Draymond: Porzingis' comments 'pissed me off; made it real personal'

Draymond: Porzingis' comments 'pissed me off; made it real personal'

OAKLAND – Draymond Green was in the midst of calmly explaining his defensive approach to Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis when, unable to help himself, he referred to the slight.

Slights, real or imagined, nourish Green’s competitive soul. They have made him an All-Star and an indispensible member of the Warriors.

And on Wednesday, Porzingis, looking forward to facing Green, had said just enough – it doesn’t take much – to get his opponents pulse racing.

“Just really try to be aggressive, try to crowd his space,” Green began after holding Porzingis to eight points on 4-of-13 shooting Thursday in a 103-90 win over New York. “He’s 7-3, so if you don’t crowd his space and try to do your work early, before he starts shooting the ball, your contest won’t matter. Every time he’d catch the ball, try to take his space away, try to make him uncomfortable.

“And tonight . . . my Nike rep, Adrian (Stelly), showed me something on the sideline, right before the game tipped off, that kind of pissed me off and made me want to go a little harder this game and guard him. It was good.

“I think I was in La-la land before he showed me that, and that just immediately pissed me off.”

Green didn’t repeat what Porzingis had said, but he didn’t have to. Comments the young forward made to New York reporters had been publicized by CSNBayArea.com, as well as several other news outlets.

[POOLE: Porzingis champing at the bit to face Draymond, eager for payback]

Dominated last season by Green, Porzingis this time proclaimed himself “ready” for a rematch with Green.

“Last season, right after the game was over I was thinking when was the next time we were going to get a chance to play against them,” Porzingis had said.

“I’m ready for him.”

Well, no, he wasn’t. In three games against Green, Porzingis – despite a nine-inch height advantage – has a total of 16 points, on 8-of-32 shooting. That he was looking forward to facing Green is normal chatter for an athlete. Green took it as an insult.

“I like the passion,” Green said of Porzingis. “I like the dog that he has. I like that (he) wants to see me again.

“But keep that to yourself. Don’t let everybody know that you’re (coming) after me. So I guess we’re going to go after each other. That’s fine. I think he’s a great player. I think he’ll continue to get better and better. But that made it real personal for me.”

Nothing feeds Green like being targeted by an opponent. Even the slightest rumor of a dare is enough for him to set his watch, so he can get up in time to clean your clock.

Porzingis made a relatively innocuous comment, and Green used it to lock him up in public.


Warriors need vets to bounce back against young Suns


Warriors need vets to bounce back against young Suns

The Warriors have lost three of their last four games, their roster is in shambles and, still, they look like pure gold in contrast to the Suns team they’re facing Saturday night in Phoenix.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6 o’clock, with tipoff scheduled for 7:05.

Reeling from the absences of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, the Warriors (52-17) showed plenty of the scrap in losing to the Kings on Friday in Oakland but couldn’t get much offense from their veterans.

The Suns (19-51) are having the worst season since 1968-69, their inaugural season. They’ve lost seven in a row, 16 of their last 17 and 21 of their last 23.


Warriors by 3


Quinn Cook vs. Elfrid Payton: Payton bolted to a 16-point first quarter and scored 29 the last time he faced the Warriors. Quinn is coming off a career-high 25-point game. With teams relying on diminished rosters, whichever of the two young PGs can set a tone gives his team an advantage.


Warriors: G Omri Casspi (R ankle sprain), G Stephen Curry (R ankle tweak), F Kevin Durant (R rib soreness), G Pat McCaw (L wrist fracture) and G Klay Thompson (R thumb fracture) are listed as out.

Suns: G Devin Booker (R hand sprain) and F Alan Williams (R meniscus tear) are listed as questionable. G Brandon Knight (L ACL tear) is listed as out.


Warriors: 7-3.

Suns: 1-9.


Tony Brothers (crew chief), Jacyn Goble, James Williams


The Warriors won the first of four meetings this season, 129-83 on Feb. 12 at Oracle Arena. They swept all four games last season and are 12-1 against the Suns in the Steve Kerr era.


MOTIVATED VETS: Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Zaza Pachulia, David West and Nick Young, expected to generate offense, combined to shoot 19-of-59 (32.2 percent) in a five-point loss Friday. They must be better; they can’t be much worse. Phoenix leads the NBA in points allowed.

THE BIG MEN: JaVale McGee started nine straight games at center, but Pachulia started the last two. The Suns are long up front, so McGee could be in line for a start or more minutes. In addition, Damian Jones, the team’s other 7-footer, also could get playing time.

STREAKING WITH THREES: The Suns own the longest active streak of games with at least one 3-point make (1,128). The Warriors are No. 2 (1,121). Both streaks are endangered. Curry, Thompson and Durant are out for the Warriors. Booker will either sit out or play with a splint on his shooting hand.

Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss

Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss

OAKLAND -- If Quinn Cook plays at anything close to the level he performed Friday night against the Kings, the Warriors should avoid any catastrophic stumbling in the absence of their top three scorers.

They stumbled plenty in a 98-93 loss to Sacramento, but not because of Cook. The two-way player who has spent most of the season with G-League Santa Cruz scored a team-high 25 points, shot 10-of-13 from the field and played respectable defense.

He did more than could have been reasonably expected.

“I felt like this was coming,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He was fantastic. He really lit it up and gave us a huge boost.”

The Warriors ran into problems elsewhere, shared among the usually reliable veterans who need to be particularly reliable in the absence of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.

Usual starters Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia combined to shoot 6-of-20.

Usual reserves Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, David West and Nick Young shot a collective 13-of-39.

In the second half, when Warriors mustered only 34 points -- a season-low for any half -- the six vets combined to take 32 shots and missed 24.

Those are atrocious numbers and they explain what went wrong in a game that was there for the taking.

They’re also an anomaly.

“We just couldn’t get anything going,” Green said. “But we got some good shots. We got ‘Dre on a couple of pull-ups in the lane, I got a couple open shots, Nick got a couple open shots, Zaza got a couple open ones. D-West had one pop in and out. (Kevon Looney) had two pop in and out.

“We just got cold. But hopefully those shots will fall tomorrow.”

West, returning after missing four games with a cyst on his right arm, was 1-of-6 from the field. He came into this game as a 60.8-percent shooter this season.

Igoudala was 4-of-10; he shot 70 percent over the previous 10 games. Young was 5-of-15, well below his 44-percent shooting this season. Livingston’s 3-of-8 shooting is uncharacteristic of someone shooting at least 50 percent for four years running.

If history is any indication, Green (5-of-14) and Pachulia (1-of-6) are not going continue to miss at the rate they did in this game, the first this season in which the Warriors were without all three of their top scorers.

If history is any indication, the Warriors can’t be counted on to score 34 points on 27.3-percent shooting in the second half of a game.

“I loved how our guys battled,” Kerr said. “They really competed well and made some big plays. We just couldn’t get the ball to go down quite enough in the second half.”

That’s going to change, perhaps as soon as Saturday night in Phoenix, were the Suns are playing to lose.

So if Cook plays steady basketball, the Warriors will fall off and their fans won’t become a basket case while waiting for the three shooters. The Warriors surely believe that.

“He really showed up. I’ve been waiting on that Quinn,” Green said. “We needed that. It was great for him to come out and play like that. And most importantly, his shots were falling. Since he’s been playing (more often) he’s been playing well, but his shots weren’t really falling. But tonight, they fell for him.”

They won’t always fall at a rate of 77 percent. They won’t have to once his teammates drop in a few more of their own shots.