Warriors

Green makes Warriors history -- 'It's a hell of an accomplishment'

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USATSI

Green makes Warriors history -- 'It's a hell of an accomplishment'

HOUSTON -- David West limped out of Warriors locker room Thursday night with a sprained left ankle, leaving him questionable for the game against the Clippers on Saturday in Los Angeles.

Which puts Draymond Green on alert.

Few guys in the NBA are as good as Green is at sensing what his team needs and finding a way to deliver it. Which is why he is, at age 26, already the Warriors all-time leader in triple-doubles.

His 21st came Thursday night in a 124-114 win over the Rockets. The Warriors were without Kevin Durant, so Green provided 17 points and 14 rebounds. With Stephen Curry spending a fair amount of time at shooting guard, the Warriors needed another playmaker. So Green dropped 10 assists.

Add it all up, and he’s the franchise leader in a category that illustrates versatility. The Warriors are 21-0 when Green posts a triple-double.

“It’s not something I ever thought about or thought would happen, especially not playing much my first two years,” Green said. “It’s kind of crazy. But it’s definitely something to be proud of.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr often cites Green as a player whose varied skills make him a candidate for regular triple-doubles. Still, the power forward needed only three-plus seasons as a starter to surpass previous franchise leader Tom Gola.

“It’s a hell of an accomplishment,” Kerr said. “Tom Gola is a Hall of Famer. It was an amazing night for Draymond. He did everything for us.”

Green played some point guard. Played dash of center and a sprinkle of small forward. And, of course, mostly power forward.

“He’s huge; he’s made a nice living off his uniqueness and what he brings to our team,” Stephen Curry said. “There may be nights where he doesn’t stuff the stat sheets, but he still finds a way to be impactful. And based on the eye test, just watching the game, you can see him all over the place. Like tonight, he played the whole floor game, offensively knocking down shots, rebounding the basketball, finding open guys, playing great defense.”

Green did not start the game particularly well, missing four of his first five shots and committing two turnovers in the first quarter. He pulled it together as the night went on, most notably in the second half, when he basically controlled the game at both ends.

He was minus-1 in 20 first-half minutes, plus-17 in 18 second-half minutes.

“I just settled in and let the game come to me,” he said. “There were some plays in the beginning where I had it but didn’t make the pass quick enough and the gap closed. I settled in and made the easy play, the for sure pass, and stopped trying to make the big play.”

Green stopped trying to force passes in pursuit of the spectacular and began simplifying his game.

It worked well enough that the Warriors, without Durant, were able to come into Toyota Center and put away the Rockets, their chief competitors in the Western Conference.

And if West’s bum ankle keeps him out Saturday, that’s one more void for Green to fill. It might mean more minutes. It might require more toughness.

Check that. Green’s toughness is his most reliable asset. It’s there even on those occasions when little else is working.

Steve Kerr knew Erin Popovich well, shares funny story from when Gregg traded him in 2001

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AP

Steve Kerr knew Erin Popovich well, shares funny story from when Gregg traded him in 2001

Erin Popovich -- Gregg Popovich's wife of four decades -- passed away on Wednesday.

Gregg will not coach in tonight's Game 3 in San Antonio.

After shootaround on Thursday, Steve Kerr was asked about Erin and shared a funny story:

"Knew her well. She was close with my wife (Margot) when I played here. Erin was sort of the balance that Pop needed (laughter). I still remember when he traded me to Portland in 2001, he called me up to tell me the news, he said: 'I don't think I can go home, because Erin is gonna be so mad at me for trading you.'

"Margot and Erin were close and stayed in touch over the years. She was part of the family, but she's dealt with a lot over the last few years health-wise and has been very courageous."

As a player, Kerr was on the 1998-99 Spurs team that won the championship.

In July 2001, Popovich traded Kerr to the Blazers as part of a package that sent Steve Smith to San Antonio.

In August 2002, Popovich reacquired Kerr and the Spurs won another title in 2003...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

TIME: Kevin Durant one of the 100 most influential people in the world

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USATSI

TIME: Kevin Durant one of the 100 most influential people in the world

Kevin Durant received quite the honor on Thursday morning.

He is one of the most 100 influential people in the world, according to TIME.

Eddy Cue -- the senior vice president of Internet software and services at Apple -- writes:

Kevin Durant isn’t just an incredible basketball player; he’s an incredible human too.

From committing $10 million to the College Track program to help disadvantaged kids receive higher education to building and renovating basketball courts around the world so at-risk youth have a safe place to learn and play, KD is giving those growing up in tough situations, like he did, a path to success. His generosity knows no bounds.

As an entrepreneur, KD brings the same relentless work ethic and pursuit of excellence that he has on the court, focusing on companies and products that are making lives better. Above all, he has ridden the ups and downs of following his heart, making a hard choice and taking control of his own career—and has emerged wiser, happier, with his head held high. He’s a role model for us all.

Back in early January, Durant pledged $3 million to the University of Texas.

And while it pales in comparison to his generosity off the court -- last July, Durant did take nearly $10 million below his maximum salary to help the Warriors retain Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller