Klay Thompson made his 200th 3-pointer of the season on Wednesday night's win over the Houston Rockets, making this year his seventh consecutive season knocking down at least 200 from beyond the arc. "Tonight was definitely a good learning lesson for us, and we will definitely learn from it".
The Golden State Warriors have had an unprecedented number of issues this year in comparison to what the team normally deals with, yet they continue to show that when they are up against a wall, they are still the team to beat.
There is, however, a 6-foot-11, 270-pound wild card in the equation that wasn't around for the West finals previous year.
Ever since Kevin Durant arrived in the Bay Area in the summer of 2017, National Basketball Association fans have been in constant pursuit of any reason to not believe that the Golden State Warriors will wind up as champions once again. And he was a liability in the Warriors' Feb. 23 loss to the Rockets, a nonfactor offensively and picked on defensively.
The Rockets still have a lot on the line with the regular season winding down.
Cousins, signed as an injured free agent in July, has had to blend with the Warriors powerhouse lineup since returning in January from a ruptured Achilles tendon. Despite Durant's absence, the Rockets couldn't contain Stephen Curry (24 points), Klay Thompson (30 points) or DeMarcus Cousins, who had perhaps his best game as a Warrior with 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
"It's OK", Harden said when answering a question that started with how the Rockets were on a roll. "It's just building that consistency, and he's done an awesome job of that, and it's only gonna get better for us". Good luck asking a guard to keep Cousins from feasting in the paint.
"They have to", Gordon said.
Nor was Houston coach Mike D'Antoni, saying, "Cousins will get what Cousins gets".
"I think we just have a different level of focus", Draymond Green said. If you want to put it in those terms then, yeah, I'm sure it is. "We won nine in a row. you kind of let go of the rope a little bit, or we make some mistakes that we've been getting away with the last few weeks". Of the team's 10 losses at Oracle Arena, the Warriors have lost in blowouts to the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors.
The downside to that: Cousins has often been an offensive afterthought in the almost two months he has been playing for the Warriors, as they've struggled to find ways to feature the kind of low-post weapon they've never had.
"We'll look at film, try to get better and move on". A good thing about it is we play a game on Friday.
According to Second Spectrum, the Warriors got Cousins the ball on 18 post-ups, the second most by any player during Kerr's five seasons. It had the same eerie feeling it did when James Harden hit that impossibly hard 3-pointer on January 3 to beat the Warriors in overtime.
The Warriors' offense hummed using Cousins as a hub with an offensive rating of 118.3 in his 32 minutes. They all but ended Houston's chances of being able to climb to the top of the West standings.
"It's a good stepping-stone for us", Kerr said.
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