OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - The Golden State Warriors are back home after overcoming injuries and adversity to get a gutsy win in Toronto against the Raptors Sunday night.
The Warriors are getting two days of much needed rest after weathering a bruising win with several key players nursing injuries.
The NBA Finals pick up Wednesday at Oracle Arena with the Warriors now getting home court advantage. The series is tied one-to-one
Fans say the team showed the heart of a champion.
Warriors assistant coach Bob Fraser told KTVU it takes a team of champions to overcome adversities.
The motto "Strength in Numbers" is more than a slogan for Warriors.
"We believe in it. It's not a tagline for a marketing campaign. It's really who we are," said Fraser.
The idea was introduced by Steve Kerr when he became the coach of the Warriors five years ago. It embraces the concept of a team that includes players on the bench in all of its preparations and not just reliance on the stars.
"This year has been the biggest test. We've had so many injuries," said Fraser.
Those injuries have tested the team.Star Kevin Durant has been out since the second round of the playoffs. DeMarcus Cousins just returned for the Finals.Now Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney were hurt Sunday.
Assistant coach Fraser said overcoming adversities and challenges is the core of the team's culture
"We've had to have guys step up in that moment. These are big games. This is not an easy chore for a young player or someone with less experience," said Fraser.
At Dick's Sporting Goods in Hayward, fans say they're impressed by the team's ability to bounce back.
"Just makes everybody realize how special this team really is with or without a few players," said Sergio Parra Jr, a fan from Oakland.
"Definitely their team work and working on yourself on an individual level is really inspiring from them," said Jaliza Herradura, a fan from Hayward.
One man says the team's motto is a good life lesson for his 12-year-old son.
"Not to stop. Don't quit," said Leonardo Smith of Hayward who turned to his son, "Don't I tell you never quit? Never give up."
Assistant coach Fraser said talent, resilience and self-belief are keys to success.
"They still have to perform and play together. They have a champion's heart. It's been impressive to watch," said Fraser.
And exciting to watch. Both the Warriors and Raptors will be practicing at Oracle Arena Tuesday. Fans are thrilled the Warriors will be playing game 3 at home Wednesday.
They say they are not surprised the team has won many close games with help from the bench.