When the Golden State Warriors decide to focus and play the way they're capable of, there is no team in the NBA that can beat them. Golden State's best is better than anyone else's in the league, as they reminded the Denver Nuggets on Friday night in a 122-105 romp at Oracle Arena.
In a season that has seen plenty of emotional swings, the Warriors played at times with both the joy that has defined Kerr's tenure and the anger and frustration that has shown up at various rough patches throughout the year. All three feelings helped the Warriors offer up a reminder to both the Nuggets and the rest of the league just how dangerous they can be when everything is clicking.
After losing five of their past eight games coming into Friday's showdown, Kerr and his players were open about the fact that they recently had a couple of solid days of practice and group discussions. Kerr noted that he felt like the group owed East Bay fans a better effort in Oracle's final year, but more importantly, his players knew they expected better of themselves.
"It's extremely important I think a lot for different reasons," Warriors star Stephen Curry said of locking down the top seed in the Western Conference. "One, obviously, just to get — if there is a Game 7 in any series, the Western Conference playoffs, we want to be at home. But it gives us something to really shoot for in these last 17 games, to take care of our business."
"When we're challenged, when our backs are against the wall, we are at our best," Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson said before the game. "Knowing what is at stake in these next 18 games, we got to play like that and not lose this grip on the No. 1 seed. So, tonight is a huge game."
Now, with the stretch run in clear view and a league full of teams hoping to knock them off their throne, the Warriors have come back together the way every great team has the ability to do when it needs it most.