For Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, Saturday night was historic as they came away with a 121-118 overtime win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Curry poured in 46 points as he broke his previous record for most threes made in a season, tied the record for most threes made in a game with 12, and hit the clutch 32-foot game winning three in spectacular fashion. But it’s back to the regular season grind as Golden State looks for their sixth straight win on their home floor when they face the Atlanta Hawks tonight.
The last time these two teams faced each other, an interesting turn of events played out throughout the course of the game. Leading comfortably by half-time, the Warriors allowed the Hawks to produce a 36-point first quarter and eventually cut the deficit to a single point heading into the fourth. Golden State was able to come away with the victory, but their late-game lapse could have had worse consequences. It’ll be interesting to keep an eye on the tone and pace set for tonight’s rematch.
Atlanta: Playoff Momentum
The Hawks are coming into this matchup riding a two-game winning streak and only a half game behind the Miami Heat for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. In reality, Atlanta has the possibility of catching the Boston Celtics, the current third seed in the conference standings, who are only two and a half games ahead. It will be a challenge to come away with a win against the defending champs, on the road no less; however the opportunity to get a significant victory is vital not only to their confidence but also their momentum heading into the postseason.
The Hawks have had two solid defensive outings in their most recent two matchups against the Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Hornets, holding each team to 36.4 percent shooting and 33.3 percent shooting, respectively. Atlanta will need to display that type of defensive performance again tonight when facing one of the highest scoring offenses in the league in Golden State.
Golden State: Rest For The Weary?
Everyone is hoping to see what encore Stephen Curry will display tonight after the historic outing he demonstrated against the Thunder. However, reports claim that Stephen Curry is questionable heading into the Warriors meeting with the Hawks - citing a sore ankle as a result of the awkward fell he took the game prior. Steve Kerr must remember the larger picture of wanting everybody healthy come playoff time, where a player missing significant time could have drastic consequences. Golden State should rest Curry to ensure that he will be available come later in the season, where securing victories will be imperative to holding the number one seed.
Despite their 53-5 record, the second place San Antonio Spurs are just three and a half games behind. There’s no need to exert unnecessary wear and tear on your star player when his presence will be extremely vital in the future. The Warriors should look to Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and the depth in their bench players to secure their 54th win of the season tonight.
Catch the rematch of these two on NBATV, where tip off will be approximately 7:30PM PT.