The Warriors adapted in the face of adversity and took Game 4 from the Clippers, for a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Since their stunning collapse in Game 2, the Warriors have adapted and overcome. Kevin Durant took command in Game 3, reminding the everyone that he’s one of the most dominating offensive forces the NBA has ever seen. In Game 4, it was Klay Thompson’s turn to step forward, helping make up for a lackluster shooting performance from Stephen Curry and pushing the Clippers’ backs to the wall.
Klay Thompson is a pretty good Plan C. Durant actually led the Warriors in scoring in Game 4, but it was Thompson and his 7-of-10 shooting in the first quarter that set the tone. The second-best 3-point shooter in NBA history finished with 32 points on 12-of-20 from the field and 6-of-9 on 3-pointers, helping compensate for a night where Stephen Curry struggled, going 3-of-14 from the field and 1-of-9 on 3-pointers. What a luxury to have a historic flamethrower as the backup to your backup.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continues to impress. The rookie finished with 25 points on 15 shots, hitting 3-of-5 from beyond the arc and 4-of-4 from the line. Those points were sorely needed on a night when Lou Williams, Danilo Gallinari and Montrezl Harrell combined to go 12-of-38 from the field. Yes, Gilgeous-Alexander was mostly taking what the Warriors gave him but making the most ve lost of those kinds of opportunities is impressive for a 20-year-old rookie in his fourth playoff game, regardless of the circumstances. His understated defense and efficient scoring have been mostly overshadowed in this series but he’s more than proven his potential to be a solid contributor on a very good team moving forward.
The Warriors have turned it around. That historic 31-point meltdown certainly seemed to have potential to be straw that breaks the camel’s back, the kind of flashpoint that could meltdown a team that was staring down an uncertain future and teetering on the brink of collapse. In the eight quarters since the Clippers shocked the world, the Warriors have outscored them by an average of 17.0 points per 100 possessions, shooting 51.1 percent from the field, 40.9 percent from beyond the arc and racking up 62 assists and to just 25 turnovers. They may have lost Game 2, but the Warriors have not lost their frontrunner status.