Revisiting Game 18: Encouraging Warriors Grinded Out A Road Win At Detroit or Disappointed They Let it Come to That?

At the end of the day, Golden State walked out of Detroit with a win.

Yes, they nearly blew a 20-point fourth-quarter lead. Yes, they missed a valuable opportunity to rest their key players, who just began a seven-games-in-11-days road trip. But starting the road trip 1-0 outweighs any concerns their road to victory may have caused.

MARK JACKSON: “We had some breakdowns at the end but, ultimately, we left here with a victory. I would rather learn in winning than learn in losing.”

To be sure, the 104-97 victory did produce concerns. You could pass the end of the game off as every-team-makes-a-run, but that would be a disservice to Golden State’s developing squad.

Multiple reasons led a 17-point lead with just over five minutes left becoming a three-point lead with just over a minute left. The Warriors got too comfortable taking jumpers. Detroit got hot (and the Warriors’ frantic scrambling on defense played right into that). And Golden State went small, again, and had no protection.

The Warriors made just enough plays to hang on. But that was against a pretty bad Detroit squad. What happens when they play good teams, like Brooklyn on Friday, Miami next Wednesday, Atlanta on Saturday. Even Charlotte on Monday won’t be easy in their own building.

So, the question is how do you view the win. Is it a good thing that the Warriors were able to hang on and tough one out, something they’ll probably have to do on the road a lot? Or was the victory overshadowed that the Warriors needed to survive a game they led by 20 points in the fourth quarter?

JARRETT JACK: “We just did not do a good job of putting the final nail in the coffin. There are teams that are going to be able to come back when we let them linger around and give them confidence. So when you are able to put away a team, especially in their building, you have to end it however you can.”

More on Wednesday’s victory …

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Revisiting Game 16: Warriors Keep Plugging Along, Now 10-6

The Warriors’ 103-92 win over visiting Indiana was of a different breed.

It wasn’t the same résumé highlight as their victory at the Los Angeles Clippers, or last week’s win over visiting Brooklyn. Nor was it the emotional, revenge victory they scored over Denver on Friday or in the season opener at Phoenix. And it certainly wasn’t the dominating performance the Warriors are still looking to put together.

Saturday’s win was of the mundane-yet-difficult kind Golden State (10-6) will need to pile up as they matriculate the season. An under-the-radar victory on a forgettable December night that failed to lure a sell-out crowd at Oracle. An earned triumph over a sturdy Indiana squad all-too-easy to overlook yet good enough to make the Warriors pay if they had.

DAVID LEE: “We knew this was going to be a grind-it-out game. This wasn’t going to be a flashy game. … “It’s great. It’s just a huge thing. You talk about winning and losing in the NBA and rarely are you going to win or lose by 25 points, usually it comes down to the little plays. I think a lot of times the team that comes out with the victory is the team with the better chemistry. Last year we were awful in games that were close and this year we’ve been pretty good so we have to keep improving on the little teams.”

Golden State has won three straight and five of its last six for the first time since 2008. Monday, the Warriors host Orlando with a chance to move five games above .500 as they head on a seven-game trip.

The schedule gets brutal in January and February when the Warriors start taking on the league’s top teams on a regular basis. But for now, they are doing exactly what they need to do — keep plugging along, storing up victories like squirrels hoard nuts for the winter.

MARK JACKSON: “We’ve got a group of guys that are just invested in each other.”

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