Warriors Continue Undefeated Preseason, Romp Lakers

By Matthew T.F. Harrington

The preseason continues to be an unmitigated success for the Golden State Warriors following a 116-75 romp of the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday evening from Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif.

Stephen Curry had a game-high 25 points for the Warriors, while fellow starters Klay Thompson (16)and David Lee (14) cracked double-digit scoring for the Dubs as well. The bench combined for 50 total points, led by Marreese Speights’ 11.

The Warriors held Kobe Bryant to just 3-of-13 shooting for a total of six points. Guard Wayne Ellington and center Robert Sacre topped the Lakers with 12 points apiece, with both players coming off the bench for their team-leading totals. Los Angeles starter Jordan Hill matched Warriors center Andrew Bogut with seven rebounds each.

Golden State lit up the hosts early, scoring just one point shy of 40 in the first quarter. The Warriors outscored the Lakers 24-23 in the second quarter to take a 63-36 lead at the midway point. Another 35-plus point quarter but the Dubs up 100-60 with three segments in the books. Neither team lit up the score sheet in the final fourth, with Golden State outpacing the Lakers 16-15 down the stretch to finish up the blowout.

Andre Iguodala, who had his nose broken in a game against these same Lakers on Thursday, played in a protective facemask. He once again starred in a preseason play that may call attention after Ronnie Price came out of his shoe trying to defend the Warriors point guard. Price tossed his shoe non-maliciously at Iguodala in an attempt to knock the ball loose.

The Warriors now roll on to Des Moines, Iowa where they will take on the Denver Nuggets. The October 16th contest will be played at the Wells Fargo Arena.

Curry’s Triple-Double, Romping of Lakers Clinches Playoff Berth for Warriors

By Matthew Harrington

The Golden State Warriors locked in their spot in the 2014 NBA Playoffs Friday night at the Staples Center, riding a Stephen Curry triple-double to a 112-95 dismantling of the host Los Angeles Lakers. By matching or outscoring the Lakers (25-54) in all but one quarter the Dubs clinched their second-consecutive playoff berth under coach Mark Jackson and their first back-to-back postseason qualifications since 1992.

Warriors All-Star Curry fired off 30 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds over 34 minutes for his fifth-career triple-double. Klay Thompson and reserve Marreese Speights finished with 16 points apiece. David Lee joined Curry in double-digit rebounded with 10 boards.

Nick Young paced the forum purple with 25 points, and Jordan Hill and Ryan Kelly pitched in 18 and 14 respectively. Hill also had a game-high 12 points.

Golden State (49-30) nailed 48.9 percent of shots attempted, including a 13-for-25 clip from beyond the arc. The injury-riddled Lakers hit 39.3 percent of their field goals including only 9-of-28 from downtown. The Warriors dominated the glass with 57 rebounds to LA’s 42.

Both sides finished the first 12 minutes with 26 points. The Warriors rode a huge second quarter to pull ahead 58-42, notching 32 second-quarter points to Los Angeles’ 17. Golden State survived a Lakers 26-25 third quarter scoring margin before finishing off the home team with a 29-26 run to wrap up a playoff bid.

For now, the Warriors sit 1.5 games ahead of the Dallas Mavericks for sixth-place in the Western Conference with Golden State boasting a game in hand. The Portland Trailblazers sit 2.5 games ahead of the Warriors with three games remaining for the Dubs meaning in all likelihood, Golden State will be returning to Los Angeles and the Staples Center to face the third-seed Clippers when the playoffs begin. For now, the task at hand for Jackson’s side is a showdown with the Blazers on Sunday in Portland before the second half of a back-to-back against Minnesota at Oracle. The Warriors then get a chance to wrap up the regular season with revenge against the Denver Nuggets, 100-99 winners in a April 10th showdown in Oakland.

Curry Surprises Jackson With Buzzer-Beater Over Mavs In OT On Coach’s Birthday

By Matthew Harrington
Warriors coach Mark Jackson received quite the birthday gift from his All-star guard Tuesday night at American Airlines Arena in Dallas. Stephen Curry hit the game-winning shot with .1 seconds remaining in overtime to cap a Golden State 122-120 upheaval of the Dallas Mavericks (44-31). As coach Jackson blew out the 49 candles on his cake, the Dubs created a little bit of breathing room in the Western Conference playoff picture. Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs entered play Tuesday with 44 wins, just one less than their foes from California. The Warriors (46-28) have two games in hand over Dallas.

Curry’s game-winner in the extra session, his third career buzzer-beating basket, was a culmination of a 43-minute, 23-point effort. Fellow guard Klay Thompson topped Golden State on 27 points, going 11-for-24 from the field including 4-of9 from downtown. Jermaine O’Neal, starting at center with Andrew Bogut not making the trip nursing a sore groin and David Lee in street clothes for the third-straight game, picked up 20 points and 8 rebounds. Marreese Speights’ 9 rebounds paced the Warriors.

Ex-Warrior Monta Ellis did his best to sink his former franchise, shooting 11-for-23 with 27 points. Mavs perennial All-Star Nowitzki contributed a game-high 33 points over 39 minutes of play and converted the double-double on a game-high 11 boards.

The Warriors connected on a blistering 57.1 shooting percentage, making 52 shots on 91 attempts including nearly half (15) of their 31 shots from beyond the arc. Mark Cuban’s club held the advantage in turnovers, forfeiting possession 8 times to the visitors’ 12. The Mavericks somehow managed to keep Golden State from going to the free throw line for the entirety of the second half.

The Warriors overpowered their hosts in the first, racing out to a 30-21 lead after twelve minutes of play. Dallas bombarded Golden State with 41 second-quarter points, the most the Warriors have yielded in a single frame this season, while limiting the visitors to 23 points for a 62-53 halftime edge.

It took the Warriors nearly ten minutes of play in the third to catch up to Dallas when Speights rolled in a layup to make it 78-all before Vince Carter hit one of two free throws to restore the slim Mavs one-point edge. The Warriors would score seven of the last nine points for an 85-81 lead after three frames.

Dallas capped a 10-5 run to open the fourth with a Carter basket to pull ahead 91-90 nearly four minutes in to the final stanza of regulation. The Warriors briefly wrestled the lead back from their foes but found themselves trailing 106-102 with 1:43 until the final horn. Andre Iguodala and Thompson sandwiched three-pointers around an Ellis jumper to knot things up a 108 a piece with a minute left but that would be the last basket of regulation as the teams would require an five-minute overtime to decide the victor.

Dallas opened the final five minutes on a Dirk jumper before Jermaine O’Neal hit only one of two free throws to pull the Warriors within one at 110-109. O’Neal represented the first Warrior to head to the charity stripe since Thompson completed the and-1 play with 2:55 left in the second quarter. From there the two teams would go shot-for-shot over the next five baskets before a Thompson trey preceded a Curry 16-foot jumper to put the Dubs up 118-117 over halfway through OT.

The Mavs’ Jose Calderon responded with a three of his own before O’Neal took a Draymon Green feed to the rim to knot things up at 120-all. The Warriors were looking for a quick basket to force a last-possession chance, a goal achieved when Green connected with O’Neal with 28 seconds left.

On the penultimate Dallas possession of the game, Ellis tried to take the winning shot but he was rejected on the layup by O’Neal. On the next Warrior possession Curry connected on the off-balance jumper with a tenth of a second remaining. The Mavs couldn’t connect on the in-bound deflection play, and after a brief review, the Warriors win was official.

Golden State looks to give Jackson a second belated gift Wednesday evening. They continue on to a showdown in San Antonio with the Spurs at the AT&T Center where they haven’t won since Valentine’s Day of 1997, just six days before then 31-year-old point guard Jackson was dealt from the Denver Nuggets back to the Indiana Pacers. After the second leg of the Texas road trip the Warriors return to the West Coast for a showdown with in-state rivals, the Sacramento Kings, Friday night at Oracle Arena.

Despite Rally, Depleted Dubs Downed by Desperate Knicks

By Matthew Harrington

With Oakland native MC Hammer sitting courtside at Oracle Arena, it was the visiting New York Knicks who brought the hammer down on the shorthanded Golden State Warriors 89-84 Sunday night. New York used a big second quarter to grab the lead before its play down the stretch in holding off a Warriors comeback bid echoed Hammer’s hit “Can’t Touch this”.

Warriors All-Star Stephen Curry continued his strong play against the Knicks, collecting his third 30-plus point performance against the Gothamites in two seasons. Curry went 10-for-21 from the field, including hitting half of his 12 three-point attempts, for 32 points in 40 minutes of play. Andre Iguodala (12) and Klay Thompson (15) also finished in double-digits in scoring, but the absence of David Lee and Andrew Bogut from the frontcourt doomed the Dubs.

Guard J.R. Smith topped the Knicks with 21 points while Carmelo Anthony went 7-of-21 from the field for 19. Amare Stoudemire reeled in a game-high 13 rebounds for the desperate Knicks (31-43) who entered Sunday sitting a game behind the Atlanta Hawks for the last spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

The Warriors (45-28) appeared to have the game in hand after a dominant 32-22 first quarter but the visitors fired back with a dominant second 12 minutes to take the 56- 44 halftime lead. New York stifled its host to only 12 second-quarter points while exploding for 34 of its own.

The Dubs cut the lead by four after the third frame, scoring 22 points to New York’s 18 then continued its run to nearly force a tie early in the quarter at 74-72. The Knicks would add breathing room before a Warriors 6-0 run capped by a Curry trey knotted the game at 81-81 with 2:48 left in regulation. The Knicks held the Warriors to only one basket, a three out of the hands of Thompson, down the stretch while Anthony netted four of New York’s eight points over final three minutes to hang on for the win.

Golden State hopes to have Lee back for Tuesday’s pivotal contest in Dallas with Western Conference playoff implications. The Mavericks currently sit in ninth place, outside the playoffs looking in, and are two games behind the Warriors who sit in sixth place. Bogut is not expected to play Tuesday or Wednesday night as Golden State heads to San Antonio Spurs.

Warriors refuse to lose, mount late comeback to top Grizzlies, 100-93

By Gabe Schapiro

The Golden State Warriors (45-27) simply wouldn’t be denied as Stephen Curry led a late comeback to topple the Memphis Grizzlies (43-29), 100-93, Friday night, at Oracle Arena. A Grizzlies win would have tied the two squads in the standings, and extended their luck on the Warriors home court, having won four straight in Oakland. Golden State was without David Lee and Andrew Bogut, but they still put together one of their more impressive outings of the season, leading to very different headlines.

The contest was close throughout, and was played with a true playoff atmosphere. Neither side ever held more than a seven-point lead, as the two Western Conference foes duked it out. The Warriors had a three-point lead after the first quarter, and that was trimmed down to one point heading into half time.

After another close quarter in the third, as it often does it all came down to the final 12 minutes. Heading into the waning minutes the momentum swung decidedly in the Grizzlies favor, and it looked like they would outlast Golden State. With a bit more than three minutes remaining, Memphis had opened up a game-high seven-point lead. The Grizzlies wouldn’t score another point, however, and the Warriors came alive, going on a 14-0 run.

A huge Draymond Green three-pointer brought the Dubs back to within just two points, and a minute later Curry followed suit with a trey of his own to tie grab back the lead. Golden State suffocated the Grizzlies offense in the final minute plus, and Curry provided the dagger on the offensive end. Two Klay Thompson free-throws with a few seconds left officially sealed the Warriors victory.

Curry was fantastic, finishing with a game-high 33 points, eight assists, five rebounds, two blocks, and a steal. If he was Batman, than Green may well have been his batman. He played a huge 32 minutes off the bench, and contributed 12 points and nine boards. Marreese Speights got his first start of the season, a decision that was initially confusing, but paid off. He had 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting, and eight rebounds.

On the negative side Bogut took a hit to the groin just four minutes into the game, and never returned after heading to the locker room. His status moving forward is unknown, but would be a huge loss if he has to miss any significant time.

Zach Randolph led the way for Memphis in the losing effort. He posted a team-high 21 points and seven rebounds. Mike Conley added 20 points and six assists.

The Warriors are back in action this Sunday, when the New York Knicks come to town. The game starts at 6:00 PM.

Splash Brothers lead Warriors to 111-107 victory over Bucks

By Gabe Schapiro

They didn’t make it look easy, but the Golden State Warriors (44-26) scratched out a win against the Milwaukee Bucks (13-56), 111-107, Thursday night, at Oracle Arena. Coming into the contest, the Bucks had the worst record in the NBA. However, you wouldn’t have known it from watching the game. The Warriors played far from their best, but you have to give credit where credit is due, and Milwaukee played hard. Despite a big disadvantage in free throw attempts, and an uncharacteristically poor shooting night from beyond the arc, Golden State found a way to hold on.

The game was close throughout. Every time the Warriors made a small run and made people think they were about to run away with it, as they probably should have against an inferior opponent, the Bucks swung back and played tough. Heading into the locker room Golden State grasped a slight 53-51 lead.

After briefly trailing towards the end of the third quarter, the Warriors would lead the rest of the way, but never managed to convincingly put Milwaukee away until the final buzzer rang.

For Golden State, it was their talented backcourt that led the way. Stephen Curry had a game-high 31 points and 11 assists. He was one of the few Warriors to have some success from three-point range, hitting three-of-five. Klay Thompson wasn’t nearly as efficient, but added another 29 points.

Andrew Bogut had a strong game going up against his former club. He finished with eight points and 12 rebounds. David Lee contributed his nearly customary double-double, posting 22 points and 12 boards.

On the negative side, Harrison Barnes struggled mightily starting in place of the still out Andre Iguodala. He failed to score a point on seven field goal attempts, to go along with two turnovers. The bench also had a pretty quiet night, outside of a solid 12 points from Jordan Crawford in just 12 minutes of play.

For the Bucks it was a true team effort that made the Warriors sweat it out. A whopping seven players finished in double figures, four of whom did it from the bench. Brandon Knight was the standout, producing a team-high 27 points and six assists.

Golden State will rarely be able to turn in this kind of performance and still eek out a win, but thankfully they timed it against a bad team at home. They’ll need to clean up their mistakes for their next matchup against the best in the West, the San Antonio Spurs. The game is this Saturday, March 22, at 7:30 PM, at Oracle Arena.

Splash Brothers Will Slumping Warriors to Rally Past Portland Late in 113-112 Thriller

By Matthew Harrington

Whatever message the Warriors discussed in a team meeting following their second-straight loss Friday night, one that saw a 15-point Golden State lead swing into a loss against the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers, certainly stuck with the Splash Brothers. It just took some time in Sunday evening’s 113-112 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center for the backcourt tandem of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry to take over. The emerging faces of the franchise rallied Golden State (42-26) 18-point deficit in the third quarter to cap a wild comeback while avoiding a three-game losing skid for the first time since November 20-23 of this season.

Thompson, absent from Friday’s 103-94 loss to attend his grandfather’s funeral in the Bahamas, and Curry chipped in 15 points apiece in the fourth quarter, scoring 30 of 36 Warrior points in the pivotal period. The guards combined for 64 points, including 28 second-half points for Curry and 23 for Thompson to push the Dubs to their 15th triumph in 21 tries away from the friendly confines of Oracle Arena. The dominant road run is the first of its kind in franchise history.

After Curry’s 37 points and Thompson’s 27, including the eventual game-winner, David Lee finished third on the team with 16 points in only 24 minutes of play. Warriors forward Draymond Green had a team-high eight rebounds before fouling out. Damian Lillard led Portland (43-24) with 26 points while Nicolas Batum added 23 of his own to accompany a game-best 14 rebounds. Blazers center Robin Lopez converted a double-double as well, collecting 10 rebounds and 14 points. LaMarcus Aldridge sat out his second-consecutive game with a lower back contusion suffered in a 103-90 Blazers loss at San Antonio Wednesday.

Golden State opened the game again struggling to address the woes that sparked Friday’s closed-doors discussion. The Warriors found themselves trailing the team directly above them in the standings 55-44 at the half Sunday night. Portland, entering play with a 3.5 games ahead of the Warriors for fifth in the Western Conference, built on its first half success in the third. The Blazers took their largest cushion of the night, an 18-point separation, after Nicolas Batum hit a three to make it 70-52 Blazers 4:11 into the quarter. The Dubs chipped away with a 25-15 run over the final four-plus minute stretch to cut the deficit to 85-77, setting up the thrilling fourth-quarter momentum shift.

12 minutes away from only what would be only the second three-game losing streak all season, Golden State rallied to tie the game at 96-all with just over half a quarter. The Warriors evened the score courtesy of string of play where the Dubs limited Portland to 11 points while scoring 19 of their own over the first half of the final period of play. After Curry hit the free throw on Portland coach Terry Stotts’ technical foul, Thompson connected on only the second of two attempts from the charity stripe to give the Warriors their first lead since the first quarter now standing six minutes from the final whistle.

The lead changed hands five times over the next 5:49 of game time before Thompson,who arrived in the States late Saturday night, buried a three with just 11 seconds remaining on the clock to swing the scoreboard in  the Warriors’ favor 113-111. Golden State’s Andre Iguodala fouled Batum on a bid to even the game with five ticks left on the clock but the Blazers forward missed the potential tying shot after getting the first free throw to fall. Batum followed his miss and came up with the rebound, but his three-pointer from far out fell a few feet short of the basket as the buzzer sounded for Portland’s fifth loss in six games.

Warriors Center Andrew Bogut departed the game with 6:22 to play after suffering an apparent ankle injury on a layup attempt. Warriors coach Mark Jackson dismissed any concerns about the Aussie’s health, saying that Bogut asked to be subbed back in. Barring any setbacks, he should be on the Oracle Arena floor Tuesday night when the Warriors take on the Orlando Magic.

In Battle of the Streaks, Warriors Halted by Griffin, Clippers

By Matthew Harrington

On a night when the Los Angeles Lakers received the bleak prognosis that Kobe Bryant would sit out the rest of the season due to injury, the other two California franchises garnered the major headlines while stoking the flames of a heated, burgeoning rivalry. With the Lakers glory days behind them, the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers took the Staples Center Court Wednesday night with bragging rights as best of the West Coast on the line. The Warriors ultimately succumbed to the Blake Griffin show, dropping a hotly-contested 111-98 verdict to split the season series with their Southern California rivals. The Pacific Division leaders snapped Golden State’s five-game win streak, adding a ninth-consecutive win to LA’s total.

Clippers All-Star Griffin scorched the Warriors for 30 points and 15 rebounds, including his 3,000 board of his career in the third quarter. Griffin is now the third player in NBA history to shoot over 50 percent with 6,000 points, 3,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists in the first four seasons of a career, joining Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Charles Barkley. Guard Chris Paul finished a pair of rebounds shy of a triple-double, collecting 16 points and 12 assists to hand the Dubs their fourth-straight loss to the Clippers at the Staples Center.

Klay Thompson went 10-for-19 from the field, finishing with 26 points including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc to lead Golden State in scoring. David Lee chipped in 20 points. The Warriors reserves scuffled from the field, connecting on only a trio out of 25 chances, but Draymond Green connected on 7-of-9 free throws and Harrison Barnes and Jermaine O’Neal pitched in three each to help the bench to a 20-point contribution.

The two teams matched each other point-for-point in the first quarter, wrapping up the first 12 minutes at a 29-29 stalemate. The lead changed hands nine times in a frantic second quarter that saw the Warriors escape to the half nursing a slim two-point edge at 56-54.

Golden State outscored the home team 20-15 over the first six and a half minutes of the second half to take its largest lead of the night at seven points but the Clippers closed the gap on a 10-3 run. Los Angeles tied it on a Willie Green three-pointer with 1:22 left in the quarter then scored the next five points unanswered to end the quarter on top 84-79. Jermaine O’Neal opened the fourth hitting three of four from the charity stripe to pull the Dubs within two, but it would be the closest the Northern California squad got. The Clippers dominated the run of play, outpacing the Warriors 27 points to 16 down the stretch for the win.

Looking to avoid consecutive losses, the Warriors welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers, currently two spots above Orlando for worst in the Eastern conference, to Oracle Arena for a Friday night showdown before a critical meeting with another of the Western Conference’s strongest teams. Golden State travels to Portland to face the Trailblazers Sunday evening.

Warriors remain hot, saddle Mavericks for fifth straight win

By Joe Hawkes

OAKLAND — The Golden State Warriors haven’t been just on a roll since the All-Star break, but they are serving notice that they will be a factor come playoff time.

Ask the Dallas Mavericks.

Golden State had five players score in double figures helping the Warriors slow down the Mavericks, 108-85 Tuesday night at Oracle Arena. The Warriors picked up their fifth straight win, and improved to 10-2 since the All-Star break, tied with the San Antonio Spurs (10-2) for tops in the NBA.

Jordan Crawford led Golden State with 19 points and led a Warriors bench that outscored the reserves for Dallas 53-34. Harrison Barnes also scored in double figures with 13 points off the bench.

Klay Thompson scored 14 points on 6 of 10 shooting, and Stephen Curry added 10 points, but was 4 for 12 from the floor (1 for 5 on 3s). David Lee scored six points, but grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds in 29 minutes. Golden State has made it a habit of outscoring their opponents in the third quarter.

In the last two games, the Warriors have outscored their opponents 62-30 after halftime, which has been key to keeping teams down and making it difficult for a comeback.

The real story was the play of Andrew Bogut.

Bogut provided a little more offensive punch for the Warriors, scoring 15 points (all in the first half) to go along with 10 rebounds. Bogut was a huge part of holding the Mavericks to 37-percent shooting from the floor, and handing Dallas (38-27) their second loss to the Warriors this season.

Former Warrior Monta Ellis finished with 15 points and Jose Calderon added 13 points and five assists. Dirk Nowitzki had 12 points, but scored just four points in the first half and was defended well by Lee for the majority of the game.

Dallas is having a hard time just holding on to the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs and this loss further weakens their grip. Dallas leads the Phoenix Suns by 1.5 games in the standings with 17 games to go in the regular season.

This was a win that the Warriors needed, especially with the big game in Los Angeles against the Clippers Wednesday.

Golden State has won two of the three matchups against their Pacific Division foe this season, but the Clippers are hotter than the Warriors, winning their last eight games.

 

Warriors finish off road trip 4-2 with blowout win in Boston

By Joe Hawkes

BOSTON — One night after Klay Thompson’s game-winning jumper for a 98-96 win in Indiana, Golden State didn’t need any theatrics in Boston to throttle the Celtics 108-88 Wednesday night.

Golden State had five players score in double figures led by David Lee and Klay Thompson, who each scored 18. Lee had a team-high 10 rebounds and the Warriors outscored the Celtics 58-32 in the paint.

Stephen Curry added 14 points on 6 for 10 shooting, and Jordan Crawford chipped in 15 off the bench for Golden State, who outscored Boston 31-18 in the second quarter and carried a 61-40 lead at halftime.

It was a thing a beauty to watch the Warriors share and protect the ball tonight, finishing with 28 assists to only 11 turnovers. For a team that has been plague with turnovers, Golden State moved the ball tonight with fluidity and confidence that you didn’t see earlier in the season.

Golden State forced 12 turnovers (8 ST, 6 BS), while holding Boston to 36-percent shooting (13 for 36) in the first half. It was the 21st time this season that the Warriors have held an opponent to under 40-percent from the field.

In the end of the third quarter, the Warriors found themselves up by 31 with a 80-49 lead and never looked back after two Thompson jumpers.

With the win, Golden State (38-22) finished their six-game road trip 4-2, and improved to 14-5 in their last 19 road games, a feat that no other team in franchise history has ever accomplished.

Boston (20-41)  were led by Kelly Olynyk’s 19 points, while Rajon Rondo added 14 points and seven assists, but committed seven of Boston’s 22 turnovers for the game.

Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger each finished with 11 points and Jerryd Bayless added 10 for the Celtics, who have lost seven of their past eight games.

Golden State with a day off Thursday, the Warriors play 13 of their final 20 games at Oracle Arena beginning Friday against the Atlanta Hawks.