After Kevin Durant left Game 5 of the NBA playoff series in the Warriors' second round against the Rockets with a strain on the right calf, the voices of those who believe the two-time defending NBA champions they were vulnerable began to grow stronger.
Facing an enemy who was willing to beat them, the Dubs took it upon themselves to beat James Harden and Co. by relying on their "Core Four" and their bench that had been impossible to play in the playoffs.
During the two days prior to Game 6 on Friday night at the Toyota Center, the talk focused on the alleged lack of depth of the Dubs and the poor performance of Steph Curry in the series against the Rockets.
However, the warriors quickly silenced their doubters. Golden State received contributions from everyone on its bench, and Curry exploded by 33 points in the second half to lead the Warriors to a 118-113 victory and eliminate the Rockets.
After the victory, the owner of the Warriors, Joe Lacob, had a brief message from NSFW for those who doubted the crowd of the bank.
"They say we do not have a bank, that … it's … bulls – you can quote me!" Lacob said, through Ethan Strauss of Athletic.
The contributions of Shaun Livingston, Kevon Looney, Quinn Cook, Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie helped keep the Warriors in the game until Curry awoke in the middle of the third quarter. And that was all she wrote for the Rockets.
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While the Warriors expect Durant to return soon, the Dubs now know they can count on their bench if necessary. Given the hard minutes that Durant, Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson have played in this postseason, this is a welcome development for head coach Steve Kerr.
However, an even more welcome development was Curry's awakening in the second half and the fact that they do not have to deal with Harden and the Rockets again until next season.