Warriors 114, Celtics 111: All wins count the same, even if they aren’t always historic like the last one

Even if it wasn’t as historic as his 52-point night, Klay Thompson still fought through a grinder of a game and scored 31.

This was a game the Warriors would have lost last year. They didn’t know how to grind through an uninspired night. Remember Charlotte? Remember Minnesota? Remember Cleveland, before they brought back LeBron? The Warriors lost 14 games at Oracle Arena last season under Mark Jackson and half of those losses were to lightweights.

Golden State’s meeting with Boston Sunday very easily could have been one of those kinds of trap games. A hangover seemed imminent following the extreme emotion expended during Klay Thompson’s miraculous 37-point quarter and 52-point game Friday night against Sacramento. The Warriors didn’t even practice Saturday. With a 5 p.m. start, they also skipped their morning shootaround Sunday.

The Celtics, meanwhile, came into Oracle bolstered by road wins at Denver and Portland despite their 15-26 overall record. And they played pretty well.

But the Warriors somehow found a way to grind out yet another victory, their 36th in 42 games and 19th in a row at home. They’re that good now, even when they’re not that good on a given day.

“We’re going to start getting some closer games against some tough teams,” said Andrew Bogut. “The next game (against Chicago on Tuesday) is going to be very tough at home. Getting ready for the playoffs, we have to get used to executing under pressure. Tonight we didn’t do a good job of that, especially late. These kinds of games help us address some things now, so it’s kind of a good thing.”

In other words, it was a bit of a wakeup call that didn’t require losing to be shaken a bit. As sluggish and unemotional as the performance was, the Warriors led the entire way. Coach Steve Kerr called it “workmanlike” and wasn’t distressed at all. He knows as a former player that these are the “dog days” right before the All-Star break and it’s tough to be fired up for a losing team with limited weaponry.

So in that respect, the win was impressive. Here’s the game story providing more details of the Warriors’ grind-it-out win, as well as Tim Kawakami’s column on how the Warriors are trying to fight complacency as they win game after game.

Not a night anyone will remember forever, but one that should be remembered as it relates to even last year, when the Warriors weren’t as capable to succeed on an off night.


The Oral History of Warriors guard Klay Thompson scoring a record 37 points in a quarter at Oracle Arena

OAKLAND — Klay Thompson scored 52 points, including an NBA-record 37 of them in the third quarter of the Warriors’ 126-101 win against Sacramento at Oracle Arena.

Here’s how all the action went down Friday, as we pick up this oral history after the Kings came back from 18 points down to cut the Warriors’ lead to 56-51 at halftime.

Steve Kerr: “At halftime, I was so angry I told the guys, ‘Run whatever you want.’ Like ‘I’m not calling any plays because it’s not about any plays we call. It’s are we going to decide to focus? So run whatever you want.’ As (associate head coach Alvin Gentry) would say, they ran two plays – get the ball to Klay and Klay get the ball.”

Draymond Green: “When he hit the first (3-pointer), it’s like, ‘Oh, OK. Good.’ We went up (three) when he hit the first one. Like, ‘Oh, Klay just got us out of the barn.’”

Stephen Curry: “The first three were shots he normally takes. Just coming down, and he’s got a rhythm. And from then on, it was just finding a glimmer of daylight to get a shot off.”

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Warriors’ Stephen Curry supports All-Star selections for Draymond Green, Klay Thompson

OAKLAND – Warriors forward Draymond Green finished 14th among Western Conference frontcourt players in the All-Star balloting with 99,039 votes. Stephen Curry, the top overall vote-getter, is throwing his support behind Green becoming an All-Star.

Curry brought it up himself Friday that he’s hoping a couple of his teammates — Green and Klay Thompson — join him in the Feb. 15 game at Madison Square Garden. It’s now up to a vote among Western Conference coaches and if necessary a commissioner’s selection for reserves to be added to the roster.

Asked about Green, Curry said, “I mean, there’s a space (on the roster). We’ve got to figure out what we need to do to get those guys in there.

“They’ve done all they can do — him and Klay — to establish themselves as All-Star caliber players. Our record at what it is right now is definitely deserving of multiple guys in the game, and hopefully that happens.”

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Warriors’ Stephen Curry, father Dell Curry accidentally miss watching All-Star announcement

OAKLAND – Warriors guard Stephen Curry missed watching the televised announcement that he was the leading vote-getter in the All-Star balloting.

“I thought the show came on at 4:30 p.m., so me and my wife and a guy from Under Armour, we were all at the house looking at shoes,” Curry said Friday. “They said, ‘Why don’t you have the TV on?’

It was already 4:10 p.m., and Curry — known for his on-court precision — had just missed the Western Conference starters being named on TNT’s NBA Tip-Off.

“So I turned the TV on, and I didn’t have my phone on me at the time,” Curry said. “So I turned it on, and they were talking about just our team in general, about how we stack up in the West and all that stuff. And they went to commercial, and I figured I had missed the first announcement. And I looked at my phone, and a bunch of congratulations texts came in.”

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Warriors’ Draymond Green sarcastically says ‘We’re not that good’ dozen times in interview inspired by James Harden

OAKLAND – If someone says something ridiculous about the Warriors, Draymond Green will inevitably hear about it and be ready to return fire.

And Green was in fine form Wednesday after a 126-113 win against Houston completed a four-game, regular-season sweep of the Rockets.

Green knew all about the video the Rockets put out on their Instagram account of James Harden in a pregame huddle before Saturday’s game in Houston in which the NBA’s leading scorer told his team, “They beat us already twice. They ain’t that good.”

So here is a transcript of a smiling Green, dripping with sarcasm after the game, in response to the video:

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Draymond Green on Charles Barkley saying Warriors not a top-three team in West: ‘That’s funny’

TNT analyst Charles Barkley believes the Warriors are a jump-shooting team that won’t win the championship and recently took it a step further.

Barkley doesn’t even think the team with the NBA’s best record is a top-three team in the Western Conference, picking Memphis, Portland and Dallas.

“I have said the exact same thing for 16 years here,” Barkley said Monday. “I don’t like jump-shooting teams. I don’t think you can win the championship beating good teams shooting jumpers.

“Klay (Thompson) and Steph (Curry) are great players, and they’ve got a great home court, but I’m just saying…in a seven-game series, I don’t think they can make enough jumpers…No disrespect to the Golden State Warriors. I like teams that are built inside-out.”

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Mark Jackson: ‘Can’t go wrong’ with Warriors’ Stephen Curry, Houston’s James Harden as midseason MVP

Former Warriors coach Mark Jackson believes Stephen Curry and Houston’s James Harden are both good choices for midseason MVP.

“It’s awfully tough,” Jackson told Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio on Tuesday. “I think both of those guys, you can’t go wrong either way. Both guys playing at an extremely high level, both guys incredibly talented on the offensive end, and both guys have been the key to success of their teams.

“When you’re talking about Dwight Howard missing quality time, James Harden played incredible basketball throughout the whole first half, and Stephen has been special. So I don’t think you can go wrong either way.”

Told ESPN’s Avery Johnson picked New Orleans’ Anthony Davis for midseason defensive player of the year, Jackson this time went with his former player.

“I would probably lean towards Draymond Green as the defensive player of the year,” Jackson said. “What he does for that Golden State team is absolutely incredible on the defensive end.”