Warriors

Heat-Warriors: What to watch for

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Heat-Warriors: What to watch for

PREGAME UPDATE: Miami guard Dwyane Wade will play tonight against the Warriors.

OAKLAND The Warriors have lost six in a row and now theMiami Heat are in town. The Warriors will be without Stephen Curry but thenagain Dwyane Wade might not play, either. Regardless, snapping their losing streak against the Heatisnt going to be easy for the Warriors.Here are some things to watch for:Ellis evening: Theres a good chancethat Monta Ellis will be defended by bigger players all game long. Whether itsJames Jones, LeBron James, Shane Battier or perhaps even Wade if he plays Ellis is going to likely see a wave of defenders, all of whom havelength.Lee needed: If the Warriors are to beatthe Heat, theyre going to need to get production out of more players than theyhave been. Most notably, David Lee has to begin contributing more and becominga more integral part of the offense. Lee is averaging 16.6 points per game and9.7 rebounds per game. But he needs to make more of an impact.Ball security: : Turnovers have been anissue in many of the Warriors losses. Well, the Miami Heat force moreturnovers almost 20 per game than any other team in the league. TheWarriors have to limit their turnovers in a big way.

In Warriors' season-opening loss, Young brings swag while burying 3-pointers

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USATSI

In Warriors' season-opening loss, Young brings swag while burying 3-pointers

OAKLAND -- The Warriors hired Nick Young to bounce off the bench and enter games firing 3-pointers, with the belief that plenty will go through the hoop.

Young in his Warriors debut Tuesday night granted his new team’s best wish.

“Nick was great,” coach Steve Kerr said after a 122-121 loss to the Rockets at Oracle Arena. “I was thrilled with his play. That’s what we brought him here for. Great shooter and he gave us great minutes tonight.”

Young led the Warriors in scoring, pouring 23 points in 26 minutes off the bench. The veteran guard shot 8-of-9 from the floor and, moreover, was 6-of-7 from beyond the arc. The six triples are a record for a Warriors player making his debut.

“It’s a great thing when you’ve got teammates telling you to shoot the ball and having that much confidence in you,” Young said.

The USC product is on his fifth NBA team and hoping for a season of revival, to change the narrative without totally sacrificing his “Swagy P” persona.

Young is 32 years old, in his 10th year and only once since his rookie season in Washington (2007-08) was he on a playoff team. That was in 2011-12 with the Clippers, where he was a late-season acquisition.

His career, up to this point, has been defined mostly by goofy moments on the court and his former relationship with the Australian rap artist Iggy Azalea, the two maintaining a high-profile courtship during most of Young’s four years with the Lakers.

The idea is to change that, to make Young better known for being a key component of a winning team. He’s off to a good start, even if the Warriors failed to gain the win.

Without Green, Iguodala, fourth quarter turns into disaster for Warriors vs Rockets

Without Green, Iguodala, fourth quarter turns into disaster for Warriors vs Rockets

OAKLAND -- The defending champion Warriors started cracking in the hours before tipoff Tuesday night and broke apart when they usually come together.

The fourth quarter was a disaster area and it cost the Warriors, as the Houston Rockets wiped out a 13-point deficit and tagged them with a 122-121 loss before a stunned sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.

So ends, as it should, the spurious notion of a rubber-stamp championship for the Warriors. A strain here and a tweak there and they found themselves on the painful end of the score.

The Warriors learned prior to the game that forward Andre Iguodala, their valuable Sixth Man, would be out nursing a strained back. They were hit with another injury, this one to Draymond Green, who was highly effective, late in the third quarter.

“He was our best player tonight,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He was the guy who was bringing the energy and the life.”

Green’s numbers -- 9 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists -- barely hint at his value in this game. Green and Iguodala are the primary defensive communicators, and Green held it down fairly well -- until he, too, was gone.

“Our communication wasn’t very good and we didn’t stick to the game plan; we gave them too many wide-open threes,” said Klay Thompson, who scored 11 first-quarter points but only 5 over the final three.

“We did a good job in the half-court of keeping them in front,” said Kevin Durant, who also scolded himself for committing eight turnovers. “But in transition we got cross-matched so many times and we just didn’t communicate well enough.”

Games aren’t always lost in the fourth, despite the frequent narrative, but this one most assuredly was. With Green in the locker room accompanied by ice, the Warriors were outscored 34-20 in the fourth quarter.

After shooting 45.8 percent through three quarters, the Rockets took it to 56 percent in the fourth, closing the game on a 13-5 run over the final 4:01.

The Warriors don’t yet know when Green and Iguodala will return, whether it’s as soon as Friday at New Orleans or a matter of weeks. Until they do, Kerr will have to resort to patching things together.

Problem is, aside from the scoring of Nick Young (23 points on 8-of-9 shooting, including 6-of-7 from deep) and Jordan Bell (8 points on 4-of-5 shooting in 12 minutes), the bench did not distinguish itself.

That was particularly true on defense, which happen to be where Iguodala and Green make their greatest impact. The reserves accounted for 13 of the 25 fouls called on the Warriors.

“We’ve got to be better,” Durant said. “We’ve got to be better, and we’re looking forward to practice Wednesday.”