Defending champion Warriors get on roll with strong defence
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OAKLAND, Calif. —
They're blocking shots. Jumping into the passing lanes for timely steals. Getting hands in the faces of shooters.
It wasn't this way out of the gates this season, and coach Steve Kerr had some moments of frustration.
Lately, he's pleased with the progress and consistency.
"Defensively we've just had longer stretches of high intensity and high level of focus," Stephen Curry said. "That's allowed us to control the momentum of games and the flow of games."
The Warriors outscored Minnesota 44-26 in the third quarter of Wednesday night's 125-101 win — and dominated without NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant, who sat with a bruised left thigh but was expected to be fine by Saturday's home game against the 76ers.
"I know if we focus on taking care of the basketball and playing solid
Golden State limited the Timberwolves to 41.3
"You saw how beautiful that was in the second half with 37 assists overall. It's all about taking care of the ball and defending," Kerr said. "The
He gave his team a day off Thursday before getting back to work Friday in preparation for Philadelphia.
Other teams and opposing players notice the Warriors' attention to detail on the defensive end, even if their high-flying offensive show is typically the focus of scouting reports and film sessions.
"You can't win without that," Memphis
Against the T-Wolves, Golden State blocked nine shots — its 11th time in 12 games with at least seven swats — three by reserve Omri Casspi and another two from Draymond Green, and didn't allow a 20-point performance by Minnesota. Nick Young came off the bench to make a career-high four steals in 20-plus minutes.
"It's finally coming along. We're starting to put it together," Green said. "We're taking more ownership in one-on-one
Part of that, according to player development coach Chris DeMarco, is "being the aggressors, being active defensively and trusting that the guys around us will help if we get beat."
While a handful of turnovers led to easy baskets by Minnesota, for the most part the Warriors were disciplined in their defensive assignments. It has been that way for a stretch of games now.
It didn't hurt Golden State shot 65.9
"I think you learn a lot from playing against them because that's what a championship team looks like. They play hard. They play together. You look at their willingness to sacrifice for each other and make plays," T-Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. "They had 37 assists on 48 baskets. Their
AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker contributed to this report.
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