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.


Game 59 rewind: Warriors’ Stephen Curry has masterful all-around performance against Knicks

NEW YORK — New York loves Stephen Curry. The media crowded around him before the game, asking what it was about Madison Square Garden that made him light up. Afterward, it was Stephen A. Smith congratulating him on another job well done.

Curry needed less than 30 minutes to notch a triple-double, and don’t forget that the timing of his performance one game after the Chicago setback certainly mattered.

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Steve Blake open to re-signing with Warriors for reserve role

NEW YORK — Warriors guard Steve Blake is impressed with the team one week after being traded from the Los Angeles Lakers and open to re-signing with Golden State as a free agent after the season.

“I can’t lie,” Blake said Friday. “I wonder where I’ll be next year. If I had the opportunity to be here, I would love it.

“I already knew from the outside that they were a special team. I didn’t realize what a great group of guys it was and how nice it is to play for Coach (Mark) Jackson. Those are all things that I’ll be looking for, for a place I’d like to finish off my career at.”

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Game 58 rewind: Warriors want to move on after getting routed by Bulls

CHICAGO — With the Warriors’ starters out of the game in the fourth quarter of a blowout, Bulls fans turned their attention to the assistant coach seated beside them. Brian Scalabrine, the former Bulls reserve, was the subject of chants late in the game just as he once was as a seldom-used player.

That’s how much of a laugher this game was, as the Warriors trailed by as many as 28 points and didn’t show much signs of life after taking punches from the more physical Bulls. A Warriors assistant coach became the punch line. Another assistant, Pete Myers, picked up a technical foul while showing some fire missing on the court.

And all coach Mark Jackson could do after the game was solemnly state that the Warriors would have to move forward after this one.

What else was there to say? Stephen Curry scored five points in his worst shooting performance of the season. The Warriors got sloppy with the ball and got dominated on the glass. No starter scored in double figures, as the unit combined for only 35 points.

“That’s the way we like it, taking players out of their game,” Bulls guard Jimmy Butler said of a job well done on Curry. “It is frustrating for them.”

The Warriors lost so badly that there was little to dwell on during the first part of a long road trip. They’re off to New York next and still 12 games over .500. There will be another day to shine.


Warriors’ Harrison Barnes found knowledge, motivation as name came up at trade deadline

CHICAGO — Warriors general manager Bob Myers spoke last week on KNBR about all the erroneous rumors leading up to the NBA’s trade deadline, noting, “I saw a ton of ‘They’re shopping (Harrison) Barnes.’”

Barnes, a second-year player, laughed on Wednesday while explaining that being young meant not fully understanding what was going on around him before the deadline. But the rumors did lead to the 21-year-old to learn from the front office what was really happening.

“It was nothing formal,” Barnes said. “They just told me obviously teams are inquiring, that’s pretty much it. I wasn’t really trying to like look through reports, figure out where I was going to go. I just wanted to try to focus on the games. Ultimately, that’s what matters most.”

And with the knowledge that other NBA teams were the ones initiating trade proposals, Barnes used it as motivation since it reflected how much better he could have been playing. This month, he improved by averaging 10.3 points and 4.4 rebounds off the bench, shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range.

“You always want to find extra motivation, so the fact that your name was always floating out there, you always try to use that to get yourself going,” Barnes said.

“It focuses you in a little bit more, keeps you locked in on what you’re doing and doesn’t really allow you to let your mind wander. Obviously I’ve been playing better as of late, so I obviously want to continue to do that.”

A blockbuster deal that might have sent Barnes to another team didn’t materialize, so the Warriors have in place a highly-regarded piece for their future and present. Myers told the station Barnes was doing well in finding a balance between being a role player in need of playing longer stretches in order to get comfortable.

“Ultimate professional, probably the hardest-working guy on the team, so we have huge hopes for him, and we think he’s going to have a real high ceiling,” Myers said.