Gameday: What Warriors team will show up first game after All-Star break?

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USATSI

Gameday: What Warriors team will show up first game after All-Star break?

OAKLAND -- The Warriors open the stretch run of the season Thursday night, when they face the Los Angeles Clippers at Oracle Arena.

Coverage on NBC Sports begins at 6:30, with tipoff scheduled for 7:35.

The Warriors (44-14) in recent weeks have been inconsistent by their standard, going 4-4 since their Jan. 27 victory over Boston. At the sight of the Clippers, the defending champs usually find their bearings.

LA (30-26) has undergone major reconstruction over the past eight months, trading perennial All-Stars Chris Paul (last June 28) and Blake Griffin (Jan. 29). In their place are Avery Bradley and Tobias Harris. Bradley will not play Thursday night.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 11

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Stephen Curry vs. Austin Rivers/Lou Williams: Rivers has missed much of the season with an ankle injury but has returned to the starting lineup. Rivers is averaging career-highs in points (15.5 pg) and assists (3.7 pg). Curry doesn’t mind teaching a few things to the league’s youngsters. Williams is back in his Sixth Man role, but Curry remembers Jan. 10, when Williams torched the Warriors for 50 points. That’s the kind of thing that lights Curry’s competitive fire.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Jordan Bell (L ankle inflammation) and G Pat McCaw (L wrist fracture) are listed as out.

Clippers: G Avery Bradley (sports hernia), G Patrick Beverley (R knee surgery) and G Jawun Evans (lower abdominal soreness) are listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 6-4.

Clippers: 7-3.

GAME OFFICIALS

Mike Callahan (crew chief), Nick Buchert, Gediminas Petraitis.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors have won two of three meetings this season, 141-113 on Oct. 30 in Los Angeles and 121-105 on Jan. 6 in LA. The Clippers prevailed in the most recent meeting, Jan. 10 in Oakland, snapping a 12-game losing streak against the Warriors. The Warriors are 13-2 against the Clippers in the Steve Kerr era.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE 1Q BLUES: The Warriors have entered the second quarter trailing by double digits in four of their last five games. They’re 3-2 during that span. It’s a tendency they want to shed and, given the rising stakes at this point of the season, likely will.

Klay 10K: Klay Thompson has 9,995 career points and needs two points to surpass Joe Barry Carroll and move into 10th place on the franchise’s all-time scoring list. Thompson is five points away from the 10,000-point milestone for his career.

THE BENCH: The Warriors have gotten big boosts from their second unit, with David West, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston joining Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. They’d to see a bit more consistency from Nick Young and more production for Omri Casspi. Now would be great time to show it.

Jordan Bell scrimmages with Warriors, inches closer to return

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AP

Jordan Bell scrimmages with Warriors, inches closer to return

OAKLAND -- Jordan Bell, who has missed the past five weeks, participated in a full-contact scrimmage Wednesday and could be available to return to the Warriors as early as this weekend.

“He looked good,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He went through everything, no noticeable limp or anything like that.”

Bell sustained a bone bruise of his left ankle on Jan. 17 against the Bulls in Chicago. The injury resulted in lingering inflammation. He will be reevaluated Thursday to see if he is ready to be cleared.

The rookie forward sounded as if he’s very close to returning to the court.

“I think it should be as soon as possible,” he said. “I thought today I had a good practice. It didn’t give me any problems. We’ll see how it reacts tomorrow.”

Steve Kerr 'amazed' by activism of Florida survivors fighting for change

Steve Kerr 'amazed' by activism of Florida survivors fighting for change

OAKLAND -- After spending his All-Star break in Hawaii, Warriors coach Steve Kerr returned to his routine Wednesday feeling better about himself, his team and, moreover, his country.

Oh, he’s still disgusted by the events of Valentine’s Day, when 17 children and adults were murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

But one week after closing a pregame news conference by his expressing disdain for politicians voting in lockstep with the National Rifle Association, Kerr is pleased that students in Florida and beyond are pleading for common-sense gun laws.

“It’s phenomenal,” Kerr said after practice. “What those kids are doing is heroic, it’s heartfelt and I think it’s the beginning of some change. I really believe that.

“I’m amazed every time I see them on TV or online. It’s heartbreaking but inspiring all at once.”

In the immediate wake of the shooting, Kerr addressed the issue and reminded people that they have the power to facilitate action in the face of perpetual inaction.

“It doesn’t seem to matter to our government that children are being shot to death, day after day, in schools,” he said last week. “It doesn’t matter that people are being shot at a concert, at a movie theater. It’s not enough, apparently, to move our leadership, our government, the people who are running this country, to actually do anything. And that’s demoralizing.

“But we can do something about it. We can vote people in who actually have the courage to protect people’s lives and not just bow down to the NRA because they’ve financed their campaign.”

Students and parents across the country have started pushing back against politicians whose campaigns receive financial support from the NRA. They’re urging a change in previous voting habits. And, short of that, they’re asking voters to usher them out of office.

“I feel very encouraged,” Kerr said Wednesday. “We’ve got a generation that’s grown up with these school shootings and mass shootings and they’re fed up.

“Historically, it’s the young generation that has initiate change.”

Kerr then compared the current groundswell to that which occurred a half century ago, when the nation’s youth fought against the ravages of the war in Vietnam.

“When you think about the Vietnam War, it was all the old white guys who kept sending all the troops over to fight this ridiculous war,” he said, pointing out the activism of the 1960s.

“It’s the young people of the country now who are going to create the change that we need in terms of how we handle gun violence and how we do our best to curb it. It’s amazing to watch.”