Game 78 rewind: Warriors get ‘Mozgoved’ by Nuggets in 100-99 loss

OAKLAND — To get “Mozgoved” is to be on the wrong end of a crazy dunk.

Denver’s Timofey Mozgov had that term coined after Blake Griffin dunked all over him one time, and really to get “Mozgoved” is really to get embarrassed by opponent.

Mozgov on Thursday served to pound the Warriors not with one dunk, but again and again as he matched a career high 23 points and racked up a career-high 29 rebounds to help hand Golden State an embarrassing 100-99 loss.

The Warriors had a chance to clinch a playoff berth and instead fell to an injury-plagued Nuggets team that used eight players to dominate the glass.

“We just didn’t put them away when we could,” said coach Mark Jackson, whose team blew a 20-point lead.

“We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of business.”

The loss was just another on a long list of home setbacks to subpar teams this season. If co-owner Joe Lacob thought some of those earlier losses were “disturbing,” this one couldn’t have made him feel any better about the state of affairs.

Oracle Arena was ready to explode with a win, and instead, Golden State came out of the contest having reminded everyone how despite their achievement of a fine record that hasn’t been seen here in a long time, there continue to be troubling signs about this team.

“I’m not concerned,” Jackson said. “I think it’s part of the process.”

The problem is, the inconsistent Warriors apparently had one more of these kinds of bad losses in them even after constant reminders that they needed to be better than that.

In this game, Mozgov of all people came through with a big performance just to add another log to the fire. He had 29 rebounds all by himself. The Warriors as a team had 38. That’s not going to get it done.


Warriors’ Joe Lacob focused on playoffs, championship as he brushes off questions about expectations, Mark Jackson

SAN FRANCISCO — Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob hasn’t spoken publicly much of late, but talked about the team with media members on Wednesday after he was honored at a fundraiser for First Graduate.

On his NBA championship goal for the Warriors (comments made to the crowd):

“I’m 58 years old now, and I’ve been successful. I’ve made a lot of money. I’ve done a lot of things I’ve wanted to do in life, but now we have this new venture, which is the Warriors. A second career, if you will, and all I can think about it is, we have to win a championship. I will be a failure. We will be a failure if we do not win the championship. So that’s what drives me. We promised a lot of people things. We brought in (president and chief operation officer) Rick Welts and all these people you might have met tonight that are tremendous at their jobs. They are incredible. They are so good, and we are all driven the same way. We are completely connected. We are focused. We are driven as a unit, as we. Because that’s really what it’s about. It’s not one person. It’s not me. It’s we. You get things done with other people. That’s how you succeed. And we are driven together to bring this thing home to the Bay Area.”

On establishing his vision from top to bottom at a time when two assistant coaches depart:

“Where we were 3 ½ years ago to where we are now, we’re very proud of what we’ve done as an organization. We got rid of a lot of people that weren’t the right people. We brought in with a lot of people with a similar mindset and commitment. We all work as one. If you go and ask anyone in our organization go top to bottom, from Rick Welts down to the assistants to (vice president of public relations) Raymond Ridder. Any part of that organization, you’ll find everyone loves working there. They love being a part of this organization. We’re very driven. We’re very bonded, and I think we have a tremendous organization. You’re pointing to one particular area I’m not going to comment on today because I want to focus on basketball. It’s a couple of disagreements within the coaching staff which at the end of the day those are minor setbacks. They’re things that we will deal with and move forward and to the extent there’s any problems we’ll fix them, but that’s after the year’s over. Right now we’re all focused on one thing. Common goal: winning. Winning games. We have five games to go, and we have not made the playoffs yet. Hopefully tomorrow night. That’s the No. 1 goal. No. 2 goal is to do some damage in the playoffs. Obviously, we’d like to go as far as we can and try to improve on what we did last year if we can, and it’s a tough Western Conference, so we know that’s difficult but we’re going to keep pushing and keep getting better every year.”

On if the team has met his expectations:

“We’ll address that at the end of the year did we meet our expectations. No. 1 goal is to make the playoffs. That’s No. 1, and I don’t really want to get into all that kind of discussion right now because I want to stay focused on what we all need to do as players, as coaches, as management, everybody. Focused on one thing – winning, getting to the playoffs, winning in the playoffs. At the end of the year, we sit around like every business, and we’ll evaluate how did we do, where can we be better.”

On the job coach Mark Jackson has done this season:

“You’re not going to let these questions go, are you? (laughing) You figure you’ve got this moment here tonight, you’re going to drive in on that, and I’m not going to answer ‘em. I’m not going to answer ‘em because (general manager) Bob Myers just addressed it and what he thought about Mark, and I’ll let those words suffice.”

On being on the same page:

“We’re all on the same page, the entire organization. And by the way, I will say one thing: Mark and I get along very well. This idea that Mark and I don’t get along I will just address that and say that’s not true. We get along very well. Bob gets along with Mark. I get along with Bob. We all get along, so we’re all driving in the same direction, and hopefully we’re going to keep our goals this year moving forward.”

Of if he’s having fun:

“What do you think? A lot of great things. We’ve sold out 77 games in a row. We’ve made a lot of people happy. That must be because they’re all coming to the games. And you know what? We’re having a good year, and it’s not over yet. Interim results do not matter. Remember this: What matters is at the end of the year. We take a look back at how we did and see where we can improve.”

On the Western Conference:

“Tremendous competition in the Western Conference, and I’ve got to really hand it to our competitors. Several of them exceeded their expectations certainly or the expectations of writers anyway, and you know it’s a tough conference. Whoever we face in that first round is going to a competitor. We’re looking forward to it.”

On if it’s a certain number of wins used to gauge success:

“It’s tough because every given year is different. You can make the playoffs with 38 wins if you’re in the Eastern Conference. I don’t know what’s the number. So definition of success can be different depending on which conference you’re in for one thing and which year it is. So let’s look at that at the end of the year. I think when you look back and say, ‘Did we meet our goals? Were we successful?’ I think we’ll be able to answer those questions then. Right now, we’re still very got-our-head-down focused.”

On comments to the crowd on having to win an NBA championship to avoid failure:

“Our goal as an organization is to win an NBA championship for our fans and for the Bay Area and for us — all of us. And so we’re hell-bent on doing that, but Rome wasn’t built in a day as they like to say. We’re making progress, we’re moving forward, and I know we’re going to get there.”


Game 77 rewind: Warriors’ Mark Jackson hopes ‘chatter’ doesn’t take away from team’s achievements

OAKLAND – Warriors coach Mark Jackson said he doesn’t care about getting credit.

He pointed to the locker room that he believes to be a special one. He said the credit belongs to his ownership group and front office as well.

“You see, if you pay attention to the chatter, then you lose sight of what’s taking place,” Jackson said.

“The numbers speak for themselves. When you think about what this team, this group of guys have been able to do, I said it. Give ownership credit. Give management credit. Give these players credit.”

Jackson was thrilled after the Warriors beat the Jazz 130-102, taking care of business against the team with the Western Conference’s worst record a day after yet another distraction emerged.

Assistant coach Darren Erman’s firing due to a violation of company policy heaped on top of what Jackson called “chatter” coming from outside the locker room has led to some tough times for Golden State.

Jackson said he found the chatter “entertaining” and hoped it would not take away from what his players had been able to accomplish.

On the court, the Warriors carried on and won their 48th game to eclipse last season’s total. That’s a third year under Jackson in which the total has increased, and he was proud of his players for it.

“And we’re not finished. There’s still work to be done, but to think about where we were three years ago to where we are today, I’m not going to minimize it,” Jackson said.


Warriors ‘forced to act’ in firing assistant coach Darren Erman due to violation of company policy

OAKLAND — The Warriors fired assistant coach Darren Erman due to what the team called “a violation of company policy,” making him the second assistant to leave the bench in as many weeks.

General manager Bob Myers said firing Erman was not a basketball decision, but rather one made by the organization and unrelated to the recent reassignment of assistant coach Brian Scalabrine. Myers would only indicate that the 37-year-old assistant had committed a serious violation that he declined to reveal.

“Something like this needed to be discussed with general counsel, (human resources), as we would with any other employee. It took a couple days to go through the proper channels,” Myers said, adding that all employees are held to the same standard.

“We were unaware, and when made aware, forced to act.”

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Game 76 rewind: Short-handed Warriors dominate Kings

The story of the night at the Coliseum complex was the rained out A’s game even though it wasn’t raining. Seriously A’s, no tarp on the infield? Unbelieveable.

Just about the same time word was coming down that the A’s game was getting postponed because of sloppy playing conditions, the Sacramento Kings looked like they were the ones dealing with sloppy playing conditions. The first-half effort from the neighbors to the north bordered on laughable.

A lot of that credit goes to the Warriors, who quickly picked up two fouls on Sacramento’s star center DeMarcus Cousins (.ie, the one player on that team most likely to create havoc). He picked up two fouls in the first 1 minute, 42 seconds, and that was really the start of a bad night for the Kings.

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Game 75 rewind: Warriors’ Mark Jackson and Spurs’ Gregg Popovich full of praise for each other

SAN ANTONIO — The Warriors’ Mark Jackson and the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich shared a long moment after San Antonio administered a 111-90 beatdown of a short-handed Golden State team.

Jackson declined to share what was said, but it’s clear that there is mutual respect between the two coaches. San Antonio won its 19th straight game and has the NBA’s best record, with Jackson consistently praising the Spurs as the standard.

Popovich said before the game he was flattered by Jackson’s comments and in turn had kind words for the Warriors, who the Spurs defeated in the Western Conference semifinals last season.

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Game 74 rewind: Warriors’ Jermaine O’Neal baffled by negativity, recommends cherishing ‘special teams’ like this one

DALLAS — The Warriors escaped Dallas with a 122-120 overtime win, and with the victory came co-owner Joe Lacob shaking Jermaine O’Neal’s hand after the game.

The 35-year-old O’Neal had played 33 minutes, scored 20 points and came through with the last-minute block that enabled Stephen Curry to go down on the other end and win the game on a buzzer beater. Some love from ownership was in order.

“He’s very emotional about his team, and rightfully so,” O’Neal said of Lacob, who he said was one of the NBA’s best owners. “He spent a lot of money on it, so we love to see our owner excited and high-fiving and energetic about it.”

What O’Neal is sick of seeing is negativity surrounding the Warriors and coach Mark Jackson that the veteran big man finds unfair. O’Neal has pointed out that some in the media and along some Warriors fans have gone too far with it. He mentioned those concerns last week while strongly defending Jackson.

And Tuesday, O’Neal brought up the issues himself when Warriors TV host Laurence Scott asked about Jackson saying the team was “tied together.”

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