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.

Curry Composes Triple-Double Masterpiece in 126-103 Upstaging of Knicks

By Matthew Harrington

On the biggest stage of the basketball world in the city the boasts the bright lights of Broadway Stephen Curry hogged the spotlight in another part of Manhattan. The Golden State Warriors point guard pieced together a virtuoso performance in a 126-103 blowout over the New York Knicks Friday night on the hallowed court of Madison Square Garden. Curry’s command performance included 27 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds, a triple-double for the maestro out of mid-major Davidson College.

A year and a day removed from Curry’s opening act, a 54-point explosion at MSG in another Warriors victory, the Warriors All-Star composed his Friday Evening encore on 9 of 19 from the field. Klay Thompson played the perfect accompanist to Curry, falling a basket shy of matching Curry’s 27 points with 25 of his own.

Forward David Lee made his first start, and second appearance, since missing time due to the flu. He pitched in 10 points in 24 minutes of play. Jermaine O’Neal continued his superb support of Lee and the banged-up Bogut, posting 15 points in 20 reliable minutes of play of the bench.

Carmelo Anthony hogged the spotlight for the Knicks (21-38), collecting 23 points on 7-of-26 shooting. He converted the double-double on 16 rebounds, a game-high. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 22 points while J.R. Smith added 17 of his own. The Knicks shooters were held in check by the Warriors defense, with the New Yorkers connecting on a 37.9 shooting percentage.

The Warriors (36-23) spent only a minute of game time trailing the Knicks in total, trading leads six times over the first two minutes. The Warriors would go on a 10-0 lead to stake themselves to a 15-6 lead 4:30 into the first. From there, the Warriors were able to maintain the pace, finishing the quarter with 23 points to 21 Knicks tallies. The second quarter was a repeat performance of the first, with the Warriors outpacing New York 35-25 for a 73-52 edge at the half. The hosts would outscore their visitors 28-26 in the third, but the road team closed out the game with 27 fourth quarter points to 23 from the home squad for the final 126-103 mark.

On tap for the Dubs, winners of five of their last six, is a trip north of the border for a Sunday showdown with the Toronto Raptors before stops in Indiana and Boston. A win for the Warriors at any of the three stops would guarantee a .500 winning percentage on their current six-game road trip, the second longest stint away from home this season.

No Lee, No Problem as Streaking Warriors Grind Down Pistons for Win

By Matthew Harrington

It would be hard to believe on a night when David Lee wasn’t even in the building, Andrew Bogut nursed a nagging shoulder injury and Stephen Curry‘s silky-smooth shooting touch went rough that the Warriors would walk away with a W. Monday night proved that anything is possible with the red-hot Dubs, winners now of four in a row since the All-Star break. The Detroit Pistons (23-34) became victim number four, falling at the hands of the Warriors 104-96 at the Palace of Auburn Hills despite Curry nailing just 6 of 15 field goals attempted.

With Andrew Bogut returning to play after injuring his shoulder seven games ago and David Lee missing his second-straight contest with the flu, the load was placed firmly on the shoulders of the Warriors’ lone All-Star Curry. The Human Torch remained relatively damp, hitting only 3 of 9 three-pointers for 19 points but fed his teammates plenty while collecting nine assists. Guard Klay Thompson also had 19 points for the Warriors (35-22), including two that came on a dunk over Kyle Singler that sent the Pistons guard staggering into the stands.

Jermaine O’Neal, starting for Lee who didn’t join the Warriors on the trip, put together another solid performance, netting a second-straight double-double on 16 points and 10 rebounds. O’Neal previously sparked the Warriors 93-86 win over Brooklyn with 23 points and 13 rebounds Saturday night at Oracle Arena. Jordan Crawford had his best night in the blue and gold since coming over in a January trade, picking up 15 points in the Warriors first game of a six-game road trip.

The Piston big men took advantage of the absence of Lee and a limited Bogut (due to injury and foul trouble) with all three members of the starting frontcourt cracking double-digits in scoring. Forward Greg Monroe had a game-high 23 points and Josh Smith converted the double-double on 18 points and 11 boards. Starting center Andre Drummond picked up 11 points while Singler bounced back from the debilitating dunk to pick up a respectable 18 points.

The Pistons controlled play early, taking a 10-point lead with just over 5 minutes left in the 1st and the Warriors trailing 22-12. The Dubs closed out the quarter on a 21-15 lead to get within striking distance at 37-33. Golden State took its first lead since the 2:14 mark of the game after Harrison Barnes nailed a trey with 1:11 gone in the quarter. Just 35 seconds later, Crawford hit one from downtown to pad the Warriors edge to 41-37.

The two teams traded the lead twice over the rest of the half with the Warriors wresting it away from the Pistons for good on an Andre Iguodala layup with three minutes remaining to make it 55-54 for the visitors. The Warriors would head to the intermission clinging to a slim 63-62 advantage.

The two teams fought tooth and nail yet again in the second half, exchanging leads five times in the third to give the Pistons am 83-81 lead after 36 minutes of regulation. Down the stretch the Warriors limited Detroit to just 13 points while scoring 23 of their own to take home the victory, Golden State’s sixth consecutive victory over the Pistons.

Up next for the Warriors, three games back of the Los Angeles Clippers for first in the Pacific Division standings, is a trip to the United Airlines Center in Chicago for a Wednesday night showdown with the Chicago Bulls. The six game road trip also includes stops in New York, Toronto, Indiana and Boston.

O’Neal, Green provide huge lift for Warriors win over Nets

By Joe Hawkes

OAKLAND — With a six game road trip set to begin Monday in Detroit, the Warriors appear to be hitting their stride at the right time.

Playing without power forward David Lee (stomach flu) and center Andrew Bogut (shoulder inflammation), Jermaine O’Neal and Draymond Green filled in nicely, helping the Golden State Warriors  pick up their third straight victory after the All-Star break with a 93-86 victory over the Brooklyn Nets in front of a sellout crowd of 19,596 at Oracle Arena Saturday night.

“That’s what this game was all about, guys stepping up,” said Warriors head coach Mark Jackson after the game. “We needed that. Guys stepping up when needed and those guys stepped up tonight.”

O’Neal, who was caught in traffic due to the Monster Truck rally next door at O.co Coliseum, had a season-high 23 points and 13 rebounds while starting in place for Bogut, who missed his seventh straight game. O’Neal’s performance was vintage O’Neal. The kind of performance that made him a six-time All-Star in eight seasons with the Indiana Pacers.

“At this point of the year, you got to play hard and make every possession counts,” said the 18-year veteran O’Neal. “I don’t know what next year holds for me, but I know that my team will play hard each night. ”

Green poured in 18 points and 10 rebounds in 38 minutes of action tonight while starting for Lee. Green was all over the court and brought huge energy to the starting lineup seeing 38 minutes of action.

Stephen Curry scored 17 points with eight assists, and Andre Iguodala scored six points to go along with 11 rebounds logging a game-high 44 minutes.

Curry shot 7-for-13 from the field, including 3-for-4 from 3. With the Warriors clinging to a 88-86 lead with 1:02 left in the fourth quarter, Curry hit a 3-pointer off the glass giving Golden State a 91-86 lead with under a minute left in the game.

Golden State (34-22) dominated in many facets of the game including points in the paint (52-38), rebounds (50-39), assists (26-11), and steals (12-5), while holding Brooklyn to shooting 32-for-78 (41.0%) and 2-for-21 from 3 (9.5%).

Deron Williams led Brooklyn (25-28) with 20 points and dished out six assists.

Joe Johnson had 15 points, Andray Blatche had 14 points and eight rebounds, and Paul Pierce chipped in 11 points for Brooklyn, who have dropped eight of their last nine in Oakland.

Golden State improves to 18-10 at home this season, and were able to payback Brooklyn for snapping the Warriors’ 10-game winning streak with a 102-98 win in Brooklyn in January.

 

 

Lee led Warriors earn ugly win, outlast Rockets in OT, 102-99

By Gabe Schapiro

The Golden State Warriors (33-22) didn’t always make it look pretty, but as the saying goes, a win is a win. On Thursday night, at Oracle Arena, they beat the Houston Rockets (37-18) for the first time this season, 102-99, in overtime. Both offenses struggled for much of the game, in what often came down to isolation plays for James Harden against isolation plays for David Lee. When the dust settled, Golden State had grinded out a tough win.

The Warriors had their customary slow start to the game. Through 12 minutes of play they only trailed by four, but had only gotten eight points from their starters, compared to 12 points from their bench. Both teams were plagued by bad turnovers, miscues, and missed open looks.

The Dubs rebounded a bit in the second, turning the four point deficit into a four-point lead at halftime. Surprisingly the two foes star guards, Stephen Curry and Harden, had extremely quiet starts. Heading into the locker rooms they had only accounted for five points apiece. They would both come alive in the stretch run.

The sloppy but close play continued. Heading into the fourth quarter Golden State held on to their four-point lead, but it wasn’t a lead they held with confidence. Sure enough, in the fourth the Rockets clawed their way back, tying the game back up halfway through the quarter. In the waning minutes the two sides traded blows. Harden made one of his many big shots, a 23-foot jumper with 6 seconds left, to give Houston an 89-87 lead. Curry responded with a beauty of his own, a left-handed floater in traffic that arced over the skyscraper that is Dwight Howard, and sent the game into overtime.

In extra time, Curry again came up big and gave Golden State the quick lead with a three-pointer, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Jermaine O’Neal, starting in the place of the still injured Andrew Bogut, had the play of the game. With 23 seconds left in OT, the Rockets’ Chandler Parsons drove hard to the basket, and O’Neal elevated to meet him at the basket and ferociously blocked the shot.

Curry made four of four free throws, and Draymond Green made two more, to ice the victory in the waning seconds.

Curry made the big shots late, but it was Lee who was practically the entire Warriors offense for long stretches of the game. He finished with a team-high 28 points, to go along with 14 rebounds. Curry’s strong second half gave him 25 points and six assists.

Iguodala had a relatively quiet night outside of some big points in OT, but still filled up the stat sheet. He compiled 11 points, eight boards, and seven assists. Guard Steve Blake made his debut in a Golden State uniform after the trade that sent him over from the Los Angeles Lakers, and he finished with three points, two rebounds, and one assist in 18 minutes off the bench.

For Houston, Harden led the way with a game-high 39 points, 34 of which came in the second half and overtime. Chandler Parsons had a strong game, adding 21 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. Dwight Howard had a dismal shooting night, hitting just 4-13 shots, but made his impact felt with 21 rebounds and four blocks.

The Warriors are back in action this Saturday, when the Brooklyn Nets come to town. The game begins at 7:30 PM.

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.

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.

Warriors make easy work of Pistons, win 113-95

By Gabe Schapiro

Tuesday night at Oracle Arena the Golden State Warriors (5-3) looked like they were playing a junior varsity squad in the Detroit Pistons (2-5), in a thorough dismantling that mercifully ended at a final score of 113-95. In what was a true team effort from the start, seven Warriors finished with eight or more points. With the win Golden State has now won five straight matchups against Detroit.

The Warriors domination started from the tip-off. In the first quarter six players scored four or more points, and they moved the ball around brilliantly. They dished out 13 assists, two off of the club record for a single frame. David Lee led the way with eight early points to go along with four rebounds. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson contributed seven points and three assists apiece. For the quarter they shot 60.9% from the field, and led 35-16.

The second quarter was more of the same. Lee’s hot start continued, adding nine more points to his total. Jermaine O’Neal had a quick seven points off the bench. Andre Drummond was doing his best to keep the Pistons within striking distance, scoring 10 points and grabbing seven boards, but he wasn’t getting much help. Golden State extended their lead out to 21 points, leading 62-41 heading into the locker room.

Coming out of half time any hopes the Pistons had at making this one interesting were quickly squashed. The Warriors hot hands didn’t skip a beat. The third turned into the Curry show, adding 12 points and dishing out a couple of beautiful passes. Heading into the final quarter Golden State had once again extended their lead to 94-71.

In a game that was essentially already locked up the fourth quarter consisted largely of garbage time, which allowed the final score to look closer than the game ever was. Golden State’s reserves got a lot of play as they coasted their way to the victory.

Curry led all scorers with 25 points. He also chipped in eight assists. Iguodala filled up the stat sheet, finishing with eight points, 11 assists, three rebounds, and two steals. Lee finished just shy of his customary double-double, posting 17 and nine.