With one shot, Stephen Curry’s eight turnovers were forgotten. The Golden State Warriors point guard had a tough time with ball security on Wednesday night, but he made up for it with his clutch shooting.
Curry, who hit the game-winning shot to put the Warriors past the Dallas Mavericks in a come-from-behind victory, is averaging 30.5 points per game during his last eight games.
Swingman Andre Iguodala’s absence has especially forced Curry, Golden State’s de facto leader, to step up his performance. With a 24.53 PER—good for eighth in the NBA, according to ESPN’s Hollinger Stats—Curry has done his part. It is up to his teammates to carry their weight, especially with Iguodala’s injury.
In the victory, Curry’s teammates indeed stepped up. The win was by no means perfect, as the Warriors had to play the comeback card yet again. However, they showed flashes of why they were pegged by some as contenders for the Western Conference title.
Perhaps most importantly, big men Andrew Bogut and David Lee dominated inside to combine for 29 rebounds, including nine on the offensive end. When the Warriors are effectively rebounding the ball and Curry is shooting well, opponents can do little to stop them.
The Warriors’ win also came without contributions from a couple of their key players. Shooting guard Klay Thompson, who is having a career year, had an unusually cold performance. He hit on just three of 14 from the field.
More importantly, Iguodala's absence continues to be particularly detrimental on the defensive end.
One of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA, there is no doubt that Iggy would have been key in limiting Dirk Nowitzki. The German star connected on seven of 14 shots, and was 3-of-6 on threes.
On the flip side, when the Warriors have a fully healthy lineup, they present a challenge to any team in the league.
Golden State’s true potential is certainly not limited to how they performed against the Bobcats on Monday. It was an overall sloppy performance in which the Warriors committed more than twice as many turnovers as they created. The game was indicative of the Warriors’ level of play for the past several games, but not of their true capability.
The Warriors’ penchant for coming back in games may not be the most desirable way to win, but it is an ability that should prove handy come playoff time.
The sharpshooting ability of their guards, Curry and Thompson, means the Warriors are never quite out of a game. After all, if there is any team that can put up points in a hurry, it is the Warriors. They recently overcame a 27-point deficit against the Raptors, and the Mavericks’ lead stretched as high as 18 on Wednesday.
The only question remaining is how injuries will ultimately affect this team. Prior to the season, everyone knew the key to the Warriors’ performance this year would be their health. So far, the loss of their best defender, Iguodala, has proven costly. When he returns, however, one would be hard pressed to find a more formidable starting five in the NBA.