Draymond Closes Out Warriors' Win With ‘double Slap in the Face' to Hawks

OAKLAND – How to preserve victory with two fabulous plays, by Draymond Green.

It’s not a book, nor is it a movie. It’s a splendid documentary on defensive basketball that resulted in the Warriors posting a 105-100 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night at Oracle Arena.

Though the Warriors practically owned the fourth quarter, the Hawks kept fighting back. With The Warriors up seven and 9:34 left, the Hawks cut it to two with 6:15 to play. With the Warriors up eight with three minutes remaining, the Hawks cut it to three with 1:34 on the clock.

“He’s really after something, and I think he’s starting to prove himself,” forward Andre Iguodala said of Green. “And that’s Defensive Player of the Year. And it really showed with those two amazing stops down the stretch, especially against guards he picked up on the perimeter.”

Green is, at 6-foot-7, an undersized power forward. He’ll gladly defend point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, power forwards and centers. On this night, it was the guards that were squelched.

With the Warriors up four, 100-104, and 56 seconds left, the Hawks called timeout. Dennis Schroder, the quicksilver point guard who had lit up the Warriors for 24 points, came off a screen and the only thing between him and the basket was Green.

The 6-foot-1 Schroder, using his speed, drove left thinking he had an angle, only to have Green track him to the rim, ultimately wiping away his shot and somehow get the ball to come off Schroder and go out of bounds.

Warriors ball, 43.4 seconds remaining.

The Hawks got one more chance, with 19.4 seconds remaining. They went after Green, this time with the rangier Kent Bazemore, who attacked the rim – and Green’s paint presence – only to have his feelings hurt, too. Rejected, too, bouncing off the Hawks’ shooter.

“I love those – it’s like a double slap in the face,” Green said of the rejections resulting in Warriors possessions.

“That was amazing,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a sequence like that from one guy.”

Warriors ball, this time with 15.8 seconds remaining, the score still 104-100.

Stephen Curry dropped in a free throw to close out the scoring, but Green’s defense had closed out the game.

“His ability to guard multiple positions is why he is a very special defender,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said of Green. “Could we had maybe moved the ball and attacked a different spot from a different place? That’s possible. But Dennis is in attack mode. KB is in attack mode. It just didn’t quite work out for them.”

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