Oakland – The Golden State Warriors played their best game of the season. And while they donned their classic Oakland uniforms on Inauguration Day, they also honored our new Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, an Oakland native.
The San Antonio Spurs on the other hand probably played their worst game of the season, they couldn’t get a single lead the entire game while the Warriors dominated the entire night to secure their 121-99 victory over the Spurs.
Golden State came back from a 19-point deficit to beat the best team in the Western Conference on Monday. Tonight, they got going early and never trailed. With back-to-back impressive wins, head coach Steve Kerr was very impressed with his team as a whole.
“I think it was our best game. It was the best two way basketball game we have played all year,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “Our defense was excellent. We put a lot of pressure on them, stayed really solid, made good rotations, rebounded well and then at the other end when you are forcing misses, offense becomes a lot easier and so we were able to get into a flow.”
Prior to the game Kerr told the media the team needed a quicker start and they need to build momentum early on. Golden State came out hot and held the Spurs to just four points halfway through the first quarter. The Spurs tried to rally back cutting the lead to five points but it only got worse as the quarter continued and the Warriors entered the second quarter up 36-24.
“Got off to a good start especially defensively,” Kerr said. “I think that’s the whole point with this group, we talked about before the season when we put the roster together. This has the chance to be a really good defensive team and we can run off of misses, steals and blocked shots, that sort of thing so we got out in transition a little bit tonight and we sort of put it together on both ends and that was good to see, especially in the first quarter.”
James Wiseman played his best NBA game so far after coming off a not so great Lakers game on Monday. He attributed his success and continual growth to watching film. Wiseman explained after the Lakers game he watched a lot of film and noticed what he was doing wrong and changed his mindset.
“Really just building the chemistry in practice and studying film,” said Wiseman when asked about what the key to his success tonight was. “I study film a lot… I study a lot of film everyday. Just figuring out floor space and floor space is something I got better at a lot in this game. I feel like this is one of my best games in terms of floor space and on defense as well because I was being vocal so everything all around was perfect.”
Every player contributed tonight. Kelly Oubre Jr. has played more with the second unit and continues to shine. Golden State is 2-2 so far with Oubre Jr. leading the second unit and Kerr doesn’t see himself changing that anytime soon. Oubre finished the night with 16 points, nine rebounds, two steals and a block.
“These uniforms are pretty much self explanatory, ‘Historical’’, Oubre Jr. said. “They carry an energy that was set up by the ones who have come before us and you already felt the energy as soon as we saw these uniforms in our lockers so its pretty self explanatory. They put it on for the city of Oakland and I am just happy to be able to wear them.”
The Warriors made sure they didn’t get too comfortable and continued to play a defensive game. They played so well they let the second unit run most of the second half. Stephen Curry had a double-double with 26 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.
Wiseman added 20 points, 6 rebounds and showed the NBA why he was the No. 2 draft pick. Draymond Green had nine points with six assists while every single player on the Warriors scored on Wednesday.
“It meant everything, a full circle moment,” said Curry on representing Oakland. “The court was amazing, the jersey was amazing, you just get a different feeling when you put that on, there is no secret about that especially with my experience 12 years later. Rocking those colors… so it’s nice to obviously play well, get a good win, a lot of good vibes tonight. It’s an awesome vibe of representing Oakland, the Town, what that era of basketball was with 3 championships, just the soul of a city that supported us so it meant a lot.”
Golden State also improved on offensive rebounds and that made their game much easier. Curry explained the Spurs are a very disciplined team in terms of never beating themselves.
“You can’t just give them easy looks on offense and we were just making them take tough jump shots,” Curry explained. “ If you do that over the course of the full quarter that will definitely get us an opportunity to push and transition, get easy baskets. “Wise[man] was amazing, showing his presence in the paint.”
Warriors will host the New York Knicks tomorrow at 7pm in San Francisco.
Steve Kerr received a technical arguing a missed travel in the second quarter. Kerr said it had nothing to do with his technical and everything to do with how the team had been playing prior to that moment.
Photo by Warriors/Twitter