PHOENIX – Warriors guard Klay Thompson is out for Sunday’s game at Phoenix due to a sprained right hand, marking the first time in his career he’ll miss a game due to injury.
Thompson suffered the injury in Saturday’s win at Houston. An X-ray examination conducted after the game was negative, but the shooting guard was scratched after feeling discomfort during warmups in Phoenix.
Leandro Barbosa will take his place in the lineup after having played last season in Phoenix and eight seasons overall with the Suns.
Thompson ranks eighth in the NBA in scoring, averaging 23.8 points per game as the Warriors’ second-leading scorer.
Nine days ago, Thompson signed a four-year contract extension with the Warriors.
HOUSTON – Steve Kerr and the Warriors are off to a 5-0 start, but what the coach was really fired up to talk about after the win at Houston was their turnover issue.
The Warriors notched a comeback 98-87 win on the road, but in his postgame session with reporters, he highlighted that the 26 turnovers were caused by some of the “dumbest” passes he’s seen in his lifetime.
HOUSTON – As long as the undefeated Warriors keep winning, coach Steve Kerr plans on going with the lineup that got them there.
Kerr said he used that guiding philosophy when he explained to David Lee before Wednesday’s game the decision to have the forward come off the bench.
Now after the veteran aggravated his strained left hamstring and is expected to miss two weeks, Kerr is indicating Draymond Green will be the starter going forward for the 4-0 Warriors.
OAKLAND – Warriors forward Draymond Green said he did not stick out his tongue to taunt the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin after making a 3-pointer in a 121-104 win Wednesday.
Green said Thursday that in the moment, he was actually making a face at former teammate Jermaine O’Neal, who directed an emotional look toward him after the 3-pointer from his courtside seat.
OAKLAND – With essentially no positives to take out of the loss, Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers effusively praised the Warriors.
“I saw a beautiful game of one team,” Rivers said after the Warriors’ 121-104 win. “I actually told the (Clippers) four days ago, ‘Golden State the way they’re playing right now, it’s beautiful to watch.’ They got a team to me when you watch them, they’re completely bought in.
Warriors forward Draymond Green will become a restricted free agent after the season, and it could benefit the team’s chances of re-signing their standout reserve that he has hired new agents.
Green told USA Today he’ll now be represented by the Wasserman Media Group, which is led by Arn Tellem. Warriors general manager Bob Myers began is a former agent who worked with and was mentored by Tellem.
Tellem now representing Green, a Warriors second-round draft pick in 2012 who grew to become one of the most valuable members of their rotation, could help the team retain him.
“So if Arn says, ‘Hey, I got this much money (from another offer),’ he’s not going to lie to me, so there’s value in that,” Myers told 95.7 The Game on Wednesday. “And here’s the other thing I do know. If it’s a tie, we’ll win. Not only just because he’s restricted, but Arn, we’ve known other a long time, so he’s not going to hurt us. If he can help, that’s great.”
The 6-foot-7 Green is due a raise after proving himself as a clutch playoff performer, versatile defender and improving jump shooter.
“Maybe he’ll give me a discount?” Myers joked of his former boss Tellem. “Probably not, right?”
OAKLAND – Warriors point guard Stephen Curry will guard the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul tonight after having garnered praise for his defensive play to start the season.
Sacramento’s Darren Collison was 4 for 12 from the field. The Los Angeles Lakers’ Jeremy Lin didn’t make a field goal in six attempts. All-Star Damian Lillard was held to 4-for-18 shooting in Sunday’s win at Portland.
What’s changed for Curry this season has been the presence of assistant coach Ron Adams, a longtime veteran of NBA coaching who’s known for his defensive excellence.
“Just holding me to a higher standard,” Curry said of Adams’ influence. “Obviously we watch a lot of film and talk a lot about just how we’re supposed to see that end of the floor, what it means if I’m able to do what I’m supposed to do every single night for our team’s success.
“It doesn’t matter how many points I score. He seems to find that one or two things that I can do better on the defensive end after every game that kind of knocks you back into reality a little bit. You can always get better, and I have to be to be a championship-caliber point guard and for us to try to get where we’re trying to go.”
Adams has resonated with players including Curry with his quotes of the day, including one attributed to Michelangelo that says, “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”
Curry last season often wasn’t asked by coach Mark Jackson to guard top opposing point guards, a strategy that caused controversy within Jackson’s own coaching staff. Curry is now getting that challenge, as he said he’ll get motivated to guard Paul tonight.
“Yeah, because if he plays well, it’s on me and vice versa,” Curry said. “You’ve got to be locked in and focused and do my part as a part of the game plan on defense and understand what we’re trying to accomplish.”