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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

On the Warriors and Spurs

In the NBA’s Western Conference race, the Golden State Warriors (59-6) lead the San Antonio Spurs (56-10) by 3.5 games for the No. 1 seed. The NBA’s top two teams, both unbeaten at home and newly crowned division champions, play three more times in the regular season, starting in San Antonio on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC. The Warriors have lost 32 consecutive regular-season games at San Antonio, their last victory coming Feb. 14, 1997. (The Warriors did win at San Antonio during the 2013 playoffs.) The Spurs and Warriors also meet Thursday, April 7 at Golden State (10:30 p.m., TNT) and Sunday, April 10 at San Antonio (7 p.m., NBA TV).

The Golden State Warriors today clinched the 2015-16 Pacific Division title by virtue of the Cavs’ 114-90 win over the Los Angeles Clippers this afternoon, giving the franchise its first back-to-back Pacific Division crowns since the club won consecutive division titles in 1974-75 and 1975-76.

Golden State has earned the franchise’s fourth Pacific Division championship since the NBA began using the current divisional format in 1970-71. Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr is the first head coach to win back-to-back division titles in his first two years at the helm since Tom Thibodeau earned consecutive Central Division titles with the Chicago Bulls in 2010-11 and 2011-12. Among the four major professional sports leagues, the Warriors are the first Bay Area team to earn consecutive division crowns since the Oakland Athletics won back-to-back West Division titles in 2012 and 2013.

Warriors sign Anderson Varejao

Warriors sign Anderson Varejao

Roster-wise in the NBA, the rich just got richer.

The 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors have signed free agent center Anderson Varejao to a contract.

Varejao, 33, has spent all 12 of his NBA seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, posting career averages of 7.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 25.0 minutes over 591 games (208 starts). The 6’10” center appeared in 31 games for the Cavaliers this season, averaging 2.6 points and 2.9 rebounds in 10.0 minutes before being sent to Portland as part of a three-team trade on Feb. 18, where he was subsequently waived by the Trail Blazers.

Originally selected by the Orlando Magic with the 30th overall selection of the 2004 NBA Draft (first pick of the second round), Varejao has appeared in 71 career postseason games and was named to the All-Defensive Second Team in 2009-10, finishing third in Sixth Man of the Year voting that season. Prior to making his NBA debut in the 2004-05 campaign, he played professionally for three seasons with FC Barcelona in Spain’s top league, Liga ACB. A native of Santa Teresa, Brazil, Varejao joins fellow Brazilian Leandro Barbosa on the Warriors roster, making the pair one of two sets of Brazilian teammates on an NBA roster (Toronto’s Bruno Caboclo and Lucas Nogueira are the other).

Varejao will wear uniform #18 for the Warriors.

Warriors waive Jason Thompson

Warriors waive Jason Thompson

The Golden State Warriors have waived forward Jason Thompson.

Although the Warriors didn’t have much use for Thompson, I would assume another NBA team will pick him up. He’s worthy of being in a rotation.

Thompson, 29, appeared in 28 games (one start) with the Warriors this season, posting averages of 2.1 points and 1.9 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per contest. The Rider University product owns career averages of 9.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 569 games over eight campaigns, having spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Sacramento Kings.

Originally selected by Sacramento with the 12th overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, Golden State acquired Thompson on July 31, 2015, from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for forward Gerald Wallace and cash and draft considerations.

Festus Ezeli undergoes knee surgery

Festus Ezeli undergoes knee surgery

Golden State Warriors center Festus Ezeli underwent successful arthroscopic surgery this morning to clean out debris from his left knee, the team announced. The procedure was performed by Dr. Arthur Ting at the Fremont Surgery Center.

Ezeli, who is expected to return this season, will be re-evaluated in six weeks. The 6’11” center last appeared in a game on January 25 versus San Antonio and has missed the last five games due to a sore left knee. In 40 games this season (11 starts), Ezeli is averaging 7.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.23 blocks in 17.8 minutes per contest.

The 2015 NBA champion Golden State Warriors are the favorites to win it again in 2016. Logic suggests they will an appealing free agent destination for anybody and everybody this upcoming summer who wants to join up with success. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and friends should remain highly competitive for years. But until there’s reason to believe otherwise, we assume Durant will stick with OKC. Anyway, with that said, here’s the San Francisco Chronicle following up on a Yahoo Sports report:

Rumor: Kevin Durant may want to join Warriors this summer

Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes says he stopped following scuttlebutt about NBA transactions after his rookie year trade deadline, so he seemed genuinely surprised Tuesday to hear that Kevin Durant might be replacing him.

“Oh man, that’s part of the business,” Barnes said on a phone call before the team’s plane left New York for Washington, D.C. “He’s a great player. If that’s the move they want to make, you know, hopefully, it works out.”

Hours earlier, Yahoo Sports reported that the Warriors are determined to recruit Oklahoma City’s All-Star forward Kevin Durant when he becomes a free agent this summer. That much was a well-known fact, but the report went further.

According to league sources, Yahoo wrote: “The truth is that (the Warriors are) the most intriguing destination to him. If Durant leaves the Thunder, the Warriors are the significant frontrunners to sign him.”

Warriors a feature sports attraction

Here’s the Bergen Record reporting on the Golden State Warriors, who won the 2015 NBA championship and are the favorites to win it again this season:

The stands at Madison Square Garden were crowded two hours before the game began. Kids in Golden State Warriors jerseys and their families waited for a glimpse of the greatest show on hardwood.

And the show arrived. Stephen Curry came out for his pregame ritual of machine-gun-speed dribbling and shots from all over the court — all the way to half-court. When the game began it continued, a stream of beautifully orchestrated passes leading to quick-trigger three-point field goals. Curry was contained for the most part, but the Warriors come in waves. On this night it was Klay Thompson (34 points, 14-of-18 shooting) and Draymond Green (20 points, 9-of-9 shooting, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) who carried them to an easy 116-95 win over the Knicks.

The allure of the Warriors isn’t just the magical display of finesse. To have gotten where they are now, the real magic has been in the hearts and minds of the players, an underappreciated toughness up and down the roster. When they were listless in the first quarter Sunday, coach Steve Kerr huddled up the team, smashed the clipboard, and threw it at the bench.

“Coach Kerr got on us pretty good,” Thompson said. “He had a terrible clipboard throw, but other than that, he was very animated on the sideline. We responded well to it. He told us we were playing very embarrassing and to pick it up.”

Warriors assign Kevon Looney to D-League

The Golden State Warriors have assigned forward Kevon Looney to the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, the team announced today.

Looney made his NBA debut last night in Golden State’s 127-107 win over Dallas, tallying two points and two rebounds in six minutes. He has appeared in five games with Golden State’s D-League affiliate this season, averaging 8.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 18.2 minutes in Santa Cruz.

Fun video session for Warriors

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on the Warriors, who just finished smacking around the Spurs and are feeling pretty good these days:

The Warriors had a unique video session before Tuesday’s practice.

There were neither highlights of Monday’s drubbing of the Spurs nor reminders about their next opponent, the Mavericks, who pulled off a 23-point upset of the Warriors on Dec. 30.

Instead, head coach Steve Kerr had a video spliced together that offered an ode to Australia Day and included a comedy bit from Conan O’Brien.

“I was pretty disappointed, because I thought we were going to watch film on Dallas,” power forward Draymond Green joked a day ahead of the Warriors’ rematch with the Mavericks. “Terrible coach. … No, this environment is always loose and fun.”

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