‘Warriors WrapUp’: Golden State grinds one out against Memphis, wins 106-94; Curry flurry puts game away; Thompson finishes with 31 points

The Warriors played in the mud most of Sunday night, which is what happens sometimes when you play the Memphis Grizzlies. It took Stephen Curry’s fourth-quarter flurry to finally get the Warriors some separation and they rode it to a 106-94

Golden State (59-14) has now won seven consecutive games and lead the San Antonio Spurs by 2.5 games in the battle for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

LINK TO “WARRIORS WRAPUP,” THE POSTGAME SHOW ON 95.7-FM THE GAME WILL BE POSTED WHEN READY.

Curry was in the midst of a so-so game when he came back into the game midway through the fourth quarter and the Warriors up just five. Curry promptly delivered a nice pass that turned into an assist after David West buried a jumper and then he followed that up with a 3-pointer. That bucket gave the Warriors a 96-86 lead — their biggest of the game.

Curry finished with 21 points and took care of the finish. Klay Thompson had 31 points, including 7-for-11 from 3-point range, and took care of much of the third quarter. Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 29 points.

After bumping and grinding for more than a half, the Warriors seemed poised to finally put some distance between themselves and the Grizzlies late in the third quarter. Getting contributions from Matt Barnes and Andre Iguodala the Warriors took an 81-72 lead, their biggest of the night up to that point. But Conley spearheaded a quick and efficient 9-0 run and just like that it was all tied. The Warriors took a two-point lead heading into the fourth. It stayed tight till Curry did his thing.

For a good chunk of the first half Memphis did Memphis things to the Warriors, slowing them down and making them appear disjointed. Meanwhile, at the offensive end, the Grizzlies made sure to play at their glacial pace, which is always a good way to try to go about slowing down the Warriors.

But it’s tough to totally slow down the Warriors when they go 17-for-31 from the 3-point line, which they did. Meanwhile the Grizzlies made just 8-for-29 from 3-point range.

 

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‘Warriors WrapUp’: Golden State wins sixth straight, beat Kings 114-100; Stephen Curry finishes with 27 points & 12 assists; tricky stretch now comes for Warriors

That’s six wins in a row for the Golden State Warriors. Seemed like just a short time ago this team was in chaos, having lost 5 of 7, which represented their worst stretch of basketball in the Steve Kerr era.

But a 114-100 victory over the Sacramento Kings at Oracle Arena on Friday night kept the Warriors rolling and gives them a 2.5 game lead over the San Antonio Spurs in the battle for home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

Stephen Curry fought off some defensive rustiness but made up for it and then some with 27 points, 12 assists and six steals. Draymond Green finished with 23 points and eight assists.

LINK TO “WARRIORS WRAPUP” FROM THEIR 1114-110 WIN OVER SACRAMENTO KINGS.

Things get a little tricky now for the Warriors. They play the Grizzlies on Sunday night, then travel to Houston and San Antonio for a back-to-back. Then the Warriors play at home against the Rockets and then against the Wizards. That’s a tough, little stretch.

The Warriors didn’t play a great first half, but they did have a lot of players make contributions. Eleven Warriors’ players scored in the first half, helping them to a 57-50 lead.

While much of the focus on Curry has centered on his 3-point shooting fall-off, what’s been discussed less is perhaps his step back defensively. Last season, Curry seemed to make strides defensively; he was active and focused on a consistent basis.

But this season he’s been taken advantage of more than in 2015-16. Some of that is likely that teams are attacking Curry more frequently this season, identifying him as the team’s weakest link at that end of the floor. The other part is on Curry.

Ty Lawson ran circles around Curry in the first half, going into intermission with 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field. Maybe the most alarming part of that performance was Lawson’s ability to get to the rim with as much frequency as he did.

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‘Warriors WrapUp’: Warriors rout Dallas 112-87 for fifth in a row; Durant looks good before game and on sidelines; David West turns back the clock with second-quarter dunk

The best part of of the Warriors’ 112-87 win over Dallas on Tuesday didn’t happen on the court. It happened just off of it, on the sidelines.

That’s where Kevin Durant almost jumped out of his seat to celebrate a David West dunk in traffic in the second quarter that nobody saw coming. Durant had accompanied the Warriors on their two-day trip to Oklahoma City and Dallas and sat on the bench both nights.

West took a nice feed from Shaun Livingston among a sea of bodies and started pivoting to gain an advantage. Out of nowhere, West, 36 rose up and threw one down, sparking a big-time reaction from everyone. That bucket gave the Warriors a 32-25 lead.

LINK TO “WARRIORS WRAPUP” FROM WARRIORS’ VICTORY OVER DALLAS.

Durant injured his knee in a game earlier this month against the Washington Wizards. The Warriors said he would be re-evaluated in four weeks, and he obviously will. But that didn’t stop Durant from shooting around before the game and he looked pretty pain free. His bench explosion sent the same message. It’s hard not to take all of that as a positive sign if you’re a Golden State Warriors fan.

Talking points from the game:

–The Warriors don’t have a lot of weaknesses, but one they do have is defending waterbug type guards. And Dallas has a few of them in Yogi Farrell, J.J. Barea and Devin Harris — not to mention Seth Curry, who might exactly fit the description but pretty close.

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Quit blaming players for resting; it’s on coaches, GMs & owners

Question: Why are players taking the brunt of the criticism for resting during regular-season games?

For the past few weeks, all I’ve heard are things like “the players nowadays are so soft” or “it’s ridiculous that these guys sit out when they’re healthy,” or maybe something like “it’s so unfair to the fans that they don’t get to see players such as LeBron James and Stephen Curry play — even when they’re not injured.”

I heard one media member say today: “The players are angering the fans with this sitting out stuff.” This was the topic of conversation during my interview with 95.7-FM The Game this morning and it got pretty lively.

LINK TO INTERVIEW: “STOP BLAMING THE PLAYERS FOR RESTING; IT’S NOT ON THEM.

So, let me ask again: Why are the players getting the heat? They’re not the ones asking for days off; they’re not the ones complaining that they’re worn out and need to be healthy scratch; they’re not the ones responsible for this issue.

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‘Warriors WrapUp’: Another easy victory over Oklahoma City, this one 111-95; Curry, Thompson thrive, Westbrook struggles; Golden State has won four consecutive games

Fair to say the Warriors might have Oklahoma City’s number.

The Warriors hammered the Thunder 111-95 at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Monday, their fourth win in a row. It was also their fourth win over the Thunder this year and in every one of the games the Warriors held a lead of at least 25 points. Dating back to last year’s Western Conference finals, the Warriors have beaten OKC seven consecutive games — with Kevin Durant or without.

LINK: “WARRIORS WRAPUP,” POSTGAME SHOW FROM WARRIORS 111-95 WIN OVER OKC.

The Warriors got up early and were in control all game. The best the Thunder could do was cutting the lead to just 12 in the third quarter. But the Warriors immediately bumped that up so as to take any crazy notions away from OKC.

The game was dictated by each team’s backcourt. The Warriors’ backcourt was brilliant; Oklahoma City’s struggled, to say the least. Klay Thompson finished with 34 points on 12-for-21 from the field, including 7-for-15 from beyond the arc. Stephen Curry had 23 points on 8-for-17 from the field, including 7-for-12 from 3-point range. Russell Westbrook finished with just 15 points on 4-for-16 from the field. That was just one point more than his season-low.

If the Warriors were looking for a signature moment this season, it very well may have happened at the end of the first half. With the teams lining up for a jump ball, Curry and the Thunder’s Semaj Christon got into a little back-and-forth, slap-push that quickly escalated.

Into the fray came Westrbrook, Taj Gibson, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and a few others. No punches were explained but the Warriors’ players seemed to successfully move the pile back with their pushing.

There were four technical fouls given out on the play; Christon, Westbrook, Curry and Green. With 5.3 seconds remaining, the Warriors controlled the ensuing tip in their backcourt. But inexplicably the Thunder allowed Curry to leak out while Thompson was controlling the ball and Thompson found a wide-open Curry at the other end behind the 3-point line.

Curry proceeded to knock the 3-pointer down, giving the Warriors a 59-39 halftime lead. After the ball went through the net, Curry sprinted to the Warriors’ locker room as most of the other players looked on in amazement.

Curry’s bucket put the exclamation point on a wonderful first half for Golden State — particularly its backcourt. Thompson had 18 points and Curry 17 at halftime, combining to shoot 13-for-24 from the field, including 8-for-14 from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Westbrook and Victor Oladipo combined to shoot 3-for-17 from the field, including 0-for-4 from the 3-point line. With a discrepancy like that, it’s no surprise OKC found itself down 20 after 24 minutes.

The Warriors have won 89 road games over the past three years, the most road wins by a team in NBA history.

 

 

 

 

 

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‘Warriors WrapUp’: Golden State, Curry getting back to normal, blow out Bucks 117-92; Curry goes 6-for-8 from 3-point range; team shoots 60 percent from field

Slowly but surely the Warriors are getting back to being the Warriors. And it looks like Stephen Curry is getting back to be Stephen Curry.

The Warriors rebounded from an awful start and wound up blowing out the Milwaukee Bucks 117-92 on Saturday night at Oracle Arena. The Warriors have now won three consecutive games — after they had lost 5 of 7, their worst stretch of basketball in the Steve Kerr era.

LINK TO “WARRIORS WRAPUP,” THE POSTGAME SHOW ON 95.7-FM.

The Warriors (55-14) are now 2.5 games ahead of the San Antonio Spurs, who lost to Memphis, in the battle for home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

Curry had been shooting 26 percent from 3-point range in his past nine games. But he made 6-of-8 from beyond the arc against the Bucks, scoring 28 points in just 30 minutes. The Warriors got off to a bad start, falling behind 25-11 midway through the first quarter, but rectified that in a hurry with some terrific offense. Golden State shot 60 percent from the field, including 12-for-23 from 3-point range.

After a brutal travel stretch in which they played eight games in eight different cities, the Warriors have gotten well at hoe with wins over Philly, Orlando and Milwaukee. Now, they head back on the road for a back-to-back set against Oklahoma City and Dallas.

The Warriors got contributions from a lot of players, most notably Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green. Iguodala continued his inspired play of late, scoring 15 points on 6-for-10 from the field. Green had eight points, eight rebounds and 10 assists.

Green also did a terrific defensive job on Giannis Antetokounmpo, who entered the game averaging 23 points per game. Antetokounmpo had just nine points on 4-for-14 from the floor and never got comfortable.

 

 

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‘NBA This Week’: Are the Warriors out of their funk? Interviews with NBATV’s Rick Kamla, Mavs color an analyst Derek Harper and the Washington Post’sTim Bontemps

On the “NBA This Week” the main topic was the Golden State Warriors and whether they’re out of their funk or not. While their 30-point win over the Orlando Magic on Thursday was just what the doctor ordered, it was still Orlando and you don’t wan to draw too many conclusions from a win over a team like that.

The Warriors (54-14) have now won two in a row after losing 5 of 7 games, which represented the worst stretch of basketball in the Steve Kerr era.

Joining the show this week were Rick Kamla of NBATV; Derek Harper, Mavericks television color analyst; and the Washington Post’s Tim Bontemps. Kamla had some interesting opinions, including the one where he said the Spurs are going to edge the Warriors out for the No. 1 seed.

LINK TO INTERVIEW WITH RICK KAMLA.

LINK TO INTERVIEW WITH DEREK HARPER.

LINK TO INTERVIEW WITH TIM BONTEMPS.

Harper was one of the toughest point guards of his generation, and he was very insightful about the game today and how it compares to his time in the NBA. Remember, Harper came into the league when it was Larry Bird and Magic Johnson’s league and played through the Michael Jordan era. So he knows a little something.

Bontemps conducted an MVP straw poll, soliciting opinions from 150 media people. Who is this year’s MVP: Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James? Anyone else in the mix?

 

 

 

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The 5 statistics that best tell the story of Stephen Curry

The other day, my colleague Damon Bruce asked me to come up with the five statistics that best tell the story of Stephen Curry. Here’s what I came up — the numbers that help explain exactly who Curry is as a player:

–.436 from 3-point range for career: Despite a down year for Curry from beyond the arc (down for him, anyway), he’s still the fourth-most accurate 3-point shooter in NBA history. Heading into this season, only Steve Kerr shot the ball better from beyond the arc, but start to think about the difference between Curry and Kerr. Curry is a two-time MVP; Kerr was a role player. The point here is that nobody in the history of the game has shot the ball so well, so frequently, from so far out. Curry’s ability to play the game outside-in is his foundation, and it sets up every other aspect of his game. You can’t tell the story of Curry without first considering his greatness from 3-point range.

LINK: “WARRIORS WRAPUP” FROM GOLDEN STATE’S 122-92 WIN OVER ORLANDO.

–2.14-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio: For the most part, Curry’s assist-to-turnover ratio has stayed the same over the course of his career. He’s had troubling years with his assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7-to-1 in 2010-11) and better years (2.48-to-1 in 2014-15). But his career assist-to-turnover ratio is 2.14-to-1. That’s not awful by any stretch unless you’re asking Curry to be a true point guard. For your basic, run-of-the-mill point guard Curry’s assist-to-turnover ratio really isn’t good enough. But we also know Curry isn’t run of the mill. He’s an extraordinary shooter and that more than makes up for a little bit of sloppiness and carelessness. Curry’s never really taken that next step — into the Steve Nash category, for example. Would it be nice if Curry assisted more and turned it over less? Yes, but don’t expect it to get better if it hasn’t by now.

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‘Warriors WrapUp’: Golden State gets well against Orlando in 122-92 blowout victory; Thompson, Curry lead the way; game was a laugher from the opening tip

The Warriors finally looked like they had some fun on Thursday night, though there was a logical explanation: The Orlando Magic were in town. The Warriors got well  very early against the Magic and stayed healthy the whole way in a 122-92 blowout at Oracle.

It was the Warriors’ second straight victory, but the win they were coming off of was a very ordinary, very shaky 106-104 win over Philly. Golden State has lost five of their past nine overall. But it looks like the Warriors may be coming out of their slump as they were having fun, moving the ball and knocking down shots.

LINK TO “WARRIORS WRAPUP” WILL BE POSTED WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE.

Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 29 points and Stephen Curry had 25. Curry has been mired in a 3-point shooting slump the past eight games and that continued against the Magic, with him going 2-for-7 from beyond the arc. In his past nine games, Curry is 25-for-96 from 3-point range (26 percent).

Everything else was solid, though for Curry, who hit most of his two-point shots as well, finishing 8-for-15 from the floor, and handing out nine assists and committing just two turnovers. For what it’s worth, the Warriors clinched the Pacific Division crown with the win — for the third consecutive year.

It was kind of a Bad News Bears type of night for the Magic. For example, coach Frank Vogel called five timeouts in the first half, none of which ever really helped in terms of changing momentum. Also, how’s this for a weird one: Orlando received a technical foul for having six players on the court … after a timeout. Yikes!

The Warriors (54-14) moved 1.5 games ahead of the San Antonio Spurs in the battle for homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs.

 

 

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‘Sal and Steiny’: Warriors’ worst stretch in Steve Kerr era; Raiders likely leaving for Las Vegas; 49ers’ new credibility; timetable for new arena in San Francisco

On Sal and Steiny podcast No. 92, we addressed several topics, including the Warriors’ struggles, Stephen Curry’s slump, the Raiders leaving for Las Vegas, the 49ers’ newfound credibility, the new arena in San Francisco and why someone would smash the windows of five cars on Dolores Street.

We taped this show from the Pacific Coast Brewing Company in downtown Oakland on Wednesday, March 15. Here’s a link to Sal and Steiny podcast No. 92.

Hard to believe but we just endured the worst stretch of Warriors’ basketball in the Steve Kerr era. That’s right, the Warriors had lost 5 of 7 games and three in a row, something they hadn’t done in nearly three years.

What’s wrong with the Warriors? It seems apparent it’s more than just missing Kevin Durant. It’s also that Curry is mired in the biggest shooting slump of his career, and if the season were to end today he’d have the lowest 3-point field goal percentage of his career — by a lot.

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