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Game 51 rewind: Warriors lose at Phoenix, but get Harrison Barnes on track

PHOENIX — The Warriors didn’t feel like they played poorly in losing to the Suns.

Goran Dragic was unguardable. Golden State was without Andrew Bogut and David Lee. The Warriors shot well and gave up too many second-chance points while struggling with their rebounding.

Another big bright spot for the Warriors? Harrison Barnes.

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Barnes’ 23-point performance on 9-for-15 shooting was something that hadn’t been seen out of him since a Nov. 29 game at Oklahoma City when he had 26 points in a loss.

Given how much Barnes has scuffled in recent weeks, it was a welcome sight for Golden State to see him play confidently.

“That confidence never wavers,” Stephen Curry said.

“He gets in the paint, making plays, knocking down open shots and allowing us to get back in games.”

Barnes downplayed the idea that he tried to step forward that much more with Bogut and Lee out, saying, “I wouldn’t say it was a concerted effort on my part.”

But with a game like that, it’s possible he might have played his way into the lineup until Lee returns.

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Coach Mark Jackson said at shootaround that starting Barnes was considered before deciding against it as his team treads water while short-handed.

Jermaine O’Neal started against and is playing major minutes fresh off his recovery from wrist surgery. Draymond Green is giving what he has. Festus Ezeli remains out. Ognjen Kuzmic is getting time on the court.

And opponents aren’t feeling badly about taking advantage.

“Injuries happen in the league,” the Suns’ Channing Frye said. “I will be honest. I don’t feel sorry for them.”

Still, something might come out of this rough patch for the Warriors, who can find out a lot about their bench going forward with the trade deadline approaching.

And if Barnes is on the upswing at a time when things the injury bug has bitten them, the Warriors will gladly take that.

Diamond Leung

  • Howard Benner

    Whatever happens for this impetuous, immature, soft team that constantly feels sorry for themselves I see them sliding into the abyss of missing the playoffs once again & remaining in the purgatory of no draft picks. . .

  • Commish

    I was reading on Real GM exects around the league are saying the Warriors will only NOT considering trading Curry and Bogut. I’d add Green to the that list because he can and does everything to help the team. It is hard to know about Barnes as it seems extended playing time is what he needs to perform at a higher level. I’d trade Klay way before I’d trade Barnes but Lacob seems to think Klay is his son. I’d be starting Barnes and bringing Klay off the bench. The one person I would trade is Jackson but I’m sure he’ll get to finish the year and then the Dub owners/management will decide to extend or fire him as he enters the last year of his contract. I wonder who, if any, available coaches are being considered. Phil perhaps? Wouldn’t that be poetic justice.

  • drefp

    Dubs need to find a solution. This team is definitely soft in the sense that no one can really take over games during crunch time. Curry tries but is surrounded. Klay has dissapeared so my guess is that he should be trade-able. Lee is not trade-able either because of his salary.

    If the Warriors make the playoffs and that is a big if, I don’t see them getting out of the first round.

    its hard to watch this team. At Oracle Arena, even the people who work for the Dubs don’t want to talk about the Dubs.

    They also need to look at trying to package Speights and Bazemore somehow.

  • Stan

    Klay is as good as gone. Just a matter of time. He’s shooting klunkers now. Every angle shot he takes..you know its going to hit the hoops frame. And he only rebounds what bounces to him. He just looks skittish,no confidence. He never frowns at the opposing player. That’s not good.

    But,after Lee.Bogut,and Curry this team has no go too firemen. Just filler. Although I really like the ‘tude of J. O’Neill. He came out hard the other day..but 3 fouls in the first,hurt.
    Bogut being worn down by normal NBA play..hope he puts its ALL out there come playoff run..or time.