Warriors center Andrew Bogut was in the starting lineup Monday at Toronto, his first action since Nov. 7.
Bogut has missed the last 38 games to rehabilitate his surgically repaired left ankle. He played in four of the first five games. In 73 minutes of action, he totaled 24 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks.
But after his last start — frustrated by his inability move around like he wanted and the imposed 20 minutes-cap — Bogut decided to shut himself down for 7 to 10 days to get his ankle right. That turned into 70 days and questions about whether he will come back at all this season.
Bogut answered those questions, out of nowhere, by deciding to give it a try. He hasn’t practiced with the team yet, but he’s been working out on the side, increasing his activity over the weeks. He’s done enough to convince Jackson to put him in the starting lineup.
Rookie center Festus Ezeli, who has started every game Bogut hasn’t, will now come off the bench.
Mark Jackson is all about not panicking.
Yeah, they’ve lost two straight, killing the buzz created by back-to-back wins over the Clippers and Thunder. But, in the end, Jackson and the Warriors are trying to keep their perspective.
It’s two games on the road against good teams. Going .500 on a road trip is not bad, and they still have the ability to do that. As long as they play “Warriors basketball,” they’ll be fine.
That’s what they’re telling themselves.
JACKSON: “We have to realize what we have to do to get it back. We’ve got a group of guys who understand who we are … We have a team that has a history of bouncing back. We’ll do that. But at the same time, its my job as a coach to basically bring it out of guys.”
Safe to say the Warriors need a win at Toronto, and at Cleveland. But they’ve avoided an elongated losing streak this season by not “overreacting.” Don’t expect that mindset to change now.
STEPHEN CURRY: “We’re not panicking at all. We beat two good teams before this little slide. … We just have to get back to how we were playing before we left Oracle — uptempo, physical on both ends and making big plays when they matter.”
More on Friday and Saturday’s losses … Yes, you get a two-for-one deal …
Warriors injured center Andrew Bogut said he had a moment on the bus ride from Chicago to Milwaukee. Something about the sign the Welcome to Wisconsin sign that made him a bit sad.
“It brought back a lot of memories,” said Bogut, who spent eight years in Milwaukee before being traded to the Warriors in March. “You guys know that I didn’t like the cold, but there was something about driving in that was nostalgic. This is kind of where I turned into a man, grew from a boy into a man. It will always have a special place in my heart.”
But for Bogut, his return to Milwaukee isn’t just about his “up and down” years with the Bucks. It’s also a reminder of what he has yet to do for the Warriors.
Warriors point guard Stephen Curry scored 16 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter to lift Golden State over the Los Angeles Clippers, 106-99.
With the Warriors offense needing a boost, Curry got hot from 3-point range, knocking down four in the final period.
Golden State (25-15) wins the season series over the Clippers 3-1, which could possible have playoff implications. The Warriors are six games back of Los Angeles (32-10) in the Pacific Division.
Warriors forward David Lee returned to the lineup. He missed Saturday’s win at New Orleans with a sprained left ankle. Lee said it was still a bit tender but well enough for him to play.
When asked if the Clippers being in town had anything to do with it, Lee smiled.
LEE: “That thought hadn’t crossed my mind.”
Golden State (25-15) wins the season series over the Clippers 3-1, which could possible have playoff implications — though the Warriors are still six games back of Los Angeles (32-10) in the Pacific Division.
More on Monday’s win …
The Warriors knew Saturday would be a tough one, even though New Orleans entered 13 games under .500. The Hornets had won six of seven and has some dangerous pieces.
CARL LANDRY: “They’re healthy. They’re playing well. They’re clicking. They’re rolling. They’re a very good basketball team right now.”
So Golden State braced for a fight, and they got one. The Warriors put New Orleans away with an 8-2 run late, securing a 116-112 victory.
The Warriors simply couldn’t afford to drop their fourth straight. Even with point guard Stephen Curry back in the lineup, the Warriors are underdogs their next three games (the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday,Oklahoma City on Wednesday, at Chicago). That made a win at New Orleans imperative.
The Warriors made it happen despite porous defense. The Hornets shot 57 percent and racked up 112 points in regulation. But Golden State managed three big quarters, including a 31-23 advantage in the fourth quarter, to outscore New Orleans.
MARK JACKSON: “This was different, but our identity remains. We defended and battled. We made mistakes but we didn’t quit. We rebounded and adjusted, and offensively I thought we executed and made plays. The thing I was most proud of was that we didn’t hang our heads, even when things weren’t going our way. It was a big-time victory.”
More on Saturday’s win …
(It’s back. Sorry for the hiatus.)
Forget that “we don’t believe in moral victories” talk. After getting demolished by Miami at home, playing without Stephen Curry, playing in a place they never win,Golden State’s performance was encouraging.
The Warriors looked more like the gritty, resilient team that rose to No. 5 in the conference.
DAVID LEE: “Unfortunately, we were shorthanded tonight again. This kind of loss is a lot easier to handle than the game against Miami, where they played harder than we did 48 minutes. I thought tonight we matched the Spurs’ intensity. Towards the end of the game, they did what they do best by going to Duncan and Parker and have their role players doing what they do.”
Still, the Warriors have lost three straight and five of six. They are down to eight games over .500 and have no idea when Curry (sprained right ankle) is returning.
Right now, the Warriors are in survival mode. But they have a much better chance of hanging in there if they play like the did at San Antonio.
MARK JACKSON: “I was really happy with our team’s energy and effort. We took care of the basketball and competed. We lost to a very good team in their building. They (the Spurs) made plays and they made some tough shots. You have to give them credit. I really liked the way my team competed tough.”
More on Friday’s defeat …
The first domino dropped Thursday in the Warriors’ bid to get their first All-Star selection since 1997. Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul was voting in as a starter for the Western Conference.
That means Houston guard Jeremy Lin, a global celebrity who finished 45,000 votes behind Paul in the voting, does not take up a potential spot from one of the Warriors hopefuls, point guard Stephen Curry or forward David Lee.
With the starters for each conference set, the coaches in each conference will now vote on the seven reserves. They received their ballots on Thursday. TNT will announce the reserves on Jan. 24.