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Rockets’ Daryl Morey on possibly pulling off upset against Warriors in NBA playoffs: ‘We do have a solid chance’

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 25: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets agrues a call with NBA official Gary Zielinski during their game against the San Antonio Spurs at the Toyota Center on December 25, 2015 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

HOUSTON, TX – DECEMBER 25: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets agrues a call with NBA official Gary Zielinski during their game against the San Antonio Spurs at the Toyota Center on December 25, 2015 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey thinks his team has what it takes to upset the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

“We do have a solid chance,” Morey told SportsTalk 790 on Thursday, adding that it would be hard to consider it a good chance.

“We’ve played good teams better (recently). We have players who are peaking at the right time. We have a team that’s shown that it can come together and play very high-level basketball, so we’re excited for the playoffs. We’re excited to take on what obviously will be a big challenge.”

The Warriors are coming off the best regular season in NBA history with a 73-9 record while the eighth-seeded Rockets finished 41-41.

The Warriors defeated the Rockets in five games in the Western Conference finals last season and more recently swept their three-game season series. Including the postseason, the Warriors have won 11 of their past 12 games against the Rockets.

“We were in a close game in Golden State, gave them one of their best games this year,” Morey said of the Warriors’ 123-110 win on Feb. 9.

“We feel like obviously this is going to be a very tough series. We can’t hide from that. We know they’re an unbelievable team. We know if it’s going to be a series that if we do manage to win will be close. It’s not like we’re going to win it going away or anything like that.”

Morey said he expected the Rockets’ coaching staff to come up with some new wrinkles on defense to guard Stephen Curry and the rest of the Warriors.

“We’re very hard to game plan for,” Morey said. “You don’t know what looks we’re going to throw at you.

“They call the NBA playoffs a chess series, so we have a lot of different chess pieces to throw at Golden State.”

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Stephen Curry, Warriors react to Kobe Bryant’s ‘legendary’ 60-point game in last Lakers appearance

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OAKLAND — Stephen Curry walked through the tunnel at Oracle Arena after the historic game and was told Kobe Bryant had quite a night of his own.

Bryant scored 60 points on 50 shots, and Curry couldn’t believe it.

“I was like, ‘Stop playing,'” Curry said. I thought they were lying to me. It sounded too good to be true having not watched the game.

“That’s just the perfect ending to his career. You know, being able to walk off the court…37 years old, 20 years in the league, the 60 ball, can’t draw it up any better, and a win. That’s how you want to go out. So I’ll try to take notes if I’m in that position down the road.”

Klay Thompson, who grew up idolizing Bryant, was thrilled.

“You couldn’t write that in a movie script,” Thompson said. “So for him to do that, that’s Mamba style. 60 points? I mean, he’s got to be the oldest ever to get 60, and that’s unbelievable. I haven’t reached that yet. And to do it at 37 years old and the miles he’s got on his body, it’s legendary.

“You want it to see it happen to a guy like Kobe. He’s a fierce competitor, and you respect him the most because he really did give this game his all. You root for guys like that who really care about their craft, that’s why it was great to see him do what he did. What a night for basketball.”

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Warriors’ Stephen Curry receives high praise from Memphis Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger: ‘It’s his league’

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) pounds the floor in frustration after being charged for a foul in the first quarter of their game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, March  23, 2016. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) pounds the floor in frustration after being charged for a foul in the first quarter of their game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, March 23, 2016. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLAND — With the Warriors possibly on the verge of setting the single-season wins record, the Memphis Grizzlies could very well be on the wrong side of history. But there has been much respect between the two teams.

Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger, whose team got eliminated in the Western Conference semifinals last season by the Warriors, offered high praise about Stephen Curry before the game.

“What he’s done is just unbelievable,” Joerger said. “It’s his league, the last two years. It’s Steph Curry’s league whether that’s the three or the passing or the ball-handling.

“The favorite part of me watching him is I think he’s got high character. I don’t know him very well. He’ll look at you funny. That’s just competitiveness…do a dance or whatever, but that’s just being a competitor. You’ve seen the bad and the ugly parts of our game and when people taunt and get themselves going and do stuff with their hands. You know, he’s the best. It’s his league, and I’ve got a lot of respect for him, and the way he goes about his business is the biggest thing to me.”

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Warriors’ Harrison Barnes reflects on Kobe Bryant and the night the Lakers star suffered Achilles rupture

Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) dribbles past Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph during the first half of Game 6 of a second-round NBA basketball Western Conference playoff series Friday, May 15, 2015, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) dribbles past Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph during the first half of Game 6 of a second-round NBA basketball Western Conference playoff series Friday, May 15, 2015, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

OAKLAND — Kobe Bryant will play in his final NBA game before retirement while the Warriors go for win No. 73. Before the games, Harrison Barnes reflected on Bryant.

Barnes was a rookie on April 12, 2013 when while guarding Bryant and getting called for a foul, the Los Angeles Lakers star ruptured his Achilles.

“I don’t think about it often, but as a rookie, that was one of the craziest basketball experiences of my life just guarding one of my idols and seeing him get hurt and thinking that he may never play basketball,” Barnes said Wednesday.

“It’s been great to obviously see him come back and be able to play and do that type of stuff, but at the time, it was super scary. I’m glad he was able to rehab from that and get back on the court.”

The feeling of the Achilles injury was such that Bryant in that moment asked Barnes if he had kicked him, hoping that was the reason for his discomfort.

It was not, and Bryant was never the same after that despite playing in his 107th game since the injury tonight.

“Kobe is the best player in this generation,” Barnes said. “Just everything he’s done for the game. Personally, just in the competition that we’ve had, he’s just been a great, great friend and mentor. And for the game, I think everybody in this generation has been influenced by him.”

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Live updates tonight: Warriors vs. Grizzlies with NBA history on the line

The Golden State Warriors are introduced before their NBA game against the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, April 7, 2016. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

The Golden State Warriors are introduced before their NBA game against the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, April 7, 2016. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

Can the Warriors make NBA history Wednesday night and win their 73rd game? Get the latest score and analysis during the Warriors’ final regular season game against the Memphis Grizzlies at 7:30 p.m. from our Diamond Leung as well as other reporters.

If viewing on a mobile device, click here.

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Charles Barkley guarantees Golden State Warriors will not repeat as NBA champions

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) and Draymond Green (23) begin to celebrate their National Basketball Association championship as they defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) and Draymond Green (23) begin to celebrate their National Basketball Association championship as they defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

TNT analyst Charles Barkley still doesn’t believe in the Warriors.

“I’m telling you right now, I’m guaranteeing the Warriors will not win the world championship,” Barkley told Ernie Johnson on Tuesday’s Inside the NBA.

Later in the show, the Hall of Fame player said, “If the Golden State Warriors win a championship, I will get on my knees and congratulate them. Because let me tell you something. Regardless of what y’all say, if you go back and actually look at the playoffs last year, they did not play one team that was healthy in the playoffs.”

Barkley did predict the Warriors would reach an NBA-record 73rd win Wednesday.

“Who are they playing?” Barkley asked.

Told it was the Memphis Grizzlies, Barkley replied, “Hey, the only thing good about Memphis is Beale Street.”

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NBA announces Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson should not have been called for last-second foul

SAN ANTONIO — The NBA announced Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson both made incidental contact with Memphis’ Lance Stephenson, with referees correctly deciding not to call a last-second shooting foul on either player in the Warriors’ win Sunday.

A foul would have given Stephenson an opportunity for possible game-winning free throws. Instead, the Warriors came away with a 100-99 win for their 71st victory of the season.

Thompson’s contact with Stephenson did not affect the jump shot, with the Grizzlies player kicking out his leg to initiate the contact, according to the league.

The league assesses non-calls directly related to the outcome of possessions in the final two minutes of games within five points.