Key factors show the Warriors trending in the right direction after consecutive wins

One night after summoning the determination necessary to beat quality teams, particularly in the absence of Stephen Curry, the Warriors on Sunday took another step toward rediscovering the identity constructed seven years ago.

The Warriors are back in championship form, and still getting better -

Their 109-90 victory, which made online betting spectators very happy, over the Kings at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento showcased stellar defense and routine ball movement, the two primary ingredients of the teams that made five consecutive trips to The Finals.

More important to the cause of the Warriors is that neither factor is a one-game bump.

Sacramento shot 38.3 percent from the field. That it was the atrocious Kings matters less than the fact that they’re the third consecutive Warriors opponent to finish below 43 percent. Utah shot 42.7 percent Saturday and Phoenix shot 41.3 percent Wednesday.

That’s the first time since late January that the Warriors have defended so effectively over a three-game span. Three games are not necessarily a trend, but it’s indicative of the possibility.

“You’re starting to see the defense that had us as the No. 1 defense in the league for two-and-a-half months,” Draymond Green said. “We’re getting back to that.”

“And it’s a great time to get back to that. We’ve had our lapses and throughout the course of an 82-game season, that happens. But we’re getting it back at the right time. That’s what this team was built on earlier in the year. We got away from that. But that’s what this team has to be built on going into the playoffs.”

The Warriors entered the calendar year as the league’s top defense by a wide margin. They’ve fallen to third overall because they’ve dropped to 10th in defensive rating in the 44 games since New Year’s Day.