San Anotnio Spurs Extend Winning Streak To Eight Games

The Golden State Warriors were forced to adjust their game plan after Kevin Durant went down with a hurt knee.

It took some time for the transition  to a defense-first team to take hold as the Dubs lost five of their next seven games after Durant’s injury. But, since a huge defensive showing in the fourth quarter last week against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Warriors have now held their opponent to fewer than 100 points in four-straight games.

On Tuesday, playing on the second night of a back-to-back that included a beatdown of the Oklahoma City Thunder a night prior, Golden State utilized their depth to outman the Dallas Mavericks, 112-87.

“We’re finding a groove, and I think it’s starting on the defensive end,” guard Ian Clark told reporters after the game.

In Dallas, Clark — showing that he’s beyond the slump of earlier this season — scored 18 points in 29 minutes off the bench.

Klay Thompson continued his hot shooting, netting 23 points, including 5-for-8 from beyond the 3-point line.

Since he was held out of the Warriors’ game against the San Antonio Spurs on March 11, Thompson is 20-for-39 (51.3 percent) from deep.

“I feel like Klay shoots it best when he just lets the game come to him and he’s moving the ball instead of forcing anything, and then the ball tends to come back to him because we have a lot of playmakers on the team,” head coach Steve Kerr explained about Thompson’s recent improvement. “He’s been very patient and unselfish and that’s led to a lot of open looks for him as a result.”

Clark’s strong play, plus a 20-point lead allowed Kerr to hold Curry out of the fourth quarter, the fourth time that’s happened in as many games.

“Normally we give him the first six minutes off anyway, so what you’re really talking about is six minutes a game … that’s a significant difference over the course of the season, especially right now going down the stretch,” Kerr said.

Clark, Shaun Livingston, Matt Barnes and David West each played more than 15 minutes off the bench in the contest.

The Warriors return to action on Friday against the Sacramento Kings.

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