Archive for the ‘ Golden State Warriors Blog ’ Category

A few days ago, the Thunder had a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference Finals series against the Warriors. But after last night it’s a tied series, with Game 7 in Oakland on Monday. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on some key late turnovers that helped seal OKC’s fate last night:

Late turnovers hurt Thunder in Game 6 loss

Forget the Thunder’s disappointing 55-win record this season or Golden State’s record-setting 73-win march to history. Forget the first round breeze by Dallas, the second round shock of San Antonio, the first five games of this series and the first 45 minutes on Saturday night.

Go back to October or mid-March or two weeks ago and lay out this scenario for Sam Presti or Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook: You’re up three at home with possession of the ball and under three minutes to play. Close it out and you’re in the NBA Finals. None of what came before it matters. Not the midseason struggles, the KD free agency chatter or the historic dominance of their two conference rivals. KD and Russ will jump at that scenario every time. The bumpy road had navigated them to that very spot on Saturday night, a conference title in their grasp. But in three of the most agonizing minutes in the franchise’s young history, they fumbled it away.

Neither star had a first half turnover in Game 6. Not one in 24 minutes. But Durant and Westbrook combined for eight turnovers on Saturday night. Six — 6!!! — came in the final three minutes. That’s six on the Thunder’s final eight possessions, all committed by Durant and Westbrook. The final one didn’t matter. KD fumbled it away with seven seconds left. But by then, the damage was already done, the colossal loss already decided.

With many recent playoff games coming by way of blowout rather than dramatic close victory, fans need all the thrilling games they can get. And Thunder at Warriors Game 5 Thursday night provided just that. Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting:

Thunder-Warriors Game 5 provides much-needed drama

Finally, the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder provided a game that more completely explains why there should be two more of them.

Not because of the identity of the victor, mind you. The Warriors extended the Western Conference Final with a sweatbox-quality 120-111 win over the Thunder in Game 5, forcing a trip back to the Midwest. No, we speak of more of its quality, and the way it more accurately reflected the strengths, weaknesses, quirks and hidden face cards of these two teams.

Kevin Durant was brilliant. Stephen Curry was healed. Russell Westbrook was deliciously erratic and indomitable in the best Iversonian tradition. Andrew Bogut rose from the morgue to play perhaps his best important game since those in the Denver series two years ago, and Stephen Adams struggled as a result. There was give and take, yin and yang, hoi and polloi and a wonderful sense of balance between two teams that would do this mostly sub-mediocre postseason an enormous solid by having the NBA declare it a best of 13-series.

There were very few bright spots for the Warriors on Tuesday, but if you forced us to pick one it was awesome third quarter play from shooting guard Klay Thompson, helped make a game out of this thing. For a stretch, at least. But the Thunder were collectively the clearly stronger squad last night. Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting:

Klay Thompson erupts in 3rd quarter but Warriors still lose Game 4

Thompson understandably saw himself as partly culpable for his team’s 72-53 halftime deficit. He scored all of four points in the half, on just four attempts from the field, and spent more time than usual on the bench because of foul trouble (he picked up his third with 7:55 left in the second quarter).

He emerged from the locker room with fresh bravado, essentially winging it — and scored 19 consecutive Warriors points during a scintillating, third-quarter stretch. By the time Thompson’s personal run ended, his team trailed only 80-74 and harbored genuine hopes of an epic comeback…

He finished with a team-high 26 points, on 9-for-17 shooting.

Draymond Green continues to struggle

The champs are in trouble. After getting blown out in Game 3 and beaten fairly soundly in Game 4, the Warriors are down 3-1 to the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. One Warriors in particular who has struggled in dramatic fashion has been Draymond Green. Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting:

Draymond Green continues to struggle

Green’s performance in a 118-94 loss to Oklahoma City in Game 4 brought neither him nor the Warriors any comfort.

Game 3 was the worst of his four-year career, and Game 4 was about as bad.

“I don’t think the last 48 hours affected me,” Green said. “But I think it’s the first time in my life that I didn’t respond to critics. That’s what’s kind of been my story.”

A second-round draft pick in 2012 that was selected for the All-Star team in February played 38 minutes. The sum of his production was 6 points (1-of-7 shooting from the field), 11 rebounds, two assists, three steals, one blocked shot – and six turnovers.

Warriors forward Draymond Green escaped suspension for his kick to Thunder center Steven Adams, though he still needs to be extra careful for the rest of the playoffs, as the Oklahoman explains:

Draymond Green must still be extra careful for rest of playoffs

On Monday, the Golden State Warriors forward was fined $25,000 and his Flagrant “1” foul on Thunder center Steven Adams in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals was upgraded to a Flagrant “2”. The ruling puts Green dangerously close to missing a postseason game, but keeps him eligible for Tuesday’s game at Chesapeake Energy Arena…

Green said Monday that his first thought was the Flagrant “1” was going to get rescinded and that he wouldn’t be facing a suspension…

Green already had a Flagrant “1” foul (worth one point) entering the series with the Thunder. Add that to the upgrade to a Flagrant “2” (worth two points), and Green is one point away from an automatic one-game suspension. Under NBA rules, if a player’s playoff total exceeds three points, he’s suspended for the game after his point total has exceeded three.

Draymond Green not suspended for Game 4

Draymond Green not suspended for Game 4

Warriors forward Draymond Green has many talents, and one of them appears to be nailing Thunder center Steven Adams in a painful place during playoff games.

It seemed possible that the league might suspend Draymond Green for Game 4, but their decision, revealed around 7:30pm ET Monday night, was to fine Draymond Green $25k and upgrade the foul on him to a Flagrant 2.

The incident occurred with 5:57 remaining in the second quarter of the Thunder’s 133-105 win over the Warriors in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on May 22 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“After a thorough investigation that included review of all available video angles and interviews with the players involved and the officials working the game, we have determined that Green’s foul was unnecessary and excessive and warranted the upgrade and fine,” said Kiki VanDeWeghe, the league’s Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.

“During a game, players – at times – flail their legs in an attempt to draw a foul,” VanDeWeghe continued, “but Green’s actions in this case warranted an additional penalty.”

The Thunder currently lead the Western Conference Finals 2-1. Game 4 will be played in OKC Tuesday night.

Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting comments from Cavs superstar LeBron James, who has no objection to Warriors superstar guard Stephen Curry winning another league MVP award:

LeBron James says Stephen Curry deserved to win MVP

“I think he definitely deserved it,” said James, who finished third behind the San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard. “Look at Steph’s numbers. He averaged 30, he led the league in steals, he was 90-50-40 and they won 73 (games). Do you have any debate over that, really, when it comes to that award?

“But when you talk about most ‘valuable’ then you can have a different conversation, so, take nothing away from him, he’s definitely deserving of that award, for sure.”

Shaun Livingston regrets Game 4 ejection

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on Warriors guard Shaun Livingston, a fantastic contributor to the squad and a key member of the supporting cast who was needlessly ejected last game. Fortunately, Stephen Curry came back that same day and steadily rose to the occasion, helping Golden State secure a dramatic overtime win to take a 3-1 series lead:

Shaun Livingston regrets Game 4 ejection

Shaun Livingston was back to his usual calm and introspective self on Wednesday morning, two days after the first ejection of his 12-year career.

The Warriors’ backup point guard joked that he did some yoga and meditation and will listen to some soothing music after getting two technical fouls in the second quarter of Monday’s Game 4 victory at Portland.

“You don’t ever want to leave your brothers out there, so I was wrong for that,” Livingston said following the Warriors’ shootaround. “Definitely, it was a mistake on my behalf to get ejected. I lost my cool. I made a mistake.

“Intentionally, I was going for the technical. I wasn’t going for the ejection.”

Stephen Curry wins 2015-16 NBA MVP award

Stephen Curry wins 2015-16 NBA MVP award

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who led the team to the best regular-season record in NBA history, has won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award for the second year in a row, the NBA announced today. He is the first unanimous winner in the award’s 61-season history. Curry, the 11th player to win back-to-back MVP awards, joins Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and Steve Nash as the only guards to earn the honor in consecutive seasons.

Curry swept all 131 first-place votes (1,310 points), including 130 from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters in the United States and Canada, and one from the MVP fan vote.

The San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard finished second with 634 points, and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James was third with 631 points. The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook (486 points) and Kevin Durant (147) rounded out the top five. Players received 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five points for each third-place vote, three points for each fourth-place vote and one point for each fifth-place vote.

The 28-year-old Curry helped the Warriors finish a historic 73-9 by leading the NBA in scoring (30.1 ppg), three-pointers made (an NBA-record 402), free throw percentage (90.8) and steals (2.14 spg), along with averaging 6.7 assists and a career-high 5.4 rebounds in 79 games. He shot a career-high 50.4 percent from the field, the NBA’s highest mark among guards, and made 45.4 percent from three-point range, good for second in the league. Curry became the seventh qualifying player in NBA history to shoot at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from beyond the arc and 90 percent from the foul line.

Behind Curry, the reigning champion Warriors opened the season with 24 straight victories – one of many NBA records they broke on their way to the all-time single-season wins mark. They set NBA records for single-season road victories (34) and consecutive home regular-season wins (54, including 18 to finish last season). Golden State also became the first team in NBA history to go an entire season without losing back-to-back games or losing to the same team twice.

In yet another NBA record, the Warriors made 1,077 three-pointers, becoming the first team with 1,000. Curry powered the attack with his 402 three-pointers, shattering his own single-season league record of 286 set last season – an increase of 116. Along with leading the NBA in three-pointers made for the fourth season in a row, Curry extended his streak of regular-season games with a three-pointer to an active league record of 152 straight games.

Curry’s other accomplishments this season included:

· He became the fourth player in NBA history to average at least 30 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals in a season, joining Rick Barry (1974-75), Michael Jordan (three times) and Dwyane Wade (2008-09).

· He became the first Warriors player to lead the NBA in scoring since Barry in 1966-67.

· He improved his scoring average by 6.3 points from last season (23.8 ppg), the largest year-over-year increase in league history for a reigning Kia NBA MVP.

· He matched the NBA single-game record for three-pointers made, hitting 12 (including the last-second game-winner) in a 121-118 overtime victory over the Thunder on Feb. 27.

Curry receives the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, which is named in honor of the NBA’s first commissioner, who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963.

Blazers vs Warriors game 2 recap

Still playing without Stephen Curry, the Warriors exploded in the 4th quarter and shut the Blazers down for a comeback win, giving them a 2-0 lead in their first round playoff series. Here’s the Columbian Blog with some insight:

Blazers Warriors game 2 recap

For three quarters, it looked like the Portland Trail Blazers would add “beating the 73-9 Warriors at home in the playoffs,” to their list of accomplishments everybody else thought was impossible. But some villains are to vile to stop. Some mountains, too tough to climb. Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and the Warriors proved to be that mountain again for the Blazers, leading the Warriors to a 110-99 win behind a monster 4th quarter where they outscored Portland 34-12. The Warriors lead the best-of-seven series 2-0. Game 3 is 5:30 Saturday at the Moda Center.

Damian Lillard loves playing at home and looked better in Game 2, scoring 25 points through three quarters. And he of course wanted to erase a rough Game 1 where he scored 30 but was just 8-of-26 from the field. He was quiet early but exploded for 17 points in the third quarter, helping Portland hold an 8-point lead after three quarters. But Lillard didn’t score in the fourth and nobody on the Blazers could help their cause late as they saw what was likely their best opportunity for a road win in the series slip away.

With a quick turnaround, the Blazers looked overmatched in Game 1. Truth be told, they are overmatched. But they don’t fold and their start to Game 2 was exactly what should have been expected. The Blazers learn and they found ways to attack the Warriors with success. They preyed on Andrew Bogut’s slow feet and it helped create holes in the defense. Those holes weren’t there when Steve Kerr dusted off Festus Ezeli down the stretch, which coincided with Portland suddenly being unable to score. Ezeli suffered an injury and was inexplicably buried on the bench behind Anderson Varejao and Mareese Speights until the 2nd half of Game 2. He made a major contribution and helped turn the game around with his defense as well as improved play from Green and Thompson.

Steve Kerr wins 2015-2016 NBA Coach of Year award

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, whose team won a league-record 73 games, has won the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2015-16 NBA Coach of the Year. He is the Warriors’ first winner since coach Don Nelson in the 1991-92 season.

Kerr, in his second season as Warriors head coach, got 64 first-place votes and 381 total points from a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The Portland Trail Blazers’ Terry Stotts, who guided his team to the playoffs with four new starters, finished second with 37 first-place votes and 335 total points. Three-time winner Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs was third with 10 first-place votes and 166 total points. Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.

Under Kerr and assistant coach Luke Walton, who served as interim head coach until Kerr returned from back-surgery complications in January, the Warriors (73-9) posted the best regular-season record in league history, eclipsing the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls (72-10). The defending NBA champions opened the season 24-0, the best start in league history, which pushed their overall regular-season winning streak to 28 games, the second longest of all time.

The Warriors set NBA records for single-season road victories (34) and consecutive home regular-season wins (54, including 18 victories to finish last season), and went 39-2 at Oracle Arena for the second season in a row. Golden State also became the first team to go through a season without losing two games in a row or losing to the same team twice.

NBA records set by the Warriors so far

NBA records set by the Warriors so far

The Golden State Warriors (now 72-9, with one game left to play) achieved several league milestones with Sunday’s road win against the Spurs, most notably matching the 1995-96 Bulls (72-10) for the most victories in an NBA regular season.

In addition, the Warriors set an NBA record for most road wins in a season (34). It is now guaranteed that they will become the first team in league history to go a full season without losing to the same team twice, and also guaranteed that they will become the first team to go through a season without losing two games in a row.

The stage is now set for Wednesday, when the Warriors will try for an NBA-record 73rd victory in their regular-season finale against the Grizzlies at Oracle Arena. ESPN will televise the game at 10:30 p.m. ET, while Kobe Bryant’s final game in the league will air on ESPN2.

– NBA News

Warriors now have 72 wins

The 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors earned their 72nd win of the 2015-16 season with Sunday’s 92-86 road victory over the San Antonio Spurs, matching the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ NBA record for most wins in a single season.

With Sunday’s win, the Warriors finished the season with a 34-7 (.829) record on the road, establishing an NBA record for most road wins in a single season. At 72-9 (.889) on the season, Golden State has become the first team in NBA history to reach 63 games above the .500 mark. The Warriors snapped a 33-game regular-season road losing streak against the Spurs, earning their first regular-season win at San Antonio since Feb. 14, 1997. Golden State improved to 16-1 (.941) this season against teams with a winning percentage of .600 or better.

Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr, who is in his second year at the helm, was a key reserve on the record-setting Bulls team.

The 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors earned their 70th win of the 2015-16 season with Thursday’s 112-101 victory over the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena. The Warriors join the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, who won an NBA-record 72 games, as the only teams in NBA history to win at least 70 games in a single season. Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr, who is in his second year at the helm, was a key reserve on the record-setting Bulls team.

With Thursday’s win, the Warriors have clinched the best record in the NBA for the second consecutive season, becoming the seventh franchise in NBA history to own the league’s best record in back-to-back campaigns and the first to do so since the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008-09 and 2009-10. At 70-9 (.886) on the season, Golden State is tied with the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls for the best record in NBA history through 79 games. The Warriors are now 13-1 (.929) this season against teams with a winning percentage of .600 or better.

lebron james

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 21 through Sunday, March 27.

James helped the Cavaliers to a 3-1 week with averages of 29.0 points (first in the Eastern Conference), 8.8 assists (second in the conference) and 8.5 rebounds. James bookended the week with triple-doubles in wins over the Denver Nuggets on March 21 and New York Knicks on March 26. In all four of Cleveland’s games, James scored 25-plus points, grabbed five or more rebounds and handed out five or more assists. James’ Cavaliers sit atop the Eastern Conference with a 52-21 record.

klay thompson

Thompson led the Warriors to a 4-0 week behind an NBA-best 32.3 points. He shot 62.2 percent (28-of-45) from distance and made at least five three-pointers in each of Golden State’s four games. Thompson closed the week with back-to-back 40-point games in wins over the Dallas Mavericks on March 25 and Philadelphia 76ers on March 27. Thompson’s Warriors own the league’s best record at 66-7.

Other nominees for the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Paul Millsap, Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, Charlotte’s Nicolas Batum, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, Detroit’s Andre Drummond, Indiana’s Ian Mahinmi, the Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan, Miami’s Hassan Whiteside, New York’s Carmelo Anthony, and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

Historical Warriors NBA season continues

With Sunday’s win over Philadelphia, the Warriors joined the 1995-96 and 1996-97 Bulls as the only teams to win at least 66 games in consecutive seasons. Golden State became the 15th team ever to win 66 games and joined the Celtics, Lakers and Bulls as the only franchises with multiple 66-win seasons. The Warriors must go 7-2 to break the 1995-96 Bulls’ record for wins in a season (72). Six of their final nine games are at home, where Golden State has won a record 53 straight regular-season games over two seasons. The Warriors won 18 straight home games to end their 2014-15 campaign.

– NBA Broadcasters Bulletin

The Warriors are 63-7 this season. That’s a 90 percent winning percentage. And they’ll be even better when backup center Festus Ezeli, the team’s fifth leading scorer (7.5 ppg), third leading rebounder (5.9 rpg) and third leading shot-blocker (1.23 bpg) returns to action. Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting:

Festus Ezeli ahead of schedule in knee rehab

Festus Ezeli said Wednesday that he’s ahead of schedule in his return from left knee surgery, adding some optimism to an otherwise choppy contract year for the Warriors’ backup center.

“I mean, to be honest, this is not an ideal contract year for me,” Ezeli said in his first public statements since the team updated his progress from a Feb. 8 arthroscopic procedure. “I started off, and I felt like I was gaining confidence and I was playing pretty well. I was getting a feel for the chemistry of the team, and we were bonding.

“Getting hurt right there in the middle is not ideal, but you can only focus on what you can control. Right now, I’m just working on my rehab and working on getting back, so I can work toward our main goal, which is to win a championship.”

Stephen Curry jokes about awful game against Spurs

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry had his worst performance of the NBA regular season Saturday in San Antonio, but he didn’t let that dampen his spirits after the game.

Not long after the Warriors’ 87-79 loss to the Spurs, the reigning NBA MVP poked fun at himself on Twitter.

“I don’t know about y’all, but I thought I played my best game of the year,” Curry joked. “Live and Learn. On to the next!”

Curry struggled mightily against the Spurs’ league-best defense and shot just 4-from-18 from the field, including a career-worst 1-for-12 from 3-point range.

– CSN Bay Area

Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green stood outside the losing locker room late Saturday night in San Antonio, trying to figure out exactly what his team has to accomplish in their final 13 NBA regular-season games to break the all-time single-season wins record.

When someone suggested that the Warriors need to close the season 10-3 to match the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, who won 72 games, Green quickly issued a correction.

“No, we need 11 wins, because we want to break that thing,” Green said. “Hey, we’ve won 11 games in a row this season. There’s nothing we can’t do. It’s possible. We’re going after it, so it’s possible. …

“I’m not going to shy away from saying we want the record. We want the record, and we’re going after it.”

– San Francisco Chronicle

LaMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and 13 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Golden State Warriors 87-79 on Saturday night to remain perfect at the AT&T Center this season and extend their home dominance over the defending champions to 33 straight regular-season games.

Kawhi Leonard added 18 points and 14 rebounds for San Antonio, which has won 44 straight at home in the regular season, tied for the second-longest streak in NBA history.

The Spurs held Warriors superstar Stephen Curry to 14 points while limiting him to 1-for-12 shooting on 3-pointers.

– AP

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