One look at the final score and one might assume, “OK, another blowout win.” But it really wasn’t, and a lot of the Warriors’ double-digit victories haven’t been. This was grind-out game, against a Cleveland team that’s not bad even without LeBron James hanging within six points with five minutes to go.
But here’s what happens when you can play 10 guys and given them at least 13 minutes apiece as Steve Kerr did Friday night — you have a finishing kick. While the opposition is sucking wind just to stay in the game, the Warriors’ best players are fresh to finish the job.
The fourth quarter margins in the last five games: 30-23, 29-21, 33-26, 33-25 again and Friday night 28-18. The only exception on this 6-0 homestand was the first game against Minnesota in which Golden State finished the job in the third quarter then played a quarter of garbage time.
The Warriors are simply wearing down teams with their depth over the first 40 or so minutes then bludgeoning them with their defense and 3-point shooting at the finish. Moreover, you’ve got several players, notably Steph Curry and Draymond Green, who sense the kill and know how to finish. Curry and Green were both dynamite down the stretch, as usual, and Green, despite having an awful shooting night, still nearly wound up with a triple double — 10 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 blocks.
“That’s the beauty of Draymond is that he doesn’t need to make his shots to make a huge impact on the game,” said Steve Kerr. “His energy in the second half, I thought, really took over. It changed the game. His rebounding is incredible.”