Euphoria reigns as Splash Bros take China


Euphoria reigns as Splash Bros take China

The “M-V-P, M-V-P, M-V-P” chants grew louder and louder in the third quarter and Stephen Curry rode the adulation all through the Shanghai night.

And he did so with Klay Thompson right at his side.

The two All-Star guards with massive followings in China sent countless waves of euphoria through the sellout crowd at Mercedes-Benz Arena on Sunday as the Warriors laid a 142-110 thrashing on the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Plugging into video-game mode, Curry unleashed his full offensive arsenal, firing in 40 points Sunday to lead all scorers.

Thompson also lit up the arena, draining eight of his 10 3-point attempts on the way to 28 points. Kevin Durant put in 22 points, while Draymond Green tossed in 11. Rookie forward Jordan Bell, coming off the bench, also had 11.

Curry was the clear star of the night, however, delighting the audience as the Warriors posted their first win of the preseason while closing out a two-game set in China against Minnesota.

“Just to be out there on the floor and watch him take over games like that . . . when he gets hot, it’s special to watch,” Draymond Green told reporters in Shanghai. “It’s special to be a part of.”

Playing 31 minutes, Curry drove to the basket with abandon, dropping floaters with ease, and launched from beyond the arc with typical bravado, shooting 13-of-20 from the field, including 6-of-9 from deep.

The Warriors were trailing 55-47 when Curry entered with 6:58 left in the first half and proceeded to use his scoring and passing to account for 20 of the team’s next 22 points as they took a 76-72 lead into halftime.

Curry, who also rang up eight assists, continued to punish the Timberwolves in the third quarter as the Warriors took command, going up 114-95 after three. The two-time MVP clearly earned the right to watch the fourth quarter from the bench.

“Obviously, Steph was amazing,” Thompson said.

The Warriors, tired as they might be, may wish to start the season now. Curry is ready, and when Curry is ready and bringing along his talented teammates, well, there isn’t much any opponent can do.


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.”