Golden State Warriors Show Mental Toughness in 5th Straight Win

Jasper SchererAnalyst IIDecember 29, 2013

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 29: Stephen Curry #30 and David Lee #10 of the Golden State Warriors celebrate after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in overtime at Quicken Loans Arena on December 29, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Everyone expected the Golden State Warriors to go into Cleveland and roll over the Cavaliers. That didn’t quite happen on Sunday.

In an all-too-narrow 108-104 win, the Warriors showed their mental toughness. They recovered from allowing 35 first-quarter points to limit the Cavs to 35 total points in the second half.

The Warriors then regrouped after allowing a game-tying three by Kyrie Irving, outscoring the Cavs 9-5 in overtime. The ability to respond to adversity is key, especially come playoff time, and the Warriors showed they have that ability.

This tough win comes less than two weeks after the Dubs fell to the Spurs in a heartbreaking 104-102 defeat. The Warriors led that game 97-96 with 3:30 left in the game, and tied the game at 102 on a Stephen Curry three-pointer with 0:28 left. Yet, they couldn't quite figure out how to close out the game. On Sunday, however, that was not the case.

A couple of individual performances stood out, including that of Andre Iguodala. He played more minutes than in any other game since his return from injury, and his all-around play was tremendous. On top of playing stellar defense, he had 10 assists and seven rebounds.

Stephen Curry didn’t disappoint either. The Warriors point guard came one rebound shy of a second straight triple-double, finishing with 29 points, 11 assists and nine boards.

The real story of the game, however, was Draymond Green. Despite missing eight of his 10 shots, he impacted the game in other ways. He recorded 12 rebounds and four huge blocks in just 25 minutes.

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 29: Stephen Curry #30 and Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors celebrate after a late basket in overtime against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on December 29, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User
Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Although the Warriors came away with a victory, they still showcased several of their recurring issues. They committed 17 turnovers, including five from Curry. That total is alarmingly high.

Additionally, they shot only 30.3 percent on three-pointers. That number needs to drastically improve for a team that relies on the deep ball.

Even so, Golden State has now won five straight games. The team sits at 19-13 in the Western Conference with an excellent opportunity to improve its record during its upcoming road trip.

The Warriors travel to Orlando to face the Magic on Tuesday.

 

All statistics courtesy of ESPN.