Archive for the ‘ Golden State Warriors Blog ’ Category

Warriors win 2017 NBA championship

As yellow confetti fell from the rafters and TV cameras swarmed Monday night, Kevin Durant grabbed the charcoal cap emblazoned with the Larry O’Brien trophy before embracing Stephen Curry. In that moment, as a capacity crowd belted along to “We Are the Champions,” the Warriors had finally vindicated the 3-1 Finals lead they squandered last June. Nothing — not the chorus of critics, not the Herculean performances from Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, not a lengthy hiatus from head coach Steve Kerr — could keep Golden State from winning its second NBA title in three years.

– San Francisco Chronicle

Cleveland, fresh off a 137-point outburst in Game 4, used an early 14-2 run Monday to seize a seven-point lead midway through the first quarter. With James, Irving and J.R. Smith leading the way, the Cavaliers were up 41-33 early in the second. That’s when Golden State, perhaps the most combustible team of this era, tightened up defensively, ratcheted up the tempo and unleashed a 21-2 rally. Durant poured in 13 points on only five shots in the quarter to power the Warriors to a 71-60 lead by halftime.

– San Francisco Chronicle

Durant scored 39 points — he broke 30 in all five games of the Finals — and Curry had 34 and 10 assists… Right after the pass to Iguodala to put the Warriors up eight, Durant nailed a 3 to erase the Kevin Love and-1 seconds prior. When a Kyle Korver 3 with 8:27 left cut it to six, Durant sliced backdoor for an easy dunk, uncontested just like the six dunks he had in the first half of Game 1. In all, he made 14 of 20 shots, including five of eight from beyond the arc. For the series, he shot 56 percent from the field. He led the Warriors in rebounds and blocks.

– Bay Area News Group

And in the clincher, Curry had 34 points, 10 assists, six rebounds, and enough moments to silence his loudest critics. The reasonable ones, anyway. He led the way to a 129-120 win over the Cavaliers, clinching the Warriors’ second title in three years, completing their vengeance from last year’s epic collapse. This is how you earn super stardom. Curry wasn’t the Finals MVP. But he vindicated himself by averaging 26.8 points, 9.4 assists and 8.0 rebounds in an NBA Finals.

– Bay Area News Group

While James went for game highs in points (41) and minutes (47), Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith were second and third on the Cavs with 26 and 25 points, respectively. For the Warriors, Stephen Curry was second with 34 points — hitting 10-of-20 shots — and 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala accounted for 20 points in 38 minutes off the bench.

– Akron Beacon Journal

Steve Kerr wants more edge from Warriors tonight

Many different words can be used to describe “edge.” As in, playing with more edge. Nerves. A sense of urgency. Pick whatever word or phrase you like — you get the idea. But you aren’t Warriors coach Steve Kerr. He’s got a better sense of all of this. And here’s what he said on the matter:

“For us as a team tonight, we’ve got to be more on edge,” said Kerr before the game, according to the Bay Area News Group. “I hope we’re a little more nervous. We didn’t seem that nervous in Game 4. Nervous is good. Appropriate fear is the Greg Popovich line. You need that. When we come out in the beginning of Game 4 and lose shooters and turn the ball over carelessly, we’re obviously not ready. I would hope we’re more ready, more prepared tonight.”

More from the Bay Area News Group: There’s a running theory that the pressure is on the Warriors tonight. They own a 3-1 series lead, but after the Cavs took Game 4, that’s now the same deficit they overcame to beat the Warriors a year ago. If they can get a win in Oakland to send the series back home, they might gather enough steam to pull it off.

NBA Finals Game 5 is tonight in Oakland at 9 p.m. ET. The Warriors lead 3-1.

Warriors take 3-0 NBA Finals lead

The Cavaliers did everything right in Game 3 except what they needed to do most — close it out.

The Cavaliers on June 7 followed the blueprint drawn up by coach Tyronn Lue for Game 3 like a team of construction engineers erecting a futuristic skyscraper, and still lost, 118-113, and now are one loss away from becoming the first team swept out of the NBA Finals since the San Antonio Spurs did it to the Cavaliers in 2007.

The Warriors went on an 11-0 run to after a 26-footer by J.R. Smith gave the Cavs a 113-107 lead with 2:32 remaining. Smith preened for the Cavalier fans sitting in the front row of The Q as he trotted down the court on defense — way too early, as it turned out.

– Akron Beacon Journal

Cavs guard Kyrie Irving said he had to be more assertive driving to the hoop and he was. His driving layup high off the glass as the first half ended were his 16th and 17th points of the first half and cut the Warriors’ lead to 67-61. He finished the game with 38 points.

– Akron Beacon Journal

Steph Curry was incredible much of the night, going for 26 points, a team-high 13 rebounds, six assists and only one turnover. Klay Thompson parlayed his huge Game 2 into a bigger Game 3, nailing six of the Warriors’ 16 threes and hitting 30 points for the first time in this postseason. He kept them afloat early.

But Kevin Durant, the frontrunner for Finals MVP, drove the Warriors home in the final sequence.

With less than two minutes left, the Warriors trailed by four and their perfect playoffs were in peril. But with 1:15 left, Durant powerfully pushed Kevin Love back on a drive, got to about 12 feet out and planted a floater to pull the Warriors within two.

– Bay Area News Group

By the time the Warriors entered halftime up 67-61, they had tallied assists on 21 of 23 field goals. It was the most assists by any team in a half of a Finals game since the Bulls had 22 in the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals. With the Cavaliers’ season on the edge of disaster, James and Irving had combined for 44 points on 18-for-27 shooting. The rest of Cleveland had mustered 17 points on 4-for-14 shooting.

With Durant, Klay Thompson (30 points) and Curry (26 points, 13 rebounds) leading the way, Golden State weathered inspired performances from James (39 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists) and Kyrie Irving (38 points). The Warriors’ 16 three-pointers and 29 assists ultimately overshadowed their 18 turnovers. After posting their two worst offensive outings of the playoffs in Games 1 and 2, the Cavaliers scored 46 points in the paint. But the immense assignment of toppling Golden State eventually took its toll. Visibly gassed, Cleveland didn’t score over the final 3:09.

– San Francisco Chronicle

Tonight in Cleveland, the Cavaliers face the Warriors in NBA Finals Game 3. Down 2-0 in the series, the Cavs have clearly been the best team in the Eastern Conference, but the Warriors have been on another level all regular season and all playoffs long.

Now, we don’t actually root for one team over another. But we certainly root for what’s good for basketball. And the Warriors going on to win Game 3 in all likelihood means they will go ahead and win the series. Which is great for NBA history buffs whosw main interest is to compare the Warriors with other dominant NBA teams of the past. But for regular everyday basketball fans, it would certainly be better for the Cavs to step up tonight, defend home court, take the win, and make it look like a real series.

We’ll be watching.

There was all sorts of winning going on in the Warriors fan world yesterday. Here’s the Bay Area News Group reporting on the competition that surely has you on the edge of your seat each year: The National Spelling Bee.

Ananya Vinay couldn’t watch the Warriors start the NBA Finals against the Cavaliers, but she had her own victory to celebrate.

Vinay, a 12-year-old Warriors fan, won the 90th Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday night while Golden State downed Cleveland to take a 1-0 advantage in the Finals.

“Go Curry” she said when asked about her Warriors fandom.

Also, Vinay’s little brother wore a Curry T-shirt — to the joy of Dub Nation.

The Warriors beat the Cavs 113-91 Thursday in Oakland to take a 1-0 NBA Finals lead. Some quotes from the web are below:

Warriors beat Cavs in NBA Finals Game 1

To kick off a matchup that has been anticipated since the Cavaliers escaped Oracle Arena with the Larry O’Brien trophy 347 days earlier, Golden State sent a statement: It is much improved from the group that squandered a 3-1 lead to Cleveland.

The biggest difference for the Warriors, of course, is that they now have a do-everything future Hall of Famer who thrives on the biggest stages. Durant poured in 23 of his game-high 38 points in the first half Thursday, adding eight rebounds and eight assists to finish with a near triple-double.

Stephen Curry overwhelmed Cleveland with a sterling third quarter on a night he finished with 28 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. Because Golden State was at its ball-moving best, he and Durant feasted on open looks. The Warriors had more assists (31) Thursday than the Cavaliers had field goals (30).

By the start of the fourth quarter, the most-hyped NBA game of the year was rid of suspense. It was the type of thorough pummeling that only underscored why few have given Cleveland much of a shot in this series. Though he scored 28 points, LeBron James piled up eight of the Cavaliers’ 20 giveaways. Tristan Thompson, one of the league’s elite role players, was a non-factor on a night he totaled zero points and four rebounds in 22 minutes.

– San Francisco Chronicle

The Cavs committed 12 turnovers in the first half — seven by LeBron James. They were slow on the defensive glass, allowing the Warriors 11 offensive rebounds in the first 24 minutes. To put that in perspective, Golden State had only five offensive rebounds the entire game on Christmas Day when the Cavs beat the Warriors, 109-108, at Quicken Loans Arena.

Golden State took 61 shots in the first half compared to 43 by the Cavaliers. Despite those lopsided numbers, the Cavs were down only eight, 60-52, in a building in which they know they can win.

– News Herald

Durant shook LeBron to the ground for a slam, powered through Irving for another layup — his first eight makes were all at the rim — and then forced his way to the free throw line a few times late in the first half, putting up 23 in the first 24 minutes. He finished with a game-high 38 — finally busting out his 3-point shot late to cap the huge night.

But Steph Curry never had to get hot from 3 because he just stayed hot, carrying over his scorching stroke from the last round to plant six of his 11 threes on Thursday, giving him an NBA-high 59 made 3s in 13 playoff games. Kevin Love is the next closest shooter, with 41 makes in 14 games.

– Bay Area News Group

The Warriors are doing just fine — okay, way better than fine — so far in the 2017 NBA Playoffs. They’re 12-0 and will play the Cavaliers on Thursday in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. But they remain without head coach Steve Kerr. Here’s the San Jose Mercury News with the latest update:

Steve Kerr not ready to return to coaching yet

Steve Kerr made a surprise appearance in front of reporters after the Warriors’ practice on Monday, filling in for his fill-in, Mike Brown, who was out with the flu.

Kerr updated his own health status in an 11-minute interview with reporters, saying he’s still unsure whether he will coach Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Cavaliers on Thursday night, though it sounds unlikely.

“No. As of right now, I would not coach Thursday night,” Kerr said. “But it’s still up in the air. Waiting for that ‘ahhhhhh’ (moment). It’s coming.”

It sounds like Kerr has set a deadline for himself, saying he doesn’t want it to be a night-by-night decision about whether he can return to the sideline throughout the Finals. He wants to make a firm decision, either way, before Game 1 tips off.

The Warriors will face the Cavaliers in the 2017 NBA Finals. Warriors reserve Matt Barnes is still a hard-nosed competitor, but up there in age. Is retirement on the horizon? Not just yet. Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting:

Matt Barnes thinks he has a few more NBA seasons left to play

At age 37, Warriors forward Matt Barnes is a case study in persistence. The former second-round pick from UCLA has played for nine teams.

As he prepares to end his 14th season with his first career Finals appearance, the question for Barnes becomes: Could he cap his last professional basketball game by hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy?

“I think I’ve still got a little bit left in the tank,” Barnes said of retirement. “Obviously, I’d like to come back here and finish up here, but I feel like I’ve got another year or two left in the tank.”

Kawhi Leonard out for Game 3

Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting that the Spurs will continue to be without star small forward Kawhi Leonard. The league MVP candidate will miss tonight’s Game 3. The Warriors are up 2-0 and have been absolutely dominant in these Western Conference Finals and the entire 2017 NBA Playoffs so far.

Kawhi Leonard out for Game 3

Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard will not face the Warriors in Game 3 of Western Conference Finals on Saturday night at AT&T Center.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich made the announcement prior San Antonio’s Saturday morning shootaround.

“In the end, I guess it’s my decision,” Popovich told reporters.

Santa Cruz Warriors President Chris Murphy has been named the 2017 NBA Development League Team Executive of the Year. NBA D-League President Malcolm Turner made the announcement today at the league’s Sales & Marketing Meetings in Indianapolis. The NBA Development League Team Executive of the Year is determined by peer voting and teams are not allowed to vote for themselves.

Under Murphy’s leadership, the Warriors – the affiliate of the 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors – sold out all 24 regular-season home games at Kaiser Permanente Arena this season. In addition, the team hosted the Oklahoma City Blue at Oakland’s Oracle Arena on Feb. 12 before 17,497 spectators – the third-largest crowd in NBA D-League history – helping spur the league to reach nearly 1.5 million fans this past season (1,469,908).

“Everyone at the Santa Cruz and Golden State Warriors are thrilled for Chris that the D-League has recognized him as one of the top young executives in our industry,” said Golden State Warriors President Rick Welts. “Chris embodies what each of us strives for in our business lives: he’s always up for a new challenge; he sets the foundation for a collaborative and supportive culture that brings out the best in every employee; and he does it with his own engaging personal style.”

Murphy, who advises team and league leaders as a member of the NBA D-League Team Leadership Council, helped Santa Cruz increase its corporate sponsorships 15 percent over the previous season. In addition, he demonstrated the team’s commitment to the Santa Cruz area by having the organization participate in 185 community events, including the Santa Cruz Warriors Get Fit program in partnership with Kaiser Permanente that attracted over 6,500 participants in its first year.

Prior to Santa Cruz, Murphy served as Senior Director of Group Sales for Golden State. He joined the organization in June 2005 and spent 10 years with the NBA team honing his expertise on the ticketing side of the business.

The Warriors wrapped up their fifth season in Santa Cruz with a 31-19 (.620) regular-season record, earning their fourth playoff appearance. Santa Cruz helped develop Golden State assignment players Damian Jones, Kevon Looney and Patrick McCaw over the course of the season, while Dennis Clifford was named an NBA D-League All-Star. For games played in March and April, Jones earned Player of the Month honors and Casey Hill was named Coach of the Month. Phil Pressey and Jabari Brown each earned NBA D-League Performer of the Week honors during the season.

Previous winners of the Team Executive of the Year award include Mike Levy (Canton Charge, 2016), Tim Salier (Austin Spurs, 2015), Jeff Potter (Fort Wayne Mad Ants, 2014), Bill Boyce (Texas Legends, 2013), David Higdon (Bakersfield Jam, 2012), Bert Garcia (Rio Grande Valley Vipers, 2011) and Jon Jennings (Maine Red Claws, 2010).

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle with a very important update on tonight’s NBA Western Conference Finals Game 2 between the Spurs and Warriors:

Jonathon Simmons will start for the Spurs in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday night, replacing injured Kawhi Leonard in the lineup for San Antonio.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich made the announcement during his pregame news conference at Oracle Arena.
Popovich also said Leonard’s status for Game 3 on Saturday night probably would not be resolved until Friday at the earliest. He re-injured his sprained left ankle Sunday in Game 1, though an MRI exam showed no structural damage.

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on Kevin Durant, who is doing some cool stuff off the court in-between winning playoff games with the Warriors:

Kevin Durant to debut new Oakland bball courts

Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant is taking a break from the Western Conference finals to unveil newly refurbished basketball courts for the city of Oakland on Wednesday.

Four courts at Lincoln Square Park in Oakland were renovated as part of the “Build It and They Will Ball” program with the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation. Durant will be on hand at the private opening, where 200 kids from Oakland will get the chance to test out the court, hang out with Durant and take part in a basketball clinic.

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting some Warriors-related D-League news:

Casey Hill, the head coach of the Warriors’ Development League affiliate in Santa Cruz the past four years, has parted ways with Golden State to pursue other opportunities.

“It’s completely amicable,” Hill told The Chronicle in a phone interview. “With the way Coach (Steve) Kerr has his staff structured, understandably so, there’s not much room for me to move in. I think we all kind of decided that the best thing for me was to pursue some other options outside of Golden State. That’s what the plan is.”

After two seasons as a Santa Cruz Warriors assistant coach, Hill took the head job in August 2013.

As pretty much everybody predicted, the Warriors have eliminated the Jazz. As most predicted, it happened in the form of a 4-0 sweep. The Warriors now advance to the Western Conference Finals, where they’ll play the winner of the Spurs vs Rockets series. Here’s the Bay Area News Group reporting:

Now they await the winner of the Rockets and Spurs series, which sits at 2-2. If it ends in six, the West Finals start in Oracle Arena on Sunday. If it extends to seven, the West Finals start in Oracle on Tuesday.

Either way, a rested, steamrolling Warriors team will be awaiting as monster favorites, having won 23 of their last 24 games dating back to mid-March and all eight of their playoff games by margins of 12, 29, 6, 25, 12, 11, 11 and 26 points.

But there were at least tiny moments of adversity on Monday night.

Early on, it didn’t look like it’d be that way. After hitting only one shot in a slow Game 3, Klay Thompson opened the scoring with a pair of jumpers. Then Steph Curry hit a pair of 3s. Then Kevin Durant found Curry on a creative give-and-go layup on a baseline out of bounds play.

Meanwhile, the Jazz offense slumped against a locked in Warriors defense, missing their first 10 two-point shots and going only 6-of-25 in the first quarter. A 12-3 lead became a 21-7 lead became a 39-17 first quarter cushion — similar to the 45-22 first quarter they popped on the Blazers in Game 4.

Steve Kerr undergoes spinal procedure

Steve Kerr is on break from coaching the Warriors, because of serious issues with his spine that are hopefully in correction as we speak. Here’s the Bay Area News Group with the latest update:

Steve Kerr undergoes spinal procedure

Joe Lacob revealed in an interview with Bloomberg Radio on Friday that Steve Kerr got a spinal leak procedure at Duke. The news spread late Saturday night.

So Sunday morning, Warriors general manager Bob Myers met with reporters to confirm the procedure and give an update on Kerr’s status. The ailing coach remains without a firm timetable for a return.

“It’s hard to answer some of this because even the doctors aren’t entirely sure of recovery time,” Myers said. “That’s why we’ve been a little indefinite about everything. We don’t know. But the procedure went well, as far as we know. Now it’s a case of how well it takes and when he might or might not be back. The good news is it’s on the path to recovery, but I wish I could be more definitive.”

As if the Warriors needed more help, according to the San Francisco Chronicle they expect to have Matt Barnes back in action for tomorrow’s Game 1 against the Jazz:

Matt Barnes ready to return for Warriors

Though head coach Steve Kerr still has no timetable for his return, the Warriors can find some comfort knowing that their roster is almost completely healthy.

Forward Matt Barnes, who has been sidelined since April 8 with a sprained right ankle, is expected to be available for Game 1 of the second round Tuesday against the Jazz. Point guard Shaun Livingston remains questionable with a sprained right finger, but is optimistic about being ready for Game 1.

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on Under Armor’s Stephen Curry basketball, which apparently isn’t selling well.

Stephen Curry’s signature basketball shoe has been the target of plenty mockery. Thursday morning, on the company’s earnings call, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank admitted that he wasn’t pleased with the reception to the Curry 3.

“As we launched the Curry 3 late last year, our expectations continued to run high,” Plank said. “And while the 3 played very well on court for Stephen Curry and our athletes, a sluggish signature market and a warm consumer reception led to softer-than-expected results.”

Here’s the Bay Area News Group reporting on the Warriors, who will be missing some key pieces tonight but still have everybody they should need to look like their usual selves:

No Steve Kerr or Kevin Durant tonight for Warriors

The Warriors will be without their coach and star small forward for Game 3 in Portland on Saturday night, plus a pair of other rotation pieces.

Steve Kerr will not coach because of an illness. Kevin Durant will be sidelined for a second straight game because of a calf strain, the team announced. Matt Barnes (foot sprain) and Shaun Livingston (hand contusion) also remain out.

Kevin Durant likely to return Saturday

Following multiple workout sessions in recent days – including 2-on-2, 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 scrimmages – forward Kevin Durant has been cleared by the team’s medical and athletic training staffs to return to full-team practices.

If he does not suffer any setbacks following tomorrow’s practice, it is anticipated that Durant will play in Saturday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Oracle Arena.

Durant has missed the last 19 games after suffering a Grade 2 left MCL sprain and tibial bone bruise against the Washington Wizards on February 28.

As the NBA regular season winds down, teams with championship hopes have their eye on postseason health. Here’s the Bay Area News Group with the latest on the Warriors:

Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala to sit out Wednesday

The Warriors will complete their final back-to-back of the season (playoffs included) on Wednesday night in Phoenix, taking an overnight flight there after their Tuesday night home game against the Timberwolves.

Steve Kerr is taking that opportunity to rest two of his main guys. Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala will both sit out the road game against the Suns.

“The training staff told me Draymond could really use the night off. The numbers show it. I talked to Draymond. He admits it, too. So it’ll be good.”

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