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Curry's Warriors punish Clippers and referees for not knowing their place
NEVER ANGER THE SONS OF THE GOLDEN EMPIRE!
One of my favorite types of basketball revelations is players talking in awed tones about how they once angered a great hooper with trash talk and were punished for it with righteous indignation. Like that one time a young Kevin Garnett disrespected prime Michael Jordan and was tormented for it:
Rising to the occasion on mano-a-mano disrespect is the hallmark of sports, and basketball is a prime arena for it. There’s no helmets or hats to obscure faces, the fans are seated so close they can breathe on the players, and there’s plenty of teammates/opponents on the floor to antagonize any situation. It’s funny when it’s a player getting a player incensed, and even funnier when a ref does it.
In the Golden State Warriors’ 105-90 victory last night over the feisty Los Angeles Clippers, they were challenged by both opponent and umpire disrespect, and responded with spectacular fury.
This Poole goes deep
When Isaiah Hartenstein (a reserve big on the Clippers) blocked a wild Jordan Poole drive and screamed at his fallen body, it was a test of Poole’s swag. The game had been a close slugfest up until that point, the score 60-59 with 2:35 remaining in the third period.
The Clippers were ratcheting up the physicality on the Warriors to try and rattle them; Golden State kept looking to the referees to regulate the excess bumping. But alas they were “letting them play”. Well, unless you were the Warriors who kept getting whistled for minor contact. Maybe I’m a homer, but Draymond Green, the Warriors bench, and Stephen Curry all got T’ed up for showing displeasure with the refereeing. That’s gotta say something, right?
Anyways, here comes Hartenstein with the big time block on Poole’s probing drive.
Big mistake. Poole got hot, drilling 4 three-pointers in the final 2:17 of the 3rd period, barking after each bucket.
Does this two-man dance with Draymond remind you of something Splash Brotherly?
Poole’s microwave hot streak didn’t blow the game open like we’ve seen in so many other GSW games. That’s because the Clippers had Paul George going unconscious with his jumper, hitting shots with defenders draped all over him like he was channeling the aura of Kobe Bryant.
But that wasn’t the last time someone would anger the Warriors and kickstart a scoring binge. You can ask the guy in the zebra stripes about that.
Dot their eyes and cross your T’s
Hartenstein clobbered Draymond Green on a drive, Green reacted, and the ref’s t’ed him up.
Okay cool. And the refs whistled…the Warriors bench for a tech?
Wow, that’s interesting. But then this crime-against-humanity of a non-call occured with the Warriors up 79-70 with a little over nine minutes to go in the 4th quarter and Wardell Stephen Curry II had about all he was gonna take.
It’s Curry gets THAT animated with the refereeing since the game’s usually over in the third quarter and he’s chillin on the bench. But this egregious act of poor refereeing sent Curry over the edge, and he was rewarded with a technical foul.
BIG mistake, Ref.
Curry then scored 11 points in less than six minutes as part of a 21-12 run deep in the fourth quarter to put the Dubs up 100-82 and wipe out any chance of the Clippers surviving.
Curry finished the game with 33 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 6 steals. He’s a defensive force out there, gumming up the other team’s plans with his quick hands and intelligent positioning. But it’s his offense that is putting terror in the NBA…again.
3 and D
Otto Porter Jr. was an offseason STEAL. His 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 steals in 26 minutes off the bench is EXACTLY what Golden State wanted him when they took a flier on him during free agency. His 3-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc acted as body blows for a Clippers defense that fought valiantly but couldn’t cover every damn thing.
The Warriors shot 17-of-40 (42.5%) from beyond the arc, but more importantly limited LAC to 9-of-28 (32%) from three-point land. This was a battle of the top two defenses in the NBA (Phoenix is third), but by the fourth quarter it was clear only one of these defenses was giving up backbreaking shots from deep. Those shots swing ball games, and you could feel the air going out of the Clippers everytime their rotations gave up a bomb or some Warrior just pulled up in their face disrespectfully 25-feet from the basket.
The Warriors also eradicated the passing lanes like fighter jets patrolling the skies. The Clippers had 24 turnovers to only 18 assists. Reggie Jackson, the team’s second leading scorer at 18.4 PPG, shackled to zero points. Here’s two Clippers’ analysts with their takes:
Gary Payton II had 4 steals in 12 minutes bahahah. He’s averaging the same amount of steals per game (1.3) as noted defensive pest Kyle Lowry in less than half the minutes per game. This dude is going to swing entire playoff games with his hustle and smarts.
It’s getting to the point now where the Warriors are just the superior offensive and defensive team regardless of who they face. They won’t let you score, whilst they bomb you out of the building. It’s beautiful to watch.
So don’t make them mad. WHO’S NEXT?