Game 48 rewind: Warriors earn no-styles-points-required victory

Style points are nice. We like big, easy wins. They are easy on deadlines, fun for the fans, and good for the bench to get some playing time. Right now, it seems those are only coming when the Warriors play against top-four teams in the Western Conference.

Tonight’s game was a time where you could brush aside the style points. I think we all saw a game like this coming. Fresh off a back-to-back, fresh off an emotional wins it’s a game that is a prime candidate for a letdown. And for about 3 1/2 quarters, that’s what it looked like.

The first 10 minutes of the game were good, when the Warriors established a 23-14 lead. But the Jazz got back in it with a 12-0 run and really controlled the play all the way until midway through the fourth quarter. With David Lee out with issues with his shoulder and his hip, the Warriors needed to find extra scoring. They didn’t.

Andrew Bogut was the one guy who did deliver, pouring in 16 points, grabbing 17 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and two steals. But outside of him, it was all Stephen Curry and nobody else. Curry had a season-high 44 points. He made 14 of 26 from the field and 8 of 13 from 3-point range. He and Bogut combined to go 22 of 39 — that’s 56.4 percent. The rest of the team: a putride 11 of 49 for 22.4 percent.

Klay Thompson had an awful night offensively. He scored 11 points — the only other player besides Curry and Bogut in double figures — but that came on 3 of 20 shooting. He managed to make just 1 of 14 shots from INSIDE the 3-point arc.

So how did Golden State win? It only turned the ball over nine times and turned it up defensively in the second half. The Warriors allowed just 19 points in the fourth quarter and showed why coach Mark Jackson preaches playing defensive basketball. They won a game despite making only 37.5 percent of their shots, even with their opponent hitting nearly 48.

Under different circumstances, you could lament this win for not being more convincing against a bad opponent. Do the Warriors get a complete pass for winning ugly? No. You’d like to see them dominate teams more, even on a back-to-back. But as Andrew Bogut said, “A win in this league is like gold. You’ve got to cherish it no matter who it’s against.” Or how it comes.



David Lee (shoulder, hip) out vs. Jazz

SALT LAKE CITY — Warriors forward David Lee will not play Friday night against the Utah Jazz, with his sprained left shoulder and an ailing hip leading to his absence.

Coach Mark Jackson made no mention of Lee’s absence when speaking before the game but Lee told the San Francisco Chronicle that he won’t be able to play tonight after testing out the shoulder and hip before the game. Harrison Barnes will start in his place.

Lee sprained the shoulder Jan. 20 against the Indiana Pacers and had played through the pain in the four games since. But this is the first time playing games on back-to-back nights since suffering the injury and he told the Chronicle that he wasn’t able to get the necessary anti-inflammatory injection on the road. His injury came during the first game of a five-game home stand.

Lee is averaging 19.1 points and 9.8 rebounds per game for the Warriors.


Game 44 rewind: A bad, bad loss for the Warriors

The Warriors lost a game Friday night they had no business losing. At home against a team that was 20-21 entering the night. Have…to…win. At least if you want to fancy yourself a Western Conference contender. Right now, the Warriors aren’t.

They’re a playoff team still, but right now they aren’t a contender. You can’t pretend to call yourself one when you are just 4-10 against fellow Western Conference playoff teams and 6-13 against teams in the conference who are currently .500 or better. I’ll delve deeper into that subject during my off-day story tomorrow. For now, let’s talk about this 121-120 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The feeling in the Warriors locker room was this loss had nothing to do with Harrison Barnes missing a wide-open jumper at the buzzer. That’s accurate. This had everything to do with 48 minutes of, once again, not playing good enough defense. They allowed 36 in the first quarter…on their home court where they should be able to jump out on teams. Right now, they aren’t. And Mark Jackson took the starters to task for it.

Continue Reading


Games 41 and 42 rewinds: Crawford emerges off the bench as Warriors get set for home stretch

Sorry for the delay in getting these posted. Back-to-backs are tough, and not just on players. Flights that leave six hours after you file your game story — especially when you are then heading to New Orleans — can make it tough some times.

So let’s recap the last two nights. Friday, well, what could you do to slow down Kevin Durant? Probably nothing. He’s a future Hall of Famer, he’s at minimum the second-best player in the world, and he had a career night. The final box score showed a 6-point loss, but that game was never really in question. Durant had OKC in control all night. If he needed to score 70 to win, he probably would have.

The defensive effort in that game, combined with the defense against Denver and then the first half against New Orleans last night, was reason to be concerned. Defense isn’t supposed to slump. It’s why Mark Jackson always says the Warriors act “travels.” But the defense was slumping a little bit.

Continue Reading


Trade finalized, Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks available vs. Thunder

Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks will be available for the Warriors on Friday when they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder at 6:30 p.m.

On Friday afternoon, the NBA finalized the three-team trade that sent the pair of former Boston Celtics to GoldenState. The approval didn’t come until after the Warriors’ morning shootaround at Chesapeake Energy Arena, so Crawford and Brooks weren’t able to participate.

Both players attended and watched the shootaround, but couldn’t be made available to the media until the trade went through.

Coach Mark Jackson expects the players to quickly blend in.

“It’s basketball,” Jackson said. ‘I’m so used to going to any park, I’ll pick four guys and we’ll be alright. I don’t need to meet them or anything. It’s simple basketball.”

Continue Reading


Game 39 rewind: Warriors find a way, and that’s all that matters

The Warriors were tired. Coach Mark Jackson was tired. The whole traveling staff was tired. Heck, I was even tired and I skipped the final two games of the road trip! Everybody associated with the Warriors were tired on Friday night and that was painfully obvious.

Sure, they had energy at the start of both halves, but that’s easy. Maintaining it is a far, far different thing. The Celtics aren’t a great team. They aren’t even a good team. But as David Lee pointed out, what they do well is play hard. That’s a tough matchup for Golden State after just returning from a grueling seven-game road trip.

Continue Reading


David Lee named Western Conference Player of the Week

Warriors’ forward David Lee was named the Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday, the NBA announced.

Lee averaged 24.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in four games last week — all victories by a Golden State team that’s 5-0 on its current road trip and has won nine straight.

Lee had at least 20 points and eight rebounds in each game to win a player of the week award for the fourth time in his career and third time with the Warriors. The two-time All-Star joins Chris Mullin, Tim Hardaway and Baron Davis as the only players to win three such awards in a Warriors’ uniform.

Lee and the Warriors return to action Tuesday when they face the Milwaukee Bucks at 5 p.m.

Warriors coach Mark Jackson has spent a lot of time lobbying for Stephen Curry to make the All-Star team but agreed recently it was time to start pushing for a return trip for Lee, whose averaging 19 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.

“I’d be the first to tell you that probably the first whatever amount of games, his numbers were there but he wasn’t playing his best basketball and he’d probably tell you the same thing,” Jackson said. “But over the last 13-15 ballgames, he’s been as good as any power forward in the game. Scoring, post-ups, rebounding, he’s impacted the game and he’s certainly in the discussion.”