Warriors

Instant Replay: Warriors 101, Wizards 97

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Instant Replay: Warriors 101, Wizards 97

BOX SCORE

Sloppy. Sluggish. Scary.

But a win for the Golden State Warriors.

The ugly 101-97 road win against the league-worst Washington Wizards came with a daunting moment in which Warriors (13-7) guard Stephen Curry had his foot trapped beneath him and left the floor hobbling on his left leg.



After limping to the locker room, Curry returned to the court just moments later and appeared to be fine playing off-guard for the remainder of the game. After the game, Curry said that it was just a stinger.

 “Just a tweak, MCL mumbo jumbo, we don’t have to worry about it. It is fine,” Curry stated in a postgame interview.

He added: “I’ll be ready for Monday.”

The Warriors did their best to give the game away, turning the ball over 19 times and settling for jump shots for most of the night. The Warriors finished 9-for-22 from the 3-point line.

“You got to win in all sorts of ways in this league and its not going to be easy, especially on the road,” Curry said.



Ultimately, it was the collective play of Curry, David Lee and Klay Thompson that saved the Warriors, and gave the team its 3-0 start on the current seven-game road trip.

Lee compiled his 12th double-double of the season, scoring 24 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Thompson had 23 points and Curry scored 22 points.

Curry shows valuable development
It was a play emblematic of not just the evolution of Stephen Curry, but the team as well. Late in the third quarter, Curry displayed his continuing progression as a leader by adjusting the team’s offense.

At that point, the team had just 14 points in the paint and had settled for 19 3-pointers. Rather than continuing the adverse trend, Curry authored change. The team’s 24-year-old guard, playing in his 200th career game, showed maturity by attacking the basket on three consecutive possessions.
 
First, Curry attacked with the left hand over Nene and scored a difficult layup. Then he drove again, hooking a pass to Draymond Green for a bucket. On the third trip, before he came out to rest, Curry again attacked the left side of the rim, and though he missed the layup, he drew the defense with him and left Carl Landry open for a dunk putback.

The Warriors guard made the adjustment and it began a trend of attacking the basket in the fourth quarter rather than settling for perimeter shots. The team shot just three more three-pointers the rest of the way, and scored more in the paint and from the free throw line.

History lesson
The team is off to its best start since the 1991-92 season when they also went 13-7. Additionally, it's the first time the Warriors have earned three consecutive wins to start a road trip since 2003.

The other ‘breathe again’ moment
With Curry back on the court, and just under three minutes to play, a hustle play by Draymond Green found Klay Thompson, who hit a baseline 3-pointer to push Golden State’s lead to 91-85. On the next possession, Curry embodied Tim Hardaway with a quick crossover and dish to David Lee who scored to bring the lead to 93-85. The lead allowed for some much-needed space in the game’s final moments.
 
Doesn’t show up in the stat line
Green’s impact doesn’t always show in the box score. Green fouled out and had just six points, but his interior defense and presence in the lineup was significant to the Warriors. Green’s court intelligence was a difference-maker as he started the fourth quarter.

Tweet prayers answered
@karadanielle22: Can we please not be the team that gives the Washington Wizards their 3rd win of the season #warriorstalk #LetsGoWarriors

Take-that-back Tweet of the game
 @raidergabe tweeted: “If Klay shoots less, we will win! We need good shot selections! #WarriorsTalk” In reality, Thompson shot 8-for-14 and 5-for-9 from 3-point range.

Mama said there’d be nights like this
Wizards No. 3 overall pick Bradley Beal was supposed to be the rookie disappointment while Harrison Barnes was climbing the charts of rookie rankings.

But first-year seasons come with inconsistent blues and Barnes’s first and only basket came on a 3-pointer in the first minute of the fourth quarter. He finished on 1-for-7 shooting, however he did contribute with six rebounds and four assists.

Meanwhile, Beal had 17 points, six assists and six rebounds. Overall though, he shot 6-for-17 and was 1-for-6 from 3-point range.

Thanks for that, Nene
Nene missed plenty of layups in the paint throughout the night. Breaking down the Warriors’ efforts of post defense, Nene missed a handful of point-blank attempts from inside finishing 3-for-9 for nine points.

Final minutes
The game seemed finished when a pick-and-pop from Thompson to Lee gave the Warriors a 95-89 lead with just a minute remaining. But it wasn’t over when Jordan Crawford hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game with 53 seconds remaining to move back within 95-92.

After Green missed a jumper, he then picked up a foul on a poorly called block on the other end. But 90 percent free throw shooter Martell Webster missed one of his two free throws with 16.1 seconds left.

Curry then extended the lead to 97-93 with two made free throws before Bradley Beal answered with a 3-pointer with eight seconds left. Again, Curry knocked down two free throws before the Warriors attempted to take a foul with a three-point lead and 4.2 seconds remaining.

Golden State’s Charles Jenkins just avoided a costly mistake when he fouled Beal while shooting, but luckily Beal had his foot on the 3-point line. After making the first free throw, Beal missed the second on purpose, got the rebound off his miss and then blew the layup attempt that would have tied the game.

For more Warriors news and opinion, follow @jimmypspencer on Twitter.

Klay Thompson: 'I never thought I’d be on billboards and posters in China'

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AP

Klay Thompson: 'I never thought I’d be on billboards and posters in China'

OAKLAND — Klay Thompson danced unabashedly in China after winning another NBA championship, and it got shared all over social media. He smoked a stogie on the rooftop, letting loose to reveal another side of himself.

“I didn’t plan for that video to go viral,” Thompson said matter-of-factly. “I was just having fun. I’ve always been myself and having fun while doing it and learning to enjoy every day, because it goes by so fast.”

Coming to that mindset, however, has been a process for the seventh-year Golden State guard, who acknowledges for so long he put extreme pressure on himself to be the best.

The quiet, more under-the-radar Warriors All-Star of the bunch, Thompson has provided a steadying hand early on for the reigning NBA champions who are favored to capture a third title in four years.

“I used to stress a lot more at the beginning of my career about my performance,” Thompson recalled. “Now, it’s not like I don’t stress, but I play more carefree and I’m more able, if I play as hard as I can I’m satisfied with the results. ... I used to compare myself with all players and want to be the best so badly, but now it’s all about winning and having fun and realizing basketball is more of a team sport than anything.”

After a recent practice, Thompson dazzled right alongside a couple of visiting Harlem Globetrotters, spinning the ball on his finger, rolling it up and down his arms, off his knee and then a foot soccer-style before swishing a short jumper.

“I should’ve been a Globetrotter!” he yelled.

It’s a new look for this hang-loose, beach-loving Splash Brother.

The approach is working for the Warriors.

“He still carries the threat. You have to honor him,” Orlando coach Frank Vogel said. “He’s great at making the right play. Their whole team is. I think he’s trying to fit in with their whole buy-in that ball movement and passing is greater than any one man carrying the bulk of it.”

Still, his numbers are stellar. Thompson has had a fast start this season, which previously hasn’t been the case.

Thompson credits the familiarity with teammates and a comfort in coach Steve Kerr’s offense.

“He’s taken another step in his game. Just the experience that he’s had in his career, every year he’s gotten better and I think this year he’s shown how at the end of the season he carried it over to the beginning of this year,” backcourt mate Stephen Curry said. “Historically he hadn’t started seasons well but this year he’s locked in. He’s obviously shooting the ball well and playing great defense, but I think the biggest thing is his playmaking in situations where he’s drawing a crowd. He’s making great decisions setting guys up and just playing under control for the most part this entire season.”

Life off the court is great for Thompson, too, and that helps him be stress-free on it.

Look closely, and it’s easy to see he has come out of his shell.

On a day off last week, he golfed a popular public course close to Oracle Arena. Thompson signed someone’s toaster last spring, and it became a superstition.

In July, he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at an Oakland Athletics game, then drove an IndyCar in September while serving as Grand Marshal of a series stop in Sonoma.

Thompson shares his training tricks on social media and posts photos with his bulldog, Rocco.

He recently donated $75,000 to relief efforts in the aftermath of the devastating Northern California wildfires, committing $1,000 per point for a three-game stretch during which he scored 69 points — but added to that total.

He is a spokesman for chocolate milk and an obscure — in the U.S. anyway — Chinese shoe company. He signed an $80 million, 10-year extension to wear the sneakers.

“Life’s good,” Thompson said. “I never thought I’d get paid millions of dollars to wear shoes and apparel. I’m very proud to be a part of Anta. ... It’s so cool that I’m big in China. I never thought I’d be on billboards and posters in China.”

Thompson has found a balance during the offseason to stay sharp, mixing up his workouts with outdoor activities he enjoys.

“It took years for me to figure out how to prepare the best I can for the season. I finally learned in my sixth year,” he said. “You’ve got to stay in shape almost year-round because as you get older it’s harder to get back into shape. It’s easier to get out of shape than it is to get back into shape. I do other things besides basketball to stay in shape in the offseason. I think that just keeps my mind fresh.”

He hopes to do a formal swim from Alcatraz, or even a triathlon. He swims in the ocean — “my favorite place in the world” — whenever he can. Freestyle is his strength, butterfly not so much. He plays hours of beach volleyball or just throws the football around and runs routes through the sand.

At work, he has been a model of consistency. Thompson is determined to be a better passer, creating for teammates whenever possible. He also usually guards the opponent’s top perimeter scorer.

Thompson is off to his best shooting season ever, with career highs of 49.4 percent shooting from the field and 45.6 percent on 3-pointers.

“I think his playmaking has been the best it’s been in his career,” Kerr said. “He’s really doing a good job of putting the ball on the floor and moving it on, drive and kick game, finding the centers in the pocket for little floaters. ... It’s been his best passing season so far.”

Thompson used to get teased for his lack of assists, and it remains a running joke.

“I got thick skin,” Thompson quipped, “honestly I don’t really care.”

That carefree approach has taken time, and the Warriors are better for it.

Former Cal Bear Jaylen Brown holds heavy heart in win over Warriors

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USATSI

Former Cal Bear Jaylen Brown holds heavy heart in win over Warriors

BOSTON – The NBA is an emotional game, but the feelings Jaylen Brown was working through on the eve of Thursday’s game against Golden State, are the kind you don’t wish anyone with the death of his best friend less than 24 hours before Thursday night’s tip-off.

Brown channeled his pain into a performance that was absolutely vital to Boston pulling off the biggest upset for them this season, a 92-88 win over the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

He led the Celtics with a team-high 22 points in the win which extended the Celtics’ winning streak to 14 straight. 

But he was in no mood to celebrate afterwards.

“My best friend (Trevin Steede) passed last night,” Brown said after the game. “It was tough to accept it. Everybody was kind of in shock. I knew coming in today, he would want me to play.

Brown paused, and added, “It’s hard to get my thoughts together. After talking to his mom and family, they inspired me to come out. I wasn’t in any shape to come out. I didn’t want to leave my room. They inspired me to come out and play and I came out and played in his spirit today.”

READ MORE AT NBCSportsBoston.com