Recap: Warriors 113, Kings 106
So how does first place feel? After defeating the Kings in a thriller, the 11-6 Golden State Warriors have tied the Clippers for the lead atop the Pacific Division. Nevermind that we are percentage points behind them, we are 0 games out of first place after a 4 game win streak.
MVN- The City Recap
He did it. Mike Dunleavy put together a good game. He came up big in the fourth quarter scoring 12 of his 19 points incluidng a key 3 in the final minute to push the lead from 4 to 7 and essentially put the Kings away. To all the Dunleavy lovers, who think we want him to fail, I'm ecstatic that he had a good game. We need him to play well especially with MP2 injured. Dunleavy was aggressive from the tip off taking the ball to the hole, going to the glass, and even taking 2 charges. He only had 4 boards but he was in the mix down low most of his 42 minutes. He also contributed 2 assists, one was an oop to JRich, and also collected 2 steals. His shooting was on point, making 3-4 three's, 5-9 overall, and 6-6 free throws. Props to Dun for coming up big and being a big reason for the W.
The Warriors led pretty much the whole game pushing the lead to as high as 14 in the 3rd quarter. What was huge for the Warriors was their 15 offensive rebounds. They had so many 2nd chance opportunities and in the end controlled the glass by outrebounding the Kings by 17. Adonal and Murphy both collected double doubles with Biedrins chipping in with 8 boards. Those three combined for 30 boards, nearly as many as the Kings 32 rebounds. By the way, props to Adonal who scored 10 points and was 5-5 from the field. On the screen rolls with Baron he was money. Any points we get from him are just gravy.
Baron and JRich had huge games. Baron collected 25 points and 16 assists while JRich put up 33 including 15 in the first quarter. Baron shot 9-22 including 6-12 from 3's. He finally had a decent shooting game and was on point from long distance. He took the ball to the hole strong and created lots of shots for teammates. JRich carried the team in the first quarter. He hit shot after shot, layups, fadeaways, runners in the lane, and caught the alley oop Jr threw him, he basically did it all. He also chipped in with 5 rebounds and 6 assists.
The defense was up and down. At some points they had trouble containing the Kings and gave up too many easy buckets on what seemed to be missed defensive assignments. Overall though, they didn't let Peja get off (9 points), nor did they let Bibby go wild even though he finished with 20. Considering that he's been averaging 27 over his last 5, I consider that to be a win. Shareef and Bonzi had big games, but I'd much rather have them get hot than either Peja or Bibby because when it came down to the final few minutes Bibby hit a couple shots, but did not get off and Peja just disappeared. The combination of Dunleavy and JRich on Peja chasing him all over and getting a hand in his face most of the time contributed to the poor shooting night.
Not to take away from the positives last night, but I have a couple problems with the Warriors:
1) Biedrins cannot stop fouling. 5 fouls in 6 minutes? He fouled on what seemed to be 3 or 4 consecutive possessions. He put the Kings into the bonus early in the 3rd quarter and that was huge for their comeback. One embarassing moment for him was when he grabbed a defensive board, and tried to dribble the ball up the court. Shareef ripped him, and then dunked on his head. Ouch. But it wasn't all his fault, the guards were not around for him to pass the ball to.
2) Fisher trying to do too much. He's a great spot up 3 point shooter and hits clutch shots. I'd like him in the game when we need to hit free throws or a three. But when he tries to create for himself or others, it never seems like anything good happens. He's a sloppy dribbler and does not pass well for a guard. I wish he'd stick to what he does best and that's shoot spot up 3's.
3) Ike playing limited minutes. Why was this guy on the bench? He played all of 7 minutes. He had a monstrous dunk, played big inside and collected 2 boards. It's great that Adonal had a good game, but Ike deserves some more minutes. If they went with a Murphy and Ike frontline, that would be a nice tandem. People at the Arena love the guy too. Everytime he steps on the court he gets a loud ovation. We want more Ike!
Overall, the Warriors were resilient and continued to fend off any comeback from the Kings. They would make their run, but someone on the Warriors would step up and make sure that lead never evaporated. What an awesome game for the Warriors and a huge stepping stone for the team. Finishing the first month 11-6 is a big boost for the rest of the season and proof that the Warriors are a team to be reckoned with.
Mike Dunleavy. Yes Baron had 25-16 and JRich had 33, but Dunleavy hit the big shots (3's, free throws and layups) when it counted most and he did it when nobody expected him to.