York and didn’t get to their hotel until past 8 a.m.

That lack of rest translated into another slow, sputtering start for Golden State.

One day after opening their win over the Knicks with a 14-0 run, the Warriors were sluggish out of the blocks in Toronto. Moody seemed OK, canning three of his first five shots, but the rest of the roster was out of sync.

Thompson and Kuminga were scoreless in the first quarter, shooting a combined 0-for-7. Curry was the only Warriors player besides Moody to make more than one shot in the opening 12 minutes.

Golden State also had a little trouble holding onto the ball, committing five of their 14 turnovers in the first quarter.

Is Klay better off the bench?

Thompson looked a little out of sync being back in the starting lineup, particularly early, after coming off the bench for the previous six games. The five-time All-Star was shut out in the first half, the only Golden State player to get shut down like he was. That led to him being a minus-7.

Before getting put back in with the starters to fill in for Podziemski, Thompson had settled into a very nice rhythm coming off the bench and had given the Warriors’ second unit a significant boost.

It was a completely different story in the second half. Thompson found his shooting touch in the third quarter when he was also very active on the boards.

Almost assuredly this won’t be the last start for Thompson. Other variables likely factored into his slow start, like the flight delay. But it’s possible that Thompson might have put some added pressure on himself being back with the starters, whereas he’s looked a lot more relaxed and comfortable with his game coming in as a back-up.

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