MINNEAPOLIS – Warriors guard Klay Thompson will join Stephen Curry in the All-Star starting lineup Sunday in New York, according to coach Steve Kerr.
The decision to have Thompson start was made by Kerr, who by virtue of the Warriors’ top record in the Western Conference was appointed to coach the All-Star squad. Houston’s James Harden was also named a starter, as Kerr needed replacements for injured players Kobe Bryant and Blake Griffin.
“I think it makes a lot of sense to start both Klay and Harden,” Kerr said. “They’re the two best shooting guards in the league this year I think, and they’ve both earned it.”
The Warriors will have two starters in the All-Star game for the first time since Rick Barry and Nate Thurmond were in the lineup in 1967.
“It’s an indication of how far we’ve come,” Kerr said.
Said Curry: “I think it’s kind of a cool deal to have Warriors representation and for Klay to start and have some fun.”
Kerr isn’t done making moves yet. He’ll have to make another decision on the lineup after New Orleans’ Anthony Davis announced he would forgo the All-Star game in order to rest his sprained shoulder.
PHILADELPHIA – At the end of the third quarter, Draymond Green threw his arms in the air and began shouting to anyone who would listen.
Andre Iguodala. Andrew Bogut. Shaun Livingston. They all heard the message.
Green while collecting four points and three rebounds wanted himself to play better and the team to show some life as it ended up hanging on to an 89-84 win against the cellar-dwelling 76ers.
“We don’t want to stumble into the break,” Green said. “You stumble into the break, you’re going to stumble out of it. So we need to finish this off strong.”
NEW YORK – They hung banners of Stephen Curry outside of Madison Square Garden in advance of the All-Star game and his game against the Knicks.
They cheered him as lineups were announced. They crowded around him in the locker room after the Warriors’ 106-92 win Saturday.
New York loves it some Curry, and even though it shouldn’t have come to it, he put on a show in the end.
Curry hit five 3-pointers, one of which came while being fouled and two of them coming late in the game when the Warriors needed him most. He went 8 for 18 from the field, grabbed six rebounds and two steals.
Afterward, Curry spoke of championships expectations, of what the Warriors could have done better rather than basking in the spotlight.
“The way that it happened, we were helping them by turning the ball over, giving them open shots,” Curry said of the Knicks.
The game was too close for comfort for the Warriors, but they made the big plays in the end thanks to Curry.
That’s nothing unusual. It just can’t be consistently that way in the playoffs, and Curry knows it.
ATLANTA – Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he doesn’t think about the idea that he could see Atlanta in the NBA Finals.
“That’s so far away, and there are so many things that can happen,” Kerr said.
But there was nothing during the Hawks’ 124-116 win that succeeded in holding serve on their home court that made that vision a farfetched one.
The Warriors played well in spurts and were beaten. The Hawks can shoot it as advertised , giving the Warriors a dose of their own medicine. The Warriors kept fighting and afterward did a collective, figurative nod at the punch the Hawks threw in anticipation of maybe some future games to come.
“They’re the best team in the East and the best team in the league along with us,” center Andrew Bogut said. “It was always going to be a battle. We weren’t expecting to come in here and win by 20, so we know we have work to do…We’ll see them again soon.”
As part of the pre-game customary opposing coach fluff, Rick Carlisle was asked to assess the Warriors’ All-Star backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. He laid it on thick.
“We’ve never seen better shooters than these guys ever in this game,” Carlisle said, among other glowing verbal bouquets.
Unfortunately for Carlisle, his words proved prophetic. Even after Dallas had their best first quarter of the season — 42 points — and held a 22-point lead at one early juncture, 40-18, you just had a feeling this was the kind of swat in the nose that would get the Splash Brothers going.
And oh, did they splash. The Warriors made 19 of 38 3-point attempts (50 percent), and Curry and Thompson made 14 of them on just 26 tries. Curry, of course, made 10 himself and was 6-for-7 in his 26-point third quarter. He had another corner three nullified by an Andrew Bogut foul. Everything about Curry’s big night is in the game story here.
So we’ve had two third quarters for the ages in less than a month, and speaking of which, how does James Harden win NBA Player of the Month over Thompson when Thompson won Player of the Week twice, had the individual game of the season so far and the quarter for all time? Guess the league has to spread some of the love around, but really now.
The Warriors and forward James Michael McAdoo reached agreement on a second 10-day contract Monday, according to agent Jim Tanner.
McAdoo averaged 37.5 points and 13 rebounds and shot 66 percent from the field in two games for Santa Cruz in his return to the team having completed his first 10-day contract.
The 22-year-old rookie averaged 4.7 points and 1.7 rebounds in three games with the Warriors, racking up 11 points and five rebounds in 13 minutes for his NBA debut.
Hunter Pence gave the Warriors a bit of a lift Saturday night at Oracle Arena. Sitting courtside next to owner Joe Lacob, the Giants’ outfielder was introduced during a timeout in the second quarter when Golden State wasn’t going so hot.
Pence smiled widely, stood up out of his seat, waved his arms and started shouting encouragement to the crowd. They responded with a thankful roar after a decidedly flat start to the game. It was probably coincidence, but the Warriors appeared to immediately play better the rest of the half, too, then they really kicked it gear in the third quarter.
No, Pence didn’t go to the locker room for one of his R-rated motivational speeches. The Warriors had plenty of speech-making going on among themselves, according to Andre Iguodala.
“When you lose like we did last night (in Utah) then have a tough start in the first half, you have to get it right,” Iguodala said. “Draymond (Green) has done a great job being the voice and letting guys know when it gets rough, that you just have to grind it out. Defensively is where it happens to get out of a rut.”
The Warriors definitely got out their defensive rut in the second half and it helped their sputtering offense get untracked as well. More than anybody, it was Iguodala leading the way, looking more spry and dynamic than he has in recent games.