The Warriors’ nationally televised game Wednesday in San Antonio will have at least one notable difference from the last time they faced their biggest Western Conference threat: With much of its normal rotation watching from the bench, Golden State slogged through a 107-85 loss that trimmed its lead over the Spurs for the West’s top seed to half a game. Though it has four games in six nights, Golden State’s only road games in that span are both in Texas (Tuesday in Houston, then Wednesday’s ESPN game in San Antonio). Should they reach the NBA finals for a third consecutive season, the Warriors will have home-court advantage. With only 14 losses and 10 games left in the regular season, Golden State has secured a better record than any East team. Little more than 90 minutes before tip-off Sunday, he capped a solid shooting session with a driving one-handed dunk.
Category Archive: Golden State Warriors
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Will Golden State underestimate Grizzlies?
Steve Kerr, 3rd season with Warriors (197-38 with Warriors and overall); David Fizdale, 1st season with Grizzlies (40-32 with Grizzlies and overall)
Warriors: PG Stephen Curry (24.9 ppg, 6.4 apg), SG Klay Thompson (22.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg), SF Patrick McCaw (3.9 ppg, 1.4 rpg), PF Draymond Green (10.3 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 7.2 apg), C Zaza Pachulia (6.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg)
Grizzlies: PG Mike Conley (20.0 ppg, 6.3 apg), SG Tony Allen (9.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg), SF Vince Carter (7.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg), PF JaMychal Green (9.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg), C Marc Gasol (19.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg)
Warriors injury report: SF Kevin Durant (grade 2 MCL sprain and tibial bone bruise) is out.
Grizzlies injury report: C Marc Gasol (left foot strain) is questionable.
Will the Warriors be careful not to underestimate the Grizzlies?
Memphis, which dropped the first two games of its current four-game road trip, is seventh place in the Western Conference.
Even if Marc Gasol (left foot strain) plays Sunday, the Grizzlies will easily be the less talented team on the floor.
Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Golden State’s 84.1 assist percentage was the fifth-highest such clip in an NBA game this season.
Golden State, which leads the league with 30.4 assists per game, recorded only 15 helpers in its Dec. 10 loss to the Grizzlies.
With 10 regular-season games left, the 58-14 Warriors are nursing a 2-game lead over San Antonio for the Western Conference’s top seed.
In addition to helping the Warriors retain the No. 1 seed, a win over the Grizzlies would give Steve Kerr’s team an even better feel should it face Memphis in the playoffs.
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With Kevin Durant set to be re-evaluated by team doctors in less than a week, the Warriors’ coaches are in the preliminary phases of planning for his return.
Durant has missed 12 games with a sprained medial collateral ligament and bone bruise in his left knee.
In recent days, he has been seen running wind sprints, hoisting jumpers and even dunking after practice.
With 10 regular-season games left, the 58-14 Warriors are nursing a 2-game lead over San Antonio for the Western Conference’s top seed.
When the Grizzlies beat the Warriors on Jan. 6, they became the first team to top Golden State twice in the same regular season since the Spurs in 2014-15.
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Warriors’ David West emerging as elite passer
West touches upon everything from current events to politics to renewable energy to African American history during those conversations.
In his 14th NBA season, the 36-year-old backup center is showcasing an elite passing ability seldom seen during his previous stops in New Orleans, Indiana and San Antonio.
With a rare blend of size, court awareness, touch and timing, the 6-foot-9, 250-pound West posts up on the right block and draws defenses toward him before kicking out to open shooters.
The Warriors’ backup point guard, Shaun Livingston, has 12 fewer assists in 458 more minutes.
Hardly an athletic specimen, West used a throwback playing style to become one of the NBA’s best power forwards.
With Indiana in 2013 and ’14, West was Paul George’s top sidekick for teams that reached the Eastern Conference finals.
The personnel during his four seasons with the Pacers, defense-oriented teams with limited shooting ability, made it impossible for West to maximize his passing talents.
Last season in San Antonio, where Gregg Popovich’s system subsists on isolation situations and mid-range jumpers, was more of the same.
When he rebuffed more lucrative offers to sign with the Warriors in July, West owned a career assist average of 2.2.
West is also on the advisory board for a renewable energy company.
Because West has long been known as one of the NBA’s more intellectual players, Green wasn’t shocked when they began their deep chats on the team charter.
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Early in the Warriors’ 114-100 win Friday night over the Kings at Oracle Arena, Klay Thompson faced a two-on-one situation in transition.
Instead of driving to the rim, a decision no coach could have faulted, he bounce-passed to a trailing Patrick McCaw.
After dribbling into the key, the two-time reigning NBA MVP found Draymond Green at the top of the arc.
In that sequence, a dizzying display of selfless basketball, Golden State reinforced an important reality:
With Curry’s season-high 12 dimes leading the way, Golden State recorded its franchise-record 44th game with at least 30 assists, most in a season since the 1984-85 “Showtime” Lakers had 52.
Before Steve Kerr became head coach in 2014, the Warriors subsisted on dribble penetration.
Would one of the league’s most potent isolation scorers infringe on the Warriors’ free-flowing system?
Golden State, which has been without Durant for the past dozen games, averages 30.4 assists per game, on pace for third in history behind only those 1984-85 Lakers (31.4) and the 1978-79 Bucks (31.2).
Just as it looked as though he was going up for the layup attempt, Pachulia tossed a no-look pass to Green for a three-pointer.
Less than four weeks after Durant suffered a left knee injury in their Feb. 28 loss at Washington, the Warriors are looking like the selfless, pass-happy club that cruised through the season’s first few months.
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Late at night after games, as he waits for the adrenaline to wear off, Steve Kerr watches NBA League Pass.
Thanks to its current five-game winning streak, Golden State enters Friday night’s game against the Kings with a two-game lead over San Antonio for the Western Conference’s top seed.
The question is, if the Warriors maintain that No. 1 spot through their final 11 regular-season games, which team they’ll face in the opening round of the playoffs.
Denver, which has won five of its past seven games, is nursing a one-game lead over the Trail Blazers.
Through 16 games with the Blazers, the Bosnian big man is averaging 14.3 points and 8.0 rebounds.
The Warriors are 4-0 against the Blazers and 2-1 against the Nuggets, though Kerr’s team has yet to face Portland with Nurkic.
Kerr drove down to San Jose with his wife, son and assistant coach Bruce Fraser for Arizona’s 73-71 loss Thursday to Xavier in the Sweet 16.
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Can Golden State dominate new-look Kings?
Warriors: PG Stephen Curry (24.9 ppg, 6.3 apg), SG Klay Thompson (22.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg), SF Patrick McCaw (3.9 ppg, 1.4 rpg), PF Draymond Green (10.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 7.2 apg), C Zaza Pachulia (6.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg)
Warriors injury report: SF Kevin Durant (grade 2 MCL sprain and tibial bone bruise) is out.
Kings injury report: SF Rudy Gay (torn left Achilles) and SG Malachi Richardson (right hamstring partial tear) are out.
Last month, the Kings re-started their rebuild by trading Cousins and Omri Casspi to New Orleans for guards Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway, and first- and second-round draft picks in June.
Sacramento released Matt Barnes, now with Golden State, to clear necessary roster space for the move to work.
Since trading Cousins, the Kings have gone 3-11 and dropped out of contention for the Western Conference’s No. 8 seed.
Barnes, who was signed for added wing depth with Kevin Durant out, has the unique opportunity to play a team he was on just last month.
Never one to shy away from confrontation, Barnes added fuel to the matchup by saying after practice Thursday that he wants to beat the Kings by 50.
[…] with Durant still recovering from a left knee injury, Barnes has emerged as a valuable role player for Golden State.
Can the Warriors maintain their stingy defense?
Golden State has won five consecutive games by an average of 19.6 points, including four in a row in which Stephen Curry has watched the entire fourth quarter from the bench.
Improved defense has helped the Warriors move past their most trying stretch in years.
During its current winning streak, Golden State is allowing only 92.5 points per 100 possessions — easily the top mark in the league.
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Forward Kevon Looney has been recalled from the Warriors’ Development League affiliate in Santa Cruz, Golden State announced.
In Santa Cruz’s 106-103 win Thursday over the Austin Spurs, he had 10 points, eight rebounds and one block in 13 minutes off the bench.
With Kevin Durant still sidelined by a left knee injury, the Warriors’ options at small forward are Patrick McCaw, Andre Iguodala, James Michael McAdoo and Looney.
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Warriors’ Shaun Livingston hopes to snap out of shooting slump
A throw-back point guard, he bypasses open three-pointers to hoist mid-range jumpers and post up smaller defenders.
[…] even that blueprint, which is why he is on pace to finish his third-straight season shooting at least 50 percent from the field, doesn’t make Livingston immune from the occasional slump.
Unlike the previous two seasons, when he was a co-leader of the second unit with Andre Iguodala, Livingston has had to adjust to head coach Steve Kerr’s staggered rotation.
Though his scoring and assists dipped as expected, Livingston was shooting a career-best 56.8 percent from the field when Durant sustained a left knee injury Feb. 28 in Washington.
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Durant continues to make strides in rehab from knee injury
After Warriors practice Thursday, Kevin Durant was seen hoisting jump shots and hammering home a dunk.
The team is still optimistic that Durant, who sustained a sprained medial collateral li…
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Three weeks into his second stint with the Warriors, Matt Barnes has already established himself as one of the team’s more candid players.
Barnes, who graduated from Del Campo High School in the Sacramento suburb of Fair Oaks, signed a two-year deal with his hometown Kings in July.
The Kings waived him Feb. 20 to create the necessary roster room to complete their DeMarcus Cousins trade with New Orleans.
“It was frustrating because being back home and really taking pride in trying to put that team back on the map, and then just in a day’s time you’re no longer a part of the organization,” Barnes told the Sacramento Bee.
With Kevin Durant sidelined by a left knee injury, Barnes has provided much-needed wing depth for Golden State.
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When he found his Warriors teammates and coaches gathered at the upscale restaurant in Manhattan, Barnes asked point guard Shaun Livingston if this was a regular occurrence.
Golden State is the rare place where teammates are more friends than co-workers.
Since averaging 2.5 points and shooting 25 percent (3-for-12) in his first four games, Barnes has averaged 7.7 points on 17-for-39 (43.6 percent) shooting in his past seven.
Though far from the scorer that Kevin Durant is, Barnes is figuring out how to complement Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green with Durant sidelined by a left knee injury.
“It took him maybe three or four games to figure out what we’re trying to accomplish on offense, but he’s a quick study,” head coach Steve Kerr said.
A second-round pick by the Grizzlies in 2002, Barnes has used a workmanlike playing style to survive in the league so long.
Forbes named Barnes, who has started 48 career playoff games, the most underpaid player in the NBA four years ago.
Of the nine teams on his resume, three — the Clippers, Kings and Warriors — have signed Barnes twice.
Three weeks ago, when Golden State signed him in the wake of Durant’s injury, Barnes pored over video of recent Warriors games to pinpoint where Curry, Thompson and others preferred the ball.
Last week, in a 117-92 win over the Bucks, Barnes finished with seven points, nine rebounds, three assists, one turnover and a plus-22 in 24 minutes.
Much has changed since he played major minutes for Golden State’s 2006-07 “We Believe” team that was the first No. 8 seed in NBA history to outlast a No. 1 seed in a seven-game set.
[…] the championship favorite, the Warriors dine at five-star restaurants and bring family members on the road.
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DALLAS — Classes seemed painstakingly long to Seth and Stephen Curry on days the Charlotte Hornets had home games because after that final bell rang, the two elementary school students knew what awaited: rides to Charlotte Coliseum with their father, Hornets sharpshooter Dell Curry.
In 14 games since the All-Star break, Seth Curry is averaging 16.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
A year later, after the family moved to Toronto and Dell began to play for the Raptors, 9-year-old Seth and 11-year-old Stephen slid into a game-night routine: spend the first half watching their dad from the stands at Air Canada Centre and the second half playing one-on-one on the arena’s practice court.
Because a hamstring injury suffered the summer before his senior season cost him scholarship offers from bigger programs, Seth signed with Liberty, a small Christian school in the Big South Conference.
Instead of taking a medical redshirt to undergo surgery on the stress fracture in his right shin, Seth wore a walking boot at every practice his senior season.
In one of his first practices, while being closely guarded by point guard Kiwi Gardner, Seth stopped at the top of the arc, dribbled between his legs and hit a fade-away three-pointer without breaking eye contact with his defender.
Last summer, after averaging 6.8 points in 44 games with the Kings, he signed a two-year, $5.9 million deal with Dallas.
Since cracking the starting lineup in mid-January, he has flashed the scoop shot of his brother and the catch-and-shoot ability of his dad.
After four 20-point outings in his first three NBA campaigns combined, Seth has 10 such performances with the Mavericks.
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Forward Kevon Looney has been assigned to the Warriors’ Development League affiliate in Santa Cruz, Golden State announced Wednesday.
Looney, who will be available for Santa Cruz’s game Thursday against the Austin Spurs, has averaged 13.7 points and 12.3 rebounds in three D-League games this season.
With Looney in the D-League and Kevin Durant still sidelined by a left knee injury, the Warriors’ options at small forward are Patrick McCaw, Andre Iguodala and James Michael McAdoo.
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When he senses the stress of another NBA title pursuit wearing on his players, the Warriors’ head coach often reminds them of a basic truth:
[…] he would be willing to forfeit some of that if required to shorten the NBA regular season.
“I wouldn’t be opposed to it, even at the expense to my own salary,” Kerr said Tuesday before the Warriors’ 112-87 rout of the Mavericks at American Airlines Center.
Ten days removed from resting four of his core players in a nationally televised game in San Antonio, Kerr traces his team’s current five-game winning streak back to that decision.
Allowing Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala an extra night to ease achy muscles might be a big reason Golden State has found its footing without the injured Kevin Durant.
To pull away for another convincing victory Tuesday, the Warriors parlayed stingy defense into open looks at the rim.
Harrison Barnes, the ex-Golden State forward who has flourished this season as Dallas’ go-to scorer, was shut down by Green and mustered only five points on 2-for-10 shooting.
With few potent options around Barnes, the Mavericks finished 33-for-92 (35.9 percent) from the field.
Thriving in transition, the Warriors used a 28-7, first-half run to create distance.
All 13 of their three-pointers Tuesday came before the end of the third quarter, which they closed with a 91-71 lead.
With Durant (knee) and Iguodala (hip) watching from the bench in street clothes, Klay Thompson (23 points), Ian Clark (18) and Stephen Curry (17) shouldered the offensive load.
When you play with great energy on defense,” Thompson said, “it’s always going to translate over to offense.
Including the Feb. 28 Washington game in which Durant hyperextended his left knee, Golden State dropped five of its first seven games without its most consistent player.
Though angry emails filled his inbox after he rested his top four available players March 11 in San Antonio, Kerr trusted that the added rest would help Golden State snap out of its most extended rut of his tenure.
Three nights later, to escape with a win over Philadelphia, the Warriors held their opponent to 14 fourth-quarter points.
Thompson and Curry, whose extended shooting slumps contributed immensely to their team’s earlier struggles, have combined to go 31-for-58 (53.4 percent) from three-point distance in their past three games.
After a cast of reserves was pummeled this month in San Antonio, Golden State’s lead over the Spurs for the Western Conference’s top seed stood at half a game.
[…] with 11 games left in the regular season, the Warriors are 2½ games up on San Antonio.
To get more for his players in coming seasons, he is even willing to give up some of that $5 million annual salary.
With three weeks left in the season, the Warriors are in good position to own the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs for the third straight year:
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DALLAS — Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is supportive of a recent NBA memo that warned of “significant penalties” for teams that don’t provide adequate notice to the league, their opponent and media when planning to rest marquee players.
The move was made to give players a sufficient break at the end of an eight-city, 13-day stretch that included two cross-country trips.
On Monday, two days after the Cavaliers rested LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in a loss to the Clippers, NBA commissioner Adam Silver sent a memo to team owners that called the practice of resting star players “an extremely significant issue” that will be a prime topic of discussion at the next NBA board of governors meeting April 6 in New York.
The hope is that teams will be aware of how such rest-related decisions affect “fans and business partners” and “the perception of our game.”
“This is not a right-or-wrong issue,” said Kerr, whose team has won four consecutive games since he rested Curry, Thompson, Green and Iguodala against the Spurs.
Though he admitted it’s unlikely, Kerr said that he “wouldn’t be opposed” to trimming the NBA’s 82-game regular season.
“I think even just going down to 75 games, I think that would make a dramatic difference in the schedule,” Kerr said.
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Other nominees for 2017 Sports Team of the Year include the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Dolphins and Toronto FC. The winner will be announced at the 10th annual Sports Business Awards, held May 24 at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square. “We are extremely honored to be recognized again by the SportsBusiness Journal for the work our organization has done over the past year,” Warriors President and CEO Rick Welts said in a news release. Within the past year, Golden State won an NBA-record 73 regular-season games and reached its second straight NBA finals.
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Warriors at Mavericks
American Airlines Center, Dallas
Steve Kerr, 3rd season with Warriors (195-38 with Warriors and overall); Rick Carlisle, 9th season with Mavericks (410-299 with Mavericks and 691-510 overall)
On air: TV on CSN Bay Area; Radio on 95.7 The Game
Warriors (56-14); Mavericks (30-39)
Warriors: PG Stephen Curry (25.0 ppg, 6.3 apg), SG Klay Thompson (22.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg), SF Patrick McCaw (3.8 ppg, 1.4 rpg), PF Draymond Green (10.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 7.2 apg), C Zaza Pachulia (6.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg)
Mavericks: PG Yogi Ferrell (9.7 ppg, 3.7 apg), SG Seth Curry (12.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg), SF Wesley Matthews (14.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg), PF Harrison Barnes (19.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg), C Dirk Nowitzki (14.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg)
Warriors injury report: SF Kevin Durant (grade 2 MCL sprain and tibial bone bruise) and SF Andre Iguodala (left hip strain) are out.
Mavericks injury report:
With Kevin Durant already sidelined by a left knee injury, Matt Barnes, Patrick McCaw, Kevon Looney and James Michael McAdoo should receive more playing time in Iguodala’s absence.
Iguodala is often tasked with locking down the opponent’s best scorer, and he likely would have matched up Tuesday with former teammate Harrison Barnes, Dallas’ leading scorer.
Who will provide a scoring punch off the bench?
Having Iguodala, who is averaging 11 points on 59 percent shooting in March, become more aggressive in recent weeks has only helped Golden State weather Durant’s absence.
With it unclear how much time Iguodala will miss, which reserves can help ease the offensive load of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson?
In 13 games since the All-Star break, Seth is averaging 16.8 points on 52 percent shooting.
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Warriors’ Andre Iguodala to miss Mavericks game with hip strain
DALLAS — Warriors forward Andre Iguodala will miss Tuesday night’s game against the Mavericks with a strained left hip, Golden State has announced.
With Kevin Durant already sidelined by a left knee injury, Matt Barnes, Patrick McCaw, Kevon Looney and James Michael McAdoo could shoulder heavier loads in Iguodala’s absence.
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The former face of the Thunder franchise dapped his new teammates, congratulating them on a job well done, before he turned to walk toward the visiting locker room.
Six weeks removed from his first return here, a hostile homecoming that took an emotional toll on his family, the injured forward seemed to appreciate seeing support in a place that still means so much to him.
In routing Oklahoma City without perhaps its most consistent player, Golden State reinforced the significance of its Durant signing.
With Durant watching from the bench Monday in street clothes, Klay Thompson (34 points) and Stephen Curry (23) hit seven three-pointers apiece.
Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook, vexed by the Warriors’ repeated switching, mustered 15 points on 4-for-16 shooting (1-for-6 from beyond the arc).
Curry was free to rest the entire final period as reserves polished off Golden State’s regular-season sweep of the Thunder.
Gone was the hype of Durant’s first return to Oklahoma City, when he endured a steady chorus of boos and “cupcake” chants.
On Monday, with Durant sidelined by a left knee injury, a capacity Chesapeake Energy Arena crowd focused mostly on cheering the home team.
For the first time since sustaining an MCL sprain and bone bruise Feb. 28 in Washington, Durant had traveled with the Warriors, opting to watch from the bench.
In those early minutes, when stingy defense helped Golden State overcome a rash of misses, Durant barked encouraging words.
Teammates intervened and, after a lengthy review, Curry, Draymond Green, Westbrook and Christon were assessed technical fouls.
After the ensuing jump, at the Thunder free-throw line, Thompson tracked down the loose ball and lofted it downcourt to Curry, alone at the top of the opposite three-point arc.
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