What we learned about Dubs finally winning their first away game of the season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
After nearly five weeks of searching the streets for a win, the Warriors finally found a Sunday in Houston.
Their 127-120 win over the Rockets at the Toyota Center ended their eight-game losing streak and puts them just one game away from reaching 500.
It was by no means a smooth win over the team with the worst record in the Western Conference as the Warriors struggled with turnover failures in recovering from fundamentals that kept Houston in the game.
Stephen Curry made sure they didn’t give it away, scoring 25 points in the second half, including a 29-foot fallaway jumper that ended the Rockets with 34.9 seconds left. Last but not least, he dropped his signature “night night” celebration.
Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Curry had a combined 96 points – and a staggering 23 of 38 shots from an angle.
Here are three observations from the night where the Warriors (8-9) and Dub Nation can collectively breathe a sigh of relief:
“Sling gates” open for Klay
After another frustratingly inefficient game in a Warriors loss in Sacramento a week ago, Thompson took to Instagram and vowed:
“My belief is stronger than your doubt. I PROMISE you it will come. And when it does, the floodgates will open.”
The floodgates did indeed open in the first nine minutes after the tipoff, a period during which Klay’s first six shots yielded 20 points on 7-of-9 shots from the field, including 4-of-5 from long range.
When Thompson was substituted 3:03 in the first quarter, the Warriors held a 32-18 lead.
Thompson stayed in or near “the zone” throughout the game and submitted his first 30-point game of the season, which he finished with a season-best 41 on 14-of-23 shots, including 10-of-13 from beyond of the bow .
Chatter about Klay’s bench press died down on Friday after he scored 20 points and shot 50 percent from the field for the first time this season. His performance in this game should finally shut him up.
Second Unit Blues strikes again
The Warriors used the first 12 minutes for their most productive quarter of the season and went into the second quarter with a 40-28 lead.
The Rockets needed less than three minutes against the second unit to close the 12-point deficit and took a 41-40 lead, 9:25 at the half.
As Golden State opened the second quarter with almost full second unit — Jordan Poole, Donte DiVincenzo, Anthony Lamb and Jonathan Kuminga with starting center Kevon Looney — the defense turned to cookie dough and turnovers came in waves.
Houston made his first five shots, scored eight points from five Golden State turnovers, and finished the quarter with 63.2 percent from the field.
There were many games this season where the Warriors fell victim to their second-unit deficiencies, but this was perhaps the most extreme case of the second-unit blues.
It will be extremely difficult to find anything positive along the way, let alone win games, if this continues.
Steph’s Shadow Excellence
While Thompson put his stamp on the game in the first quarter, Curry didn’t score a single point and only made two shots.
He has since recorded seven assists, which speaks to his willingness to keep feeding his hot teammate and wait until his goal is needed.
That came in the third quarter. The Warriors were down 65-61 at halftime, but Curry turned the game their way, scoring 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-5 from long range. The Warriors went into fourth with a three-point lead, and they needed every point.
Curry finished with 33 points, a season-high 15 assists — with just one turnover. He played 37 minutes and finished the game with a plus of 22 as the team’s best.