Light fog

Warriors' backcourt making it rain from 3-point line

  • Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) drives past against Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. Warriors won 115-86. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Remarkably, despite the large number of 3-point attempts coming from two players, the Warriors are not even close to the league lead in team attempts. The Houston Rockets entered the weekend No. 1 with 818 attempts; Golden State, with 729, was fifth. But in an indictment of Houston's decision-making, the Rockets had made five fewer 3-pointers than the Warriors.

The key to Golden State's success is letting the top shooters fire at will while keeping the rest of the team away from the high-risk shot.

Thompson and Curry account for 60.4 percent of the team's 3-point attempts, and the four other players averaging two or more 3-point attempts a game are all above average in terms of shooting percentage.

The Warriors' big men, Andrew Bogut and David Lee, have combined for one shot from downtown. (Lee missed it.) The Rockets, for all of their flash, could learn a lesson in restraint from the Warriors.

James Harden entered the weekend leading Houston in 3-point attempts, with more than six a game, while connecting on just 31.6 percent. Francisco Garcia and Patrick Beverley were attempting an average of more than four 3-pointers a game, despite shooting at a rate below the league average, 36 percent.

The Warriors, although they have not adopted Houston's reckless strategy, ranked 11th in the NBA in scoring. They could probably stand to trade a few percentage points on their signature shot for a few more points a game.

As for Thompson and Curry's chances of sitting at the top of the leader board at the end of the season, their main competition is Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers. Coincidentally, Lillard, a second-year star from Weber State, grew up in Oakland, the city the Warriors call home.

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