The Warriors returned home from their six-game Eastern Conference trip with a 111-97 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday and appear to have survived a scare from Klay Thompson. Thompson left the game in the first quarter with a lower back strain but afterward said he was feeling fine, and coach Mark Jackson said he could have played in the second half. "Klay was all set to start the third quarter, but I thought it was important to get my Pop on," Jackson said, referencing Spurs coach Gregg Popovich's tendency to rest veteran players. "So I shut him down and look forward to him getting treatment and getting ready for Sunday." Thompson took a hard spill when he drove the baseline and cut to the basket for a scooping layup. There was no foul on the play, and he landed hard on his back, then hit his head. He remained on the ground for about a second before getting up. He stayed in the game for another minute before leaving. Thompson, who has never missed a game in his NBA career, looked to be in considerable pain as he headed toward the locker room to be examined. "When he was coming off the court, to me it looked like he was done," Jackson said. "When I got back to the locker room at halftime, he looked like a different person, like he was fresh and ready to go. "I just thought it was important for us -- with a guy that's been so durable -- to make sure. We had a comfortable lead at halftime, and I just felt that if we couldn't win the game without him, we didn't deserve to win it." Golden State closed the first half on a 10-0 run to take a 66-52 halftime lead but lost much of that when Atlanta went on a run to start the third quarter. The Hawks got within four points, but Draymond Green hit a 3-pointer and the Warriors surged ahead by eight entering the fourth. The Warriors scored the first 12 points of the fourth quarter to push the lead to 20 and sat their starters for most of the final period. David Lee led the Warriors with 18 points, and five players finished with double figures. Jermaine O'Neal delivered 17 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala each had 13 points, and Andrew Bogut added 10 points and nine rebounds. Golden State got 51 points from the bench, and half of its 44 rebounds were also produced by the reserves as the Warriors answered their 4-2 Eastern road trip with a dominant home performance. "The first game back from a road trip is always tough, and energywise, I thought we started decent," Lee said. "We were able at the end of the first half to make that run, which was huge. Second half, we let them back in the game a little bit, but then we strengthened the lead back up." The Warriors (39-24) are a season-high 15 games above .500, uncharted territory for most of the players. Jackson asked his players Friday morning to raise their hand if they've been on a team in the NBA with that type of record, and only O'Neal, Iguodala and Steve Blake raised hands. "That's a milestone," Green said. "Now we have to continue to build on it. We can't be satisfied." "We're chasing greatness, and we're not going to be satisfied," Jackson added. "We're going to continue to chalk up W's, continue to battle and continue to celebrate where we are as a basketball team. It's a great time, and if nobody else knows it, we know it." Jackson said he isn't looking behind at the crowded field of teams trying to earn the final playoff spots. Golden State is in sixth place in the Western Conference, three games ahead of the ninth-place Memphis Grizzlies. Phoenix and Dallas trail the Warriors by two games.
Warriors roll over Hawks
Oakland Tribune | Mar 8