Dragic, Suns topple Curry and Warriors in the desert

By Joe Hawkes

PHOENIX — With the Suns clinging to a 104-102 lead with seven minutes in the fourth quarter, Goran Dragic was relentless Saturday night, scoring 13 of his career-high 34 points in the final frame, steering Phoenix to a 122-109 victory over the short-handed Golden State Warriors Saturday night.

Phoenix (30-21) moves a half-game ahead of the Warriors (30-21) for the sixth-best record in the Western Conference, and dropping Golden State to third in the Pacific Division.

Dragic who many people believed should’ve been voted an All-Star this season, played like one, shooting 10-for-13 from the field, including 5-for-6 from 3-point range. Dragic was outstanding from the free throw line, finishing 8-for-10 and dished out 10 assists.

Gerald Green scored 25 points and five rebounds, while P.J. Tucker finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Marcus Morris had 14 points and six rebounds off the bench, Channing Frye finished with 13 points, and Miles Plumlee 12 points and seven rebounds.

Playing without center Andrew Bogut (shoulder) and power forward David Lee (shoulder/hip), Stephen Curry led Golden State with 28 points and nine assists in 41 minutes of action. Curry shot 10-for-30 from the field, and 3-for-10 from deep.

Harrison Barnes had his best game to date, scoring 23 points on 9-for-15 shooting. It was Barnes’s first 20-point game since Dec. 13.

Klay Thompson had 17 points, Andre Iguodala scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Jermaine O’Neal finished with 11 points.

With both Bogut and Lee sitting out the game, Phoenix out-rebounded Golden State 45-34.

Golden State will look to rebound at home Monday, when they will host the Philadelphia 76ers (15-36).

Curry leads shorthanded Warriors past Bulls, 102-87

By Gabe Schapiro

The Golden State Warriors (30-20) overcame a sluggish start, easing their way over the Chicago Bulls (24-25), 102-87, Thursday night, at Oracle Arena. The Warriors were without their two best big men, an already thin position, as Andrew Bogut and David Lee sat out due to injuries. Jermaine O’Neal and Draymond Green got the starts in their place. Despite the depleted roster, Golden State made much of the game look easy in a nice bounce back win.

The Bulls quickly opened up a 15-point lead in the first quarter, as the Warriors had an ugly start. The mood seemed grim, as it looked like it could be another poor outing for the scuffling Dubs squad. In the waning minutes of the first they seemed to slowly start righting the ship, ultimately carrying their regained composure through the rest of the game.

After chipping away at the lead in the second quarter, Golden State grabbed their first lead with 47 seconds left in the half. By the time the buzzer went off they had turned a 13-point deficit into a four-point advantage. They never turned back, building on their lead at the end of the third, and ultimately cruising to the victory with a strong fourth.

With two starters out, Stephen Curry stepped up with a great game. He scored a game-high 34 points on 13-19 shooting, 4-6 from three-point range, to go along with nine assists.

The other half of the splash brothers, Klay Thompson, did his part as well. He chipped in 22 points, 3-6 beyond the arc, to go with solid defense.

Harrison Barnes, who has been struggling as of late, had a good game off the bench. He scored 11, including a big three-pointer late to hammer the last nail into the Bulls coffin. He added six rebounds and two steals, in 29 minutes. Jordan Crawford also played well, scoring another 11 points in 21 minutes.

Four Chicago players finished in double figures, led by a double-double from Taj Gibson. He notched 26 points and 14 rebounds. Joakim Noah accomplished the rare rebounds-assists double-double, finishing with just seven points, but 10 boards and 11 assists.

The Warriors hope this is step one in regaining some consistency to their play. They’ve got the Phoenix Suns next up on the docket, when they travel to Arizona this Saturday, February 8. The game begins at 6:00 pm.

Curry, Bogut steer Dubs past Jazz

By Joe Hawkes

SALT LAKE CITY — So much for the Warriors inability to win back-to-games.

Stephen Curry scored a season-high and game-high 44 points, and Andrew Bogut scored 16 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, helping Golden State to a 95-90 victory over the Utah Jazz Friday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

Curry recorded his fifth 40-point game of his career, all on the road.

Golden State (29-19) picked up back-to-back wins for the first time since their recent 10-game winning streak in three weeks. Golden State took out the Los Angeles Clippers. 111-92, Thursday night at ORACLE Arena.

Curry was just deadly, shooting 14-of-26 from the field, including 8-of-13 from 3-point range.

Harrison Barnes, starting for the injured David Lee, scored eight points, but shot 2-for-10 from the field. Lee sat out tonight’s game with a left shoulder and hip injury. The Warriors are off until Tuesday when they host the Charlotte Bobcats (21-27), which will allow their power forward time to get healthy.

Klay Thompson had 11 points, but was a dreadful 3-of-20 from the floor, while Andre Iguodala finished 1-of-6 from the field with four points.

Golden State held the edge in points in the paint, outscoring Utah 36-28 down low.

Alec Burks led all scorers for Utah with 26 points off the bench, while Enes Kanter had 15 points and seven rebounds for the Jazz (16-30).

Diante Garrett chipped in 13 points off the bench.

Golden State swept the season series from Utah (3-0), and have won consecutive games in Salt Lake City for the first time since 1981.

“We knew we need to win this game to validate last night’s (against the Clippers) game,” said Curry after the game.

Last second shot downs Warriors, lose 121-120 to Wolves

By Gabe Schapiro

The Golden State Warriors (26-18) lost a hectic back-and-forth contest to the Minnesota Timberwolves, 121-120, Friday night, at Oracle Arena. The game featured a ton of offense, and seemed to come down to which side would blink first. The Warriors grabbed a late lead, before a Kevin Martin 20-foot jumper with eight seconds left ultimately put the Timberwolves ahead for good. Three Minnesota players finished with 20+ points in the win.

The fast pace was set early on, as both squads combined for 72 points in the first quarter alone, deadlocked at a 36-36 tie. The foes continued to go blow-for-blow, with neither establishing a significant lead. The Timberwolves opened up the game with a 6-0 run, but that would be the biggest advantage either would enjoy until the third quarter.

Heading into the locker rooms at half time, they remained tied, 63 all.

Late in the third quarter, Golden State finally made a bit of a run. Minnesota failed to score for the final 2:53, sending the Warriors on a 10-0 tear, and a seven-point lead, heading into the fourth. It appeared as though the dubs could fight them off, but the rollercoaster ride wasn’t over.

In the fourth the momentum slowly swayed back in the Wolves favor. With 5:54 remaining in the contest, a Martin three-pointer had erased Golden State’s lead, and had taken back a one-point lead of their own. They continued to trade punches down the stretch. With 27 seconds left a pair of Andre Iguodala free-throws gave the Warriors their last lead of the game, 120-119. With eight ticks left, Martin played the game-changer again, sinking a jumper. Harrison Barnes had one last shot at the buzzer, after a double-teamed Stephen Curry passed the rock his way, but his attempt clanged off the rim.

In all five Warriors finished in double figures. Curry led all scorers with 33 points, including six three-pointers, to go along with 15 assists. David Lee pitched in 23 points and seven rebounds. Andrew Bogut set a Warriors season-high with seven blocked shots, to highlight his line of eight points and 11 boards. Klay Thompson had 18, Iguodala finished with 16.

Kevin Love led the way for Minnesota, filling up the stat sheet with 26 points, 14 rebounds, and eight assists. Martin did plenty of damage as well, chipping in another 26 points. Center Nikola Pekovic scored 22, and hauled in 14 rebounds. Ricky Rubio led the team with 12 assists.

Golden State will look to get back to their winning ways this Sunday, when they take on the tough Portland Trailblazers, back at Oracle. The game begins at 6:00pm.

Curry, Lee lead Warriors past Heat for 7th straight win

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

MIAMI, FL — Stephen Curry had a game-high 36 points, while David Lee added 32 points and 14 rebounds as the Golden State Warriors picked up their seventh straight win, outdueling the Miami Heat 123-114 Thursday night.

Curry was read hot all night, shooting 13 for 22 from the field, including 8 for 15 from 3-point range helping Golden State (21-13) improve to 3-0 on their current seven-game road trip. Curry also dished out 12 assists.

Klay Thompson scored 16 points and Harrison Barnes added 15 points for the Dubs, who currently have the longest win streak in the league. Golden State shot 56 percent from the field, including 15 of 29 from beyond the arc.

LeBron James finished with 26 points,  while Dwyane Wade chipped in 22 points for Miami (24-8), which had all five starters finishing with double figures. Miami has lost just two games at home to Western Conference teams since the start of last season, both to the Warriors.

Chris Bosh scored 19 points, Mario Chalmers finished with 17 and Shane Battier had 11 for the Heat.

Golden State held a 40-31 rebounding edge over Miami.

The Warriors look to remain run their win streak to eight games Friday in Atlanta.

Physical rivalry renewed, Warriors edge out Clippers, 105-103

Photo credit: Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty

By Gabe Schapiro

The Golden State Warriors (17-13) and Los Angeles Clippers (20-10) claim that no rivalry exists between them, but Wednesday night’s tilt begged otherwise. In a very feisty matchup that included multiple technicals, two ejections, and much pushing and shoving, the Warriors outlasted the Clippers,105-103, at Oracle Arena.

Golden State came out of the gate slowly, and fell behind big early. At one point it looked like Los Angeles could run away with this one, after opening up a 13-point lead part way through the second quarter.

The Warriors woke up in the waning minutes of the first half, however, and began making a game out of it. They had reduced the 13-point deficit down to just two as both sides headed into the locker rooms.

The second half was a true heavy-weight battle. The lead traded hands countless times as the two California foes both got in their swings, sometimes literally. At the very end of the third quarter Draymond Green was ejected after a tussle with Blake Griffin. Just minutes later Griffin himself was ejected after earning his second technical, this time getting into a skirmish with fellow big man Andrew Bogut.

After the dust settled the two sides hunkered down for the final stretch. Neither side led by more than five points at any point in the fourth quarter. For several stretches the game turned into a point guard battle, with Stephen Curry and Chris Paul each taking their turns to pull their team back out in front with dazzling plays.

Paul has become known as possibly the NBA’s best closer. If true, tonight will go down as one of the few blown saves on his record. He was his normal brilliant self at times, but at the bitter end came up short multiple times.

With 1:08 remaining in the game, two Harrison Barnes free throws gave the Dubs a 105-103 lead. In the final minute Paul uncharacteristically missed a 9-foot jumper and a layup. He drove to the basket again with one second left only to have Klay Thompson come up with a huge block. On the final in-bounds play Jamal Crawford heaved up a long three-point attempt that just nicked the front of the rim as the buzzer sounded.

Curry was nearly a non-factor for much of the night as the Clippers blanketed him often, taking him out of the game. However he came up big when it mattered most hitting multiple big shots in the final 12 minutes. Despite he comparably down night for him, he still finished with a double-double. He had 15 points and 11 assists, to go along with six rebounds.

Bogut and David Lee also each contributed double-doubles. Bogut posted 10 points and 14 rebounds. Lee contributed 23 points and 13 boards. They are the first set of teammates to each have 10+ rebounds in 10 straight games since the 1978 New Orleans Jazz, when Rich Kelley and Truck Robinson accomplished the feat.

Thompson had his best game in a while, filling up the stat sheet. He tied for a team-high 23 points, and had four assists, five rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.

Barnes played some big minutes down the stretch, especially with the ejection of Green. He had 14 points and five boards in 25 minutes off the bench.

Paul had a game-high 26 points and 11 assists in the losing effort for Los Angeles. Griffin was having a fantastic game before his ejection, compiling 20 points and 14 rebounds. Deandre Jordan was a monster down low, posting 13 points, 13 boards, and six blocks.

Warriors Comeback Bid Falls Just Shy as Harden, Houston Best Dubs 116-112

By Matthew Harrington

The Golden State Warriors comeback bid fell just short Friday night at Oracle Arena, as the Dubs fell to the Houston Rockets 116-112. The Rockets’ James Harden had a game-high 26 points while David Lee led Golden State with 23 points and 10 rebounds.

Houston (16-8) held a slim 30-29 lead after the first 12 minutes before rocketing off in the second quarter to a 58-51 halftime advantage. The visitors would add another two points to their lead after three-fourths of play for a 82-73 edge. The Warriors (13-11) outscored Houston 39-34 in the final frame but ran out of time to complete the comeback.

Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes also notched double-doubles for Golden State as Barnes had 20 points and game-high 12 rebounds while Bogut had 11 boards to go with 10 points on the night. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were a combined 2 of 12 from beyond the arc. Houston forward Chandler Parsons added 23 points on 9 of 14 shooting and Dwight Howard reeled in 11 rebounds. He was also an astonishing seven-for-seven from the charity stripe.

The Warriors have now dropped 18 of their last 22 games against Houston dating back to January 29, 2008. They will look to bounce back Sunday in Phoenix as they take on the Suns.

Warriors overcome 27-point deficit, stun Raptors 112-103

By Gabe Schapiro

On Tuesday night at Oracle Arena the Golden State Warriors (11-8) made a huge late comeback to steal one from the Toronto Raptors (6-11), 112-103. They trailed by as many as 27 points, before storming back with a 42-point fourth quarter. On a historic night the Warriors tied for the seventh greatest comeback in NBA history.

For Golden State it was a tale of two teams. At times they arguably looked as bad as they have all season. In the fourth quarter the light switch went on, and they became simply unstoppable.

The Warriors came out of the gates flat. They looked rusty and just didn’t execute anything particularly well. Through 12 minutes of play Jermaine O’Neal was the teams leading scorer with five points in just three minutes. They quickly dug themselves into a 17-point deficit.

In the second quarter it looked like they had begun to open their eyes. Slowly but surely they were correcting their mistakes, and started hitting some shots. Harrison Barnes was big in keeping them within shouting distance, scoring 14 points in the quarter. The Warriors had stopped bleeding-out, but at half time still found themselves down 17, 65-48.

Coming out of the locker room things got worse before they got better. The Raptors extended their lead to as high as 27 points, and it looked like they were hammering the final nails in the Warriors coffin. In the waning minutes of the third quarter, however, the spark was lit. Golden State ended the frame with a 9-0 run, but still had an 18-point sized mountain to climb. It looked like it was an honorable late push that would be too little too late.

The fourth and final quarter looked like an entirely different ballgame. The Warriors seemingly forgot how to miss, and Toronto seemingly forgot how to score. Golden State’s ace in the hole, their historical three-point shooting, had been failing them all night. In the fourth they found it.

They got contributions from everyone who stepped on the floor, but were led primarily by the splash brothers. The dynamic duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson started hitting shot after shot, and slowing took chunks out of the Raptors lead. With three minutes remaining, a Curry three completed the comeback, and gave Golden State their first lead since early in the first quarter. They took their 101-99 lead and kept piling on.

Toronto failed to score in the final 1:30 of the game, making the final score look almost like your average nine-point win. It was anything but. All told, the Warriors outscored the Raptors 42-15 in the fourth to complete the epic victory.

Curry finished with a double-double. He scored a game-high 27 points, to go along with 10 assists, and five steals. Thompson pitched in 22, on six-of-12 beyond the arc, and seven assists.

O’Neal was huge off of the bench for Golden State, making numerous big plays to keep them alive. He finished with 11 points and eight boards in 23 minutes. He was also a very telling, game-high, +30.

In the losing effort DeMar DeRozan led the Raports with 26 points. Amir Johnson had a double-double off the bench, putting up 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Golden State now hits the road, beginning with a matchup with the Houston Rockets this Friday.

Iguodala buzzer beater tops Thunder, 116-115

By Gabe Schapiro

Welcome to Oakland Andre Iguodala.

On Thursday night the Golden State Warriors (6-3) won in thrilling fashion, 116-115, over the Oklahoma City Thunder (5-3). Iguodala was already making a name for himself with the Warriors, and anyone he hadn’t already won over is officially on board now. With 2.3 seconds remaining and the team down two, the ball went to Iguodala who nailed a three from the corner to beat the buzzer, sending the crowd into a frenzy, and sending the crowd home happy.

In this one both teams hit the ground sprinting. The first quarter featured few missed shots from either side, as the Thunder started particularly hot, shooting and incredible 68.4% from the field. They were also totally owning the boards, hauling in 16 rebounds compared to Golden State’s four. The Warriors kept the game close, however, thanks to eight Oklahoma City turnovers and some nice shooting of their own. Klay Thompson had an early nine points to lead the way, as Golden State got points from eight different players in the first frame. After 12 minutes, which saw 11 lead changes, the Thunder had a slight 33-32 lead.

The second quarter saw both teams slowly come down to earth a bit, but the same fast paced and close action continued. David Lee started to come alive, chipping in 10 in the quarter. Thompson stayed hot and added seven more to his total. Stephen Curry started to catch fire, contributing six points and four assists. In another extremely evenly played quarter, the teams were dead-locked at 62-62 heading into halftime.

Coming out of the locker rooms the Warriors grabbed the momentum and started to pull away. Curry took over the game for stretches, as Golden State led by as many as 14. Heading into the final frame the Warriors held a 95-86 lead.

At the start of the fourth Golden State seemed to almost be coasting, as they had little trouble maintaining a comfortable lead. With about six minutes remaining, however, the Thunder started to make a run. They got hot and the Warriors got cold. Golden State managed to hold onto their lead despite their struggles and the occasional miscue, up until Russell Westbrook stuck a dagger into the hearts of Warriors fans, hitting a deep three with 2.3 seconds left to give them the two point lead. All was not lost, however, as in stepped Iguodala to save the day. On a quick in bounds pass from Thompson, Iguodala turned and hit the fade-away three-pointer from the corner, over the out-stretched arm of the defender. Nothing but net.

Iguodala finished with 14 points and nine assists. Thompson had team-high 27. Curry just missed a double-double with 22 points and nine assists. Harrison Barnes had a great game off the bench, contributing 16 points in 23 minutes.

In the losing effort Westbrook had a game-high 30 points to go along with nine rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Serge Ibaka had a double-double, posting 27 points and 13 boards. Keving Durant, who was relatively quiet by his standards, had 20 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds.

Curry’s 23 points leads Warriors over Kings, 94-81

By Gabe Schapiro

In the second game of the preseason schedule, the Golden State Warriors (1-1) picked up a convincing victory, 94-81, over the Sacramento Kings (0-1) at Oracle Arena. While the outcomes obviously don’t count, the preseason remains very important for figuring out depth charts and building team chemistry. And of course, above all else it’s just about getting into game shape without getting hurt.

The Kings got off to a fast start in this one, hitting a groove early and nailing 62% of their shots in the first quarter. The Warriors looked a bit rusty, and trailed by as many as nine points. Stephen Curry kept them within striking distance, however, with seven of the teams 21 points, to go along with three assists through one. The highlight of the quarter was an impressive lob from Curry just past half-court to a streaking Andre Iguodala for a thunderous slam dunk. Although it’s just the preseason that was likely a glimpse of what we may be seeing quite often this season.

The momentum swung Golden State’s way in the second, capturing their first lead of the game with eight minutes remaining in the first half. David Lee, Klay Thompson, and Marreese Speights came alive, contributing eight, eight, and six points respectively by halftime. Lee also had a team high eight rebounds.

The Kings made a late charge, however, and retook a 44-39 lead heading into the locker rooms. Isaiah Thomas led the way for Sacramento with nine points and six assists.

By the third quarter both sides were predominantly playing their reserve players. Not to say that isn’t important as we get our first extended looks at the Warriors remolded bench, which will be one of their keys to success this season.

The two teams traded leads several times throughout the quarter, with Golden State mostly dominating play by the end of it. They out-scored the Kings 23-18, and outshot them .500-to-.313. Ultimately they erased their half time deficit, and headed into the fourth all tied up at 62-62.

The Warriors continued their strong play, and started running away with the game in the fourth quarter. In the last few minutes they emptied their bench, and eased their way to the win.

Possibly the biggest thing to keep an eye on through the preseason is how the competition for the fifth starting spot shakes out. Curry, Iguodala, Lee, and Andrew Bogut are pretty well entrenched as starters, leaving the final spot up for grabs between Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson. Barnes started tonight, but struggled early, failing to record a point, and was never re-inserted into the game after playing the first six minutes. Thompson, on the flip side played nearly 30 minutes on the night, and finished second on the team with 17 points to go along with four rebounds, two blocked shots, and a steal.

Curry had a nice outing, contributing a game high 23 points. Lee had a double-double, 14 points and 13 rebounds. Iguodala filled up the stat sheet, adding seven points, three rebounds, three assists, and a whopping five steals.

The preseasons schedule continues tomorrow in Utah at 6:00 PM.

 

Game Notes: Ognjen Kuzmic made his Warriors debut, playing five minutes…Speights had six points, three rebounds, and three blocks in 14 minutes off the bench…Seth Curry scored his first points as a Warrior, a buzzer-beating three pointer to end the game