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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Warriors 126, Raptors 105: So many good numbers and story lines, you could write a book

“Mo Buckets” went for 26 on 12 of 19 shooting. He continues to astound.

Take it from a grizzled, greying sportswriter. You could write 100 inches on a performance like the Warriors gave Friday night against Toronto and still not cover everything sufficiently. There are just too many things happening, too many numerical achievements that boggle the mind, too many highlights to detail in a 20-25 inch game story like this one.

I won’t attempt it on the blog, either, because there’s still a lot of season to play and I don’t want to wear you out. But heavens, the Warriors are 26-5 and they have yet to play a game at full roster strength. So we’ll go with some quick-hit thoughts from this latest chapter of Warriors wonder.

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Warriors 126, 76ers 86: Stephen Curry gets Steve Kerr’s message, says ‘we’ve got to be smart’ about showmanship

OAKLAND – For Stephen Curry, there was plenty of temptation in the past couple of games.

With the Warriors up big against the lowly Timberwoves and 76ers, there were plenty of opportunities for some razzle dazzle and the chance for Curry to display the swag that makes him a god among NBA fans and Vine video viewers alike.

But after hearing coach Steve Kerr criticize the team for its “tendency at times to want to put on a show instead of just making the right play,” Curry heard the message and said he was working to find that balance.

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Warriors 110, Timberwolves 97: Steve Kerr says ‘silly stuff,’ lack of discipline wont get team far in the playoffs

OAKLAND – Warriors coach Steve Kerr after his team cruised to a 110-97 win against Minnesota chose the postgame press conference as the place to get something off his chest.

He criticized the carelessness and turnovers that he said he was “dumfounded by” and didn’t hesitate to name star guard Stephen Curry as one of the culprits.

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Warriors’ Rick Welts says he has ‘great relationship’ with Mark Jackson even after talk about Jason Collins comments

Warriors president Rick Welts is one member of the organization who is saying he had a “great relationship” with former coach Mark Jackson.

Welts, who is openly gay, told KQED Radio on Tuesday that their relationship remains that way even after he approached Jackson about comments the coach made last April after Jason Collins became the first NBA player to publicly come out as gay.

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