Game 66 rewind: Warriors face off, get testy with Clippers star Blake Griffin

LOS ANGELES — The Warriors and the Clippers don’t like each other. That much we knew, and that much was on display Wednesday as the Clippers held serve at Staples Center and even afterward.

Clippers beat writers witnessed an apparent airing of the grievances in the hallway after the game between Blake Griffin and Jermaine O’Neal, who reportedly initiated the whole thing to get his heated points across face to face.

“Why you want to walk up on me? Leave that (stuff) on the court,” Blake told O’Neal, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Brad Turner.

Replied O’Neal: “I’m a monster off the court.”

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Game 65 rewind: Warriors super subs Draymond Green, Jordan Crawford underappreciated?

OAKLAND — Ask Andrew Bogut to identify what it is that’s been sparking the bench and making the second unit go, and his answer might surprise you.

Steve Blake has been doing that for sure after arriving from the Lakers in a trade and bringing stability with him. Freed up to shoot, Jordan Crawford has brought the offensive firepower the Warriors needed. And Jermaine O’Neal right now is laughing in the face of Father Time.

Bogut went with one of the players who’s been there all along this season — Draymond Green.

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Warriors guard Klay Thompson’s goatee becomes a thing

OAKLAND — The Warriors have gone on a roll after the All-Star break, and it is any coincidence that in the meantime Klay Thompson has grown a goatee?

Maybe, but either way, Thompson is drawing attention when it comes to what’s on his chin.

After Thompson hit a game-winning shot last week at Indiana, Grantland’s Chris Ryan wrote that “he did it all despite looking like he bought a Captain Jack Sparrow facial hair kit right before the game.” The headline of the piece referred to “Evil Klay Thompson.”

Thompson’s facial hair, which seven months ago became a discussion point on reddit after a fan snapped a photo and deemed him nearly unrecognizable, has received mixed reactions from his teammates. Asked on KNBR if the latest look was “cool or creepy,” center Andrew Bogut said with a laugh, “A couple guys have said ‘creepy’ on the team. It’s really growing well, so he’s done a good job with it. I don’t know if he’s changed his diet or not, but it’s looking very, very good.”

Thompson, who grew the goatee during the All-Star break because as he told KNBR “I was just too lazy to cut it,” indicated Tuesday after shootaround that it might be a while before he shaves it off.

“We’re 9-2 with it, so if we can go about 15, we’ll see,” Thompson said. “Kind of just do it day by day.

“I was probably doing something different. Why not while I’m young?”


Game 64 rewind: Warriors feeling fine after unloading on Phoenix with big third quarter

OAKLAND — The Warriors spent much of the first half trying to chase down Phoenix. Time and time again, they drew close before the Suns hit big shots to extend the lead. Goran Dragic and Gerald Green were lighting up Golden State.

But then, the Warriors opened the floodgates. Klay Thompson put them ahead in the third quarter with a 3-pointer, and by the time he hit a shot to start the fourth, the Warriors were leading by 18 points.

That’s how powerful the Warriors offense can be when it is clicking along with a defense that continues to shine.

Don’t think the Warriors are a threat to knock off a team in the first round of the playoffs? Right now, Golden State is showing it can play with anyone.

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Game 63 rewind: Warriors survive scare from Thompson in easy home win

Klay Thompson gave everybody in Warrior land a scare when he landed hard on his back, then hit his head and eventually left the court in seemingly considerable pain. The sigh of relief came after the game when coach Mark Jackson said Thompson was set to return for the second quarter until he “got my Pop on” and rested him.

Thompson was still in the locker room when the media arrived and he wasn’t with the trainers. He didn’t speak at length, but echoed what Jackson said in that he was fine. So it seems as if there should be no major concerns about Thompson’s health.

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Stephen Curry wasn’t at his best, but Warriors win, Draymond Green got his point across

INDIANAPOLIS — Headed toward the locker room at the end of the first half, Stephen Curry listened as Draymond Green did the talking.

Green was in Curry’s ear after what should have been the Warriors’ final possession of the half involved the Golden State star having the ball stolen by Indiana’s Lance Stephenson and being turned into a Paul George dunk on the other end.

Earlier in the half, there was a play in which Curry didn’t go get the ball, and Green on his 24th birthday wanted to put a stop to it.

“I told him, ‘I don’t care if you turn the ball over 10 times. Go get the basketball because we’re going to live and die with you turning the basketball over. You’re going to make the right play more times than you turn the basketball over, so I don’t care if you turn it over.’

“I told him, ‘You are our guy. We live with you, so I don’t care if you turn it over. Go and get the basketball and make a play. We need you to make a play.’ We don’t want one turnover to turn into two or three turnovers because he didn’t go get the basketball and control the game.

“He’s still an up-and-coming point guard, great player. He’s going to continue to grow. One thing I like about him, he’s a superstar in this league, but he listens to anyone that has something to say that could better him. He listens. You have to respect that.”

Curry has built up high expectations for himself, but can’t be expected to carry the load each and every night for the Warriors, who are too talented a team for that to happen.

That’s why a win at Indiana with Klay Thompson hitting the game-winner and the bench with Steve Blake collecting six assists was big. On a night when Curry could have played better, his teammates picked him up.

“He showed composure the whole quarter to make the right play, take his time, and it paid off for us,” Curry said of Thompson, whom he said he’d owe dinner.

Thompson took the shot without hesitation and described it was a fairly simple play. Mark Jackson had drawn it up for Thompson to get the ball. Curry, who struggled in the fourth quarter, was able to get away with making some mistakes and the Warriors still getting the win.

That didn’t happen at Toronto and Curry making missteps, but it worked at Eastern Conference-leading Indiana with the Bankers Life Fieldhouse crowd hungry for a comeback win.

Thompson’s shot silenced the crowd. Green did the talking in support of Curry. And the Warriors go into the final leg of their long road trip with positive vibes.


Warriors’ Mark Jackson on beating Stephen Curry in shooting contest: ‘I’m retiring on top’

INDIANAPOLIS — Warriors coach Mark Jackson beat Stephen Curry in a 3-point shooting contest Monday, and a day later, Jackson was smiling about taking down a player he considered the best shooter on the planet.

“I’m retiring on top,” said Jackson, who shot 33 percent from behind the arc as a player.

Recently, Jackson has gone on a tear and claimed shooting contest wins against players including Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala.

“He got me in a hustling contest,” Iguodala said last week, smiling.

“I thought that we were a no-excuse basketball team,” Jackson mused when told of Iguodala’s comment. “Obviously it doesn’t go across the board in shootouts, but I beat him fair and square.”

Jackson combined with Klay Thompson to defeat Draymond Green and Marreese Speights in a 3-point contest last week.

“That just says a lot about Coach and the way he runs his team and just the chemistry that we have,” Green said.