Early in the 2013-14 NBA season, the Golden State Warriors looked every bit like the team that they had hoped to be this year with a hot start. They were still the same explosive offensive team, but were also quietly putting forth one of the best defensive efforts in the league.
When Andre Iguodala went down with a lower-body injury, though, the Warriors seemed to be hit pretty hard by his absence, as you might expect. Coming into their game on Sunday against the Sacramento Kings, the Warriors had dropped five of their last six games and seen their record dropped to a run-of-the-mill 9-8.
Playing against a Kings team that was just 4-10 coming into Sunday and that has one of the worst and most inconsistent defenses in the league, though, the Warriors were looking to show off their offensive prowess and their young but star-studded backcourt led the charge.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were the two highest individual scorers in their game against Sacramento, scoring 36 and 28 points respectively. The hot-shooting duo of Warriors’ guards delivered an impressive shooting display from outside throughout the game that gave Golden State the advantage for most of the night, combining to shoot 12-21 from beyond-the-arc. However, it was Curry that really shined in the matchup.
Not only was it Curry that dished out 10 assists in the game, but he also had 12 of his points in a close fourth quarter while also hitting the two free throws that clinched the 115-113 victory for the Warriors.
Though it’s certainly a lot to ask, this Warriors backcourt is going to have to carry this team while Iguodala is out. Guys like Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut and David Lee will be key in their own right as well, but this team is less-than-mediocre without Iggy if Curry and Thompson aren’t playing well. It will be interesting to see how much longer Iguodala is out with this injury and seeing if Curry and Thompson can help keep this team afloat.