OAKLAND – Although the Warriors talked about how to create better habits as they moved into the postseason phase of their schedule, they sometimes gave the fan base two valid reasons to worry about what's coming.
One, the turnovers, in particular those of the live-ball variety and always those that are simply dumb.
And, two, defensive consistency, some of which can be attributed to easy transition baskets of their turnovers.
What the fan base and perhaps the Warriors coaching team wanted on Sunday, in the 47th and final regular season at the Oracle Arena, was a victory that came with a sedative for their anxieties.
They achieved both, along with the security that comes with obtaining the first seed in the Western Conference.
In their Los Angeles Clippers 131-104 loss on Sunday, the Warriors provided, with 16 minutes of bitterness, enough master basketball to calm the minds of those who were concerned about the possibility of setting aside, for example, the Houston Rockets. .
Or, for that matter, any other NBA team.
"We focused a bit more on the details," Kevin Durant said.
"We became very active," said Draymond Green. "We were flying around, the guys were getting into the paint, we had guys stabbing the ball, for the most part our inner defense was excellent in the first half, we needed to make sure we got a little more in the 3-point shot. everything to the edge, and they could not mark in the painting the whole game ".
Durant, Green and others have been raising the "Do not worry" flag for a couple of weeks, recognizing that there have been times when they have decreased their opponents' level or have taken risks they would avoid against a legitimate contender.
Although the Clippers are not a legitimate contender for the championship, they are probably a first-round opponent for the Warriors, who, over time, played that way.
During the last four minutes of the second quarter and the full 12 minutes of the third, the Warriors outscored LA 55-24. It was 42-18 in the third quarter.
The Warriors achieved this by sewing the two areas where they tend to be most vulnerable.
The Warriors adjusted the defense during those 16 minutes, keeping the Clippers in 8 percent of the 26 shots (30.8) percent while forcing nine turnovers in LA, leading to 12 Warriors points.
And they also minimized their own turnovers, committing only two, none in the third quarter, none of which led to LA scores.
This was the Warriors' response to their first 20 regular minutes, during which the Clippers, mostly behind 17 points (mostly on 5-of-6 3-pointers) by guard Landry Shamet, were able to forge a draw. of 49-49. .
"The last three minutes of the first half changed the game," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "Then, in the third quarter, we could not shoot."
The Warriors made a strategic change in the third, placing Durant, 6 feet 11 feet, over Shamet, who is 6-5. Shamet disappeared, scoring a point in the last 28 minutes.
"We are liberated in that third party; That was great, "said coach Steve Kerr." The most important thing was that we did not turn the ball around, I do not think so, just once. Everyone moved the ball and the defense was tremendous. Kevin was chasing Shamet; He had hurt us in the first half. And (Durant) did a good job. Our defense was very good in general after the first half. "
This was something at the championship level. The offensive is more and more wise and resolute. The defense is closing holes, suffocating rallies and generating turnovers. The Warriors are doing what they must to give themselves the best chance to do a "trick".
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The players never seemed too upset and now the coaches feel more confident. So, too, must the fan base.
When the playoffs arrive at Oracle Arena next weekend, everyone can feel comfortable knowing that the Warriors' biggest threat is the Warriors, and they do not seem willing to allow that.