Curry and Durant share court for first time since injury: 'The flow was there'

Curry and Durant share court for first time since injury: 'The flow was there'

OAKLAND -- In Part II of his three-part preparation for the playoffs, Kevin Durant took another step forward, particularly with respect to his efficiency.

Oh, and one more thing: The incremental improvement shown by Durant on Monday night came while sharing the court with Stephen Curry for the first time since Feb. 28.

“I guess I don’t make him worse after all,” Durant said with a sprinkle of sarcasm after pointing out Curry’s impressive offensive stats in a 105-99 loss to the Jazz at Oracle Arena. “He came out tonight and shot the ball extremely well, got us going on the offensive end. It looks like we can play together.”

While Curry remained in the hot zone he has inhabited for four weeks, scoring a game-high 28 points, including 6-of-8 shooting from deep, Durant submitted numbers identical to those of his first game back last Saturday night.

Playing 32 minutes, Durant finished with 16 points (6-of-12 from the field), 10 rebounds and six assists, leading the Warriors in the latter two categories.

“The flow was there,” Curry said. “It was kind of choppy at first, just the way Utah tried to slow the tempo down. We had some bright spots and some good runs, some good spurts throughout the game. That’ll continue.”

Curry finished plus-9 for the game, Durant plus-8. The only other Warrior deep in the plus category was JaVale McGee, who was plus-6.

Not that Durant, who shot 50 percent Monday, after shooting 40 percent last Saturday, was entirely satisfied with his performance.

“Points, I don’t worry about that because I feel like I’ve got a good advantage on that end,” he said. “But I’ve got to call somebody, because my 3-pointer is not working.”

In the two games he has played in his return, Durant is 12-of-27, 0-of-9 from deep. He’s 12-of-18 on everything else.

“I’ve got to figure that out,” he said of the triples. “They looked great tonight, too. I should’ve been 10-of-12 tonight from the field. I got some shots that I should’ve made that I normally make. But I’ve got to make that call, because my 3-pointer is not working right now.”

On a night Klay Thompson sat out to rest, Kerr, however, had no complaints about Curry or Durant or much of anything else, other than pointing the rebounding discrepancy (49-42).

“I wanted to get KD around 32 minutes, which we did,” Kerr said. “And with Steph, I wanted to get him his usual run. But I didn’t want him to finish the game.

“That was part of the idea tonight was to get them as many minutes together as possible.”

Casspi defends his spot on Warriors, explains why he's not worried about being cut


Casspi defends his spot on Warriors, explains why he's not worried about being cut

OAKLAND -- Like much of the NBA and everyone with an interest in the Warriors, Omri Casspi has watched the emergence of Quinn Cook, who came out of the G-League and is making a strong bid to make the postseason roster.

Casspi, out since spraining his right ankle last Friday against Sacramento, happens to be at or near the top of the list of the tiny group of players that might be dropped should the Warriors decide to add Cook.

The 6-foot-9 veteran forward has heard the chatter.

“First of all, it’s you guys talking,” Casspi said, referring to media. “I don’t really feel it from the organization. At the end of the day, I’m focused on getting healthy and playing. That’s all I can control.

“I feel like the team needs me and know what I can do for the team. My focus is on getting healthy and playing.”

The Warriors have until April 11 to submit their playoff roster.

Casspi’s roster spot is in danger for three reasons.

One, he has lost confidence in his long-distance shooting, which was influential in the team’s decision to sign him to a one-year minimum contract last July.

Two, his defense has been a glaring weakness, with teams attacking him at every opportunity.

Three, he had fallen out of the rotation when the team was fully healthy and didn’t return until after succession of injuries. Casspi exceeded 10 minutes of playing time in only one of the 12 games before injuries to several teammates became a factor.

Stephen Curry’s ankle woes this season, along with Cook’s impressive play, are making a persuasive argument for adding the third-year point guard.

For now, Casspi is determined to get back on court after missing the last two games.

“With my role on this team, when I’m healthy I want to go out there and play, maybe not 100 percent healthy, but close to it,” he said. “That’s what I’m focused on, on feeling good and running up and down and being able to cut and move and be out there again with the guys.”

As Warriors inch closer to full health, Kerr provides update on Durant, Klay


As Warriors inch closer to full health, Kerr provides update on Durant, Klay

OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson all worked up sweat Wednesday, putting the Warriors ever closer to being whole again.

Only Draymond Green did not full participate in the non-contact practice session, but he’s expected back in a matter of days.

So while the Warriors are a little more than a week away from possibly having the full squad available, they’re starting to feel a little less vulnerable.

“They’re all kind of day-to-day,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Steph is closer to playing than KD and Klay.”

Curry has not played since March 8, when he tweaked his surgically repaired right ankle. He missed the last six games. Durant (rib cartilage injury) and Thompson (right thumb sprain) sustained their injuries on March 11 at Minnesota, though Durant played one more game, March 14, before receiving a diagnosis. Durant missed the last three games, Thompson the last four.

Green sustained a pelvic contusion Monday night at San Antonio, but believes he will be available this weekend, either Friday against Atlanta or Sunday against Utah.

Curry, though, is fully cleared for all activities.

“Steph looks great,” Kerr said. “He’s chomping at the bit. But we’ll see how he responds in the next couple days before we decide whether he plays or not.”

Durant loathes acknowledging pain or injuries, and his return will be dictated by his ability with withstanding the contact inevitable in the course of a game.

“I don’t expect KD to play this week,” Kerr said. “It’s not like a timetable . . . just sort of a feel thing. It’s symptomatic with him.”

Thompson seems, at this point, the furthest away from full activity.

“Klay did some stuff," Kerr said, “but not full participation.”