The Golden State Warriors finished last season with the worst record in the league and are a fringe playoff contender this season, but Stephen Curry believes their recent dynasty is still serving as a motivating factor for opponents.
Steph Curry said Draymond Green reminded the team at halftime that the Warriors still have a target on their back: "Even when we're playing well, we won three in a row, teams still want to beat us and beat us bad. They still have a lot of memories from the last five, six years." https://t.co/tSVPuAFhrB
Beat Golden State bad is exactly what the Lakers did Sunday.
They jumped out to a 20-point lead through the first quarter and never looked back despite playing without Anthony Davis. LeBron James set the tone by hitting his first couple of shots from the perimeter to open everything else up, but it was a collaborative effort with six Lakers in double figures and nobody over the King's 19 points.
Los Angeles also ran double-teams at Curry on the perimeter and held him to 16 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the field.
The loss snapped the Warriors' three-game winning streak, but they are still 19-16 and in much better position than they were a season ago. They are holding on to the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference and are positioned to make the postseason, especially with the expanded play-in tournament in place.
They won 15 games total in 2019-20.
Golden State is still a long way from the group that went to five straight NBA Finals from 2014-15 through 2018-19, but it has taken significant strides this season with Curry actually on the floor.
The Warriors logo across the front of their jerseys may be motivating opponents who remember that stretch of dominance, but that hasn't stopped the two-time MVP from leading his team into playoff position.