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Thunder 127, Warriors 115: Draymond Green once again looking in the mirror after loss

OKLAHOMA CITY — The last time the Warriors lost, Draymond Green called out his team for being “too nice.”

This time after the Warriors fell 127-115 at Oklahoma City, he spoke at length about his own struggles of late.

It wasn’t like Green had a poor game with five points, nine rebounds and four steals, but he feels like he should take on the mindset to do more after going 2 for 6 from the field. Two days earlier, he shot 2 for 7 from the field and scored six points.

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San Francisco Zoo names baby monkey after Warriors’ Stephen Curry

The San Francisco Zoo has named a baby monkey Curry after Warriors star Stephen Curry.

The male orange-headed monkey is a Francois’ langur, and after Curry’s birth Nov. 19, the Warriors won 13 straight games.

Could the endangered monkey bring luck to the Warriors? There is precedence for this.

In 2012 after a Francois’ langur was born at the zoo during the Giants’ playoff run, they went on to win the World Series. The female monkey was eventually named Romo after Giants relief pitcher Sergio Romo, who recorded the final out of the World Series.

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Warriors 104, Heat 89: Big wins don’t bother Steve Kerr: “It’s awesome.”

The Warriors have won eight straight games and all have come by double digits. The last time they played in a game that was decided by fewer than 10 points was a 114-109 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Dec. 18.

That’s a pace it would seem nearly impossible to maintain, especially when the playoffs roll around. At some point, the Warriors will have to grind out victories. Could Steve Kerr possibly be concerned that his team isn’t gaining experience in close games? How does he feel about all these blowout wins?

“It’s awesome,” Kerr said. Continue Reading

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Warriors 116, Jazz 105: Andrew Bogut returns to key role in lineup after illness, addressing Mark Jackson’s comments

SALT LAKE CITY – Warriors center Andrew Bogut said he woke up about 3 a.m. Tuesday feeling ill.

But even with the big man having a rough morning, coach Steve Kerr got him in the lineup. The Warriors wanted to get back to establishing their rotation at a time when they play four games in five days.

Bogut responded with nine points, eight rebounds and three assists, going 4 for 5 from the field in the role that he has excelled at for Kerr this season.

“Bogues is our starter,” said Kerr, who the veteran has praised for turning around his career.

“I wanted to ease Andrew back, but now he’s back. He looks good.”

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Warriors 116, Cavaliers 94: Too much in the tank at the finish for other teams to cope

Mark Jackson got his due, but he’s part of the past now, as the Warriors have moved on to bigger and better things.

One look at the final score and one might assume, “OK, another blowout win.” But it really wasn’t, and a lot of the Warriors’ double-digit victories haven’t been. This was grind-out game, against a Cleveland team that’s not bad even without LeBron James hanging within six points with five minutes to go.

But here’s what happens when you can play 10 guys and given them at least 13 minutes apiece as Steve Kerr did Friday night — you have a finishing kick. While the opposition is sucking wind just to stay in the game, the Warriors’ best players are fresh to finish the job.

The fourth quarter margins in the last five games: 30-23, 29-21, 33-26, 33-25 again and Friday night 28-18. The only exception on this 6-0 homestand was the first game against Minnesota in which Golden State finished the job in the third quarter then played a quarter of garbage time.

The Warriors are simply wearing down teams with their depth over the first 40 or so minutes then bludgeoning them with their defense and 3-point shooting at the finish. Moreover, you’ve got several players, notably Steph Curry and Draymond Green, who sense the kill and know how to finish. Curry and Green were both dynamite down the stretch, as usual, and Green, despite having an awful shooting night, still nearly wound up with a triple double — 10 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 blocks.

“That’s the beauty of Draymond is that he doesn’t need to make his shots to make a huge impact on the game,” said Steve Kerr. “His energy in the second half, I thought, really took over. It changed the game. His rebounding is incredible.”

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Warriors 117, Pacers 102: With Bogut back, Kerr has a new problem: too many performing players, too little time to give them

Klay Thompson goes for two of what seemed like an easy 40.

Draymond Green said it best: “Coach has some problems now. We don’t.”

Indeed, Steve Kerr has a pleasant problem of trying to find enough time for all the players who are playing well and want time and need time to continue being effective. It’s not going to be easy keeping everybody happy with a roster that got deeper with Andrew Bogut’s Wednesday night return, and one that will be ridiculous once Festus Ezeli returns soon from a sprained ankle.

“We have a lot of guys that can play and a lot of guys that are playing at a high level, but only so many minutes to go around,” Kerr said after the Warriors’ hard-fought win that was closer for a good long while than the final result indicated. “I told our players the sacrifice that they are going to have to make will not be easy. But they have to make it if we are going to be good. From one night to the next, it might be your night and it might not be. They have to accept that.”

With a 28-5 record, everybody’s saying the right thing right now. But egos are bound to be bruised as Kerr tries to juggle this deep roster. Rusty Simmons of the Chronicle offered a terrific Twitter post, noting that the Warriors might have had one of the highest-paid reserve front lines in history on this night with Bogut, David Lee and Andre Iguodala all coming off the bench. Indeed, that was quite a sight to see.

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Warriors 117, Thunder 96: Harrison Barnes Unmasked! Plus more quick hits on another marvelous Warriors win

A good photo illustrating how the Warriors are compensating for Bogut’s absence in the paint — swarming, switching, double-teaming and just laying out the effort.

It took Harrison Barnes getting clobbered under the basket early in the game to realize, `Hey, he’s not wearing that god-awful mask tonight.” We can only guess-timate how much it has affected his play since he’s had to wear it, but what he brought Monday night against Oklahoma City was a clear sign of good riddance.

Barnes led the Warriors with 23 points, hit all five of his 3-point attempts, and was one of the rotating defenders on Kevin Durant on a night when he shot 3 for 16, playing him tough and tight — particularly early, when the Warriors raced out to a 17-6 lead.

So what happened to the mask? Barnes was wearing it Sunday during practice, but as he explained, he got into a post-practice shooting contest with Leandro Barbosa, Justin Holiday and Andre Iguodola and was in fourth place among the four. “I just took it off and sort of threw it, and it never came back.”

And so how did it feel Monday night to be facially unencumbered?

“It felt great,” Barnes said with his typical tight grin. “I’m definitely not a big fan of the mask.”

Going mask-less couldn’t have come at a better time, considering Barnes generally plays so well against Oklahoma City. And this was one of his best two-way efforts against the Thunder, just another sign of his maturation as a third-year player.

“Harrison’s a very good shooter,” said coach Steve Kerr. “I think the thing with him is rhythm and confidence. He’s still very young. The last couple of weeks he hasn’t scored and shot as well as he has all season and I think a big part of that was the mask and the comfort level wasn’t there.

“He understands, too, that’s important that Kevin Durant has to guard us, too,” Kerr added. “We have to deal with Durant, so we have to make sure Kevin has to expend some energy guarding Harrison. Harrison was really aggressive tonight, and obviously, making all five 3′s was huge.”

Good thing, too, when such a good-looking guy ditches the Phantom of the Opera look.

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