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Andrew Bogut Disappointed but Relieved

The competitor in him didn’t want to feel good about losing. But Warriors center Andrew Bogut couldn’t deny what his body was telling him., specifically his surgically repaired left ankle

BOGUT: “You don’t want to say you’re relieved losing a game. At the same time, the mental and physical pain I felt the last two or three weeks was getting worse and worse. For the season to end wasn’t a terrible thing, but the way it ended was disappointing.”

During the playoffs, Bogut proved he can be a difference maker. He was a big reason the Warriors came two wins from the Western Conference Finals. But he was also the reason Golden State didn’t advance, as his absence was a major blow to the defense.

Bogut was dominant early but faded as the series against San Antonio evolved. By the fourth quarter of Game 6, he was done. He said he could hardly move because of his ankle.

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A Teary Jarrett Jack Reiterates His Desire to Stay With Warriors

Guard Jarrett Jack was on the verge of tears as he stood at his locker. He couldn’t find the words to truly express what he was feeling, so he let his attire do the talking for him.

JACK: “Usually before I would do any media, I would make sure I was dressed a certain way. I brought one of my best suits. But looking down at this jersey, it’s just a sense of pride I don’t think I’ve ever felt as a professional. … Nothing in my closet is better than what I have on now.”

Perhaps it was the disappointing end to a magical run. Perhaps reality had hit him that he may have spent his last minutes in a Warriors uniform. And he didn’t want to take it off.

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Game 5 Rewind: Spurs Take Driver’s Seat in Series as Warriors Run Out of San Antonio

The Warriors’ defense was scrambled and unfocused. Their star guard, Stephen Curry, was wholly unproductive.  Their immovable force in the middle, center Andrew Bogut, looked like the guy who’s been battling injury all season.

The result, an ugly 109-91 Game 5 loss to San Antonio.

HARRISON BARNES: “We just let them get comfortable. We started off the game turning the ball over, which turned into fast breaks, giving them easy looks. Before, every shot they took, even if they got 3s, was contested. (Tuesday) night, it was just break down after break down. … We were just off.”

Now, the series shifts back to Oracle Arena, where Golden State hasn’t played well this series. The Warriors need a win to force a Game 7 and keep their postseason run alive.

And they’ll need their defense to be much, much better.

A big part was the struggles of Andrew Bogut. He played just 18 minutes, finishing with six rebounds as the Warriors were outboarded for the first time this series. He tweaked his ankle in the second quarter and sat out most of the first half. He started the third quarter. But he clearly wasn’t the same presence inside.

Guard Tony Parker, the engine of the San Antonio machine, looked like the dominant All-Star he did in Game 1. He finished with 25 points and 10 assists in 34 minutes, knocking down his midrange jumper and getting in the lane.

The Warriors blew countless defensive assignments, leading to open looks for the likes of Kawhi Leonard (17) and Danny Green (16). San Antonio shot 51.9 percent from the field and made 10 of 21 3-pointers.

Can Oracle be the cure?

MARK JACKSON: “We’ll be fine. We’re excited about Game 6. We talked about it being a great series. … My guys will bounce back.”

More on the Game 4 win …

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All-Rookie? Warriors’ Harrison Barnes is Looking Like All-NBA Material

Warriors forward Harrison Barnes was named first-team All-Rookie, the NBA announced on Tuesday. Then in Game 5, he went on to look like an All-NBA selection.

Barnes was Golden State’s best player in Tuesday’s 109-91 loss to the host Spurs. He led the Warriors with 25 points on 10 of 18 shooting to go with seven rebonds and a block in 39 minutes. He had his 3-pointer going, his midrange going and his post game looked unstoppable at times.

TNT ANALYST KENNY SMITH: “I didn’t realize he could put the ball on the floor as much as he could. I didn’t realize he had individual one-on-one moves. … The NBA style of play and the way Mark Jackson has implemented him, the playoffs are a coming out party for him.”

Barnes has now scored 25 points in back-to-back playoff games. The last rookie to do that was Tim Duncan in 1998. He’s the third player under 21 since 1979 to score 20 points or more four times in a single postseason. The other two: Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson.

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Stephen Curry “Feels Good” Heading Into Game 5

Point guard Stephen Curry was smiling before this morning’s shootaround. And for good reason. His team has a chance to take control of this series tonight in Game 5. And his sprained left ankle is feeling the best it has in days.

“Ready to go tonight,” Curry said. “It feels a whole lot better than it did before Game 4, so that’s all I could ask for.”

Curry said he doesn’t need an anti-inflammatory injection. Against his own hopes, He took his third of these playoffs before Game 4. He considers the fact he doesn’t need one now a major victory in his latest ankle chronicles.

Curry sounded as if he was concerned about suffering a setback following the injection. He said Sunday was the first time all season he thought about his ankle because it was swollen and hurting. But he said his ankle didn’t get worse the next morning. It was wrapped until it was “four times the size of my regular ankle” for the flight to San Antonio with hopes of preventing more swelling. The tape, wrap and compression proved successful. After more treatment, he walked into shootaround without a noticeable limp. And smiling.

“I think it’s in good enough shape to … be able to put a little bit of pounding on it,” Curry said of his ankle. “To warm up, get my legs back and keep my normal routine before games that I kind of broke last game.”

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Game 4 Rewind: Warriors Tie the Series in Dramatic Fashion

It’s hard to tell when it actually clicked. But at some point, Golden State got desperate. The Warriors decided they wanted it more. And they made the veteran, respected San Antonio Spurs discombobulate.

Golden State didn’t deserve Game 4. But took it anyway, 97-87 in overtime.

HARRISON BARNES: “I think the biggest thing with this team is we’re never going to give up. This team is going to continue to fight, whether shots are falling or shots aren’t.”

It was one of the most pathetic offensive performances of the season. The Warriors had 37 points on 30 percent shooting at halftime. They entered the third quarter down 62-60 and trailed 80-72 in the fourth.

Then Stephen Curry got going, bad ankle and all. Then Jarrett Jack found his strut. And Golden State shifted its defense to another gear. The Spurs were held to three points on 1 of 10 shooting in overtime.

After looking like they were dead in the water, the Warriors responded with a late-surge that changed the tenor of this series. This close to losing both games at home, Golden State now find itself tied with the Spurs heading into Game 5 of this best-of-seven series — and looking like they have a real shot at winning this thing.

MARK JACKSON: “I’m just so glad that a national TV audience had an opportunity to see exactly what’s been taking place in this area. Just a big-time win. This is a heck for a series.”

More on the Game 4 win …

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