Lee's 29 not enough; Warriors fall to Blazers 93-91


Lee's 29 not enough; Warriors fall to Blazers 93-91

OAKLAND Well, this one is going to sting.The Blazers came into Oracle Arena on Wednesday night without their leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge and snapped the Warriors three-game winning streak. The Warriors (11-15) now play eight of their next nine games on the road.
Blazers 93, Warriors 91Player of the game: Gerald Wallace had 24 points and six rebounds for the Blazers.
Key play: With the Warriors down two points and six seconds remaining, it came down to their last possession. Nate Robinson penetrated into the lane, but lost his balance and stumbled.Robinson still found a way to get a pass off to Brandon Rush in the corner, but Rushs potential game-winning 3-pointer came after the buzzer. It was short regardless.He was very effective getting to his spot and making plays, Jackson said of Robinson, who finished with 21 points in 21 minutes. He kept us in the game, kept us in control of the game so I was fine with it (the games last possession). At the end of the day, they hit some tough shots that hurt us. So I didnt think it had anything to do with the other end.
No Ellis: Warriors coach Mark Jackson didnt play leading scorer Monta Ellis at all in the fourth quarter, instead going with Robinson. Ellis didnt exactly have it going he was 3-for-9 from the field up to that point but still. The fact that Jackson didnt use Ellis in the final period was certainly noteworthy.Afterward, Jackson said Ellis was experiencing flu-like symptoms, and that he almost sent Ellis home from shootaround. Ellis refused to speak with reporters after the game.It really wasnt a decision due to anything other than the fact that he wasnt feeling well all day long, from shootaround all day long, Jackson said. He really didnt participate in it. I almost sent him home. Hes a gamer and hes a leader and he stayed. During the game, give him credit. He gave me everything he had and he came in the back for a second and when he came to the bench, I asked him, probably early in the fourth, Was he OK? And he said Yes.I guess it was a read for me -- it wasnt a normal Monta Ellis yes. He really wanted it but I made the decision it was best to shut him down. Nate was playing well, but that doesnt matter. Im going back to Monta Ellis whether it be for Nate or somebody else, but I just made a decision he wasnt 100 percent.Ellis was taken out of the game with 1:02 remaining in the third quarter.Ellis played just 27 minutes on the night and finished with 10 points and five assists.Backcourt drought: Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis werent their productive selves through three quarters. It wasnt that either was playing particularly badly, its just that they werent as involved as usual at least as it pertained to scoring.Curry had just six points through three quarters and had taken just nine shots up to that point. Ellis had 10 points, but he was just 3-for-9 from the floor.Warriors power forward David Lee more than picked up the slack, however. Lee had 25 points on 12-of-18 from the floor through three quarters, and was the most productive frontcourt player for either team.Lee finished with 29 points and 11 rebounds, but after his three-point play with 3:39 remaining in the game, he didnt attempt another shot.Hes involved, Jackson said of Lee late in games. With pick-and roll situations, there are times we go to exclusively on the block. Hes a decision-maker in the pick and rolls because hes the guy catching it, whether it be shooting driving or passing. We love his versatility in those situations. So absolutely.
Lee big in first half: Warriors forward David Lee did a good job of keeping the Warriors in the game late in the second quarter. The Warriors had taken a 12-point lead early in the second quarter, but the Blazers spent the rest of the period catching up, then taking the lead.The Blazers eventually went up five, but on two separate occasions after forcing misses, Lee came up with the offensive rebound and putback. If Lee doesnt do that, the Warriors likely head into halftime down close to double-digits.Instead, the Blazers led by 57-54 and Lee went into the locker room at intermission with 17 points and eight rebounds.3-point barrage: The Warriors entered Wednesdays game leading the NBA in 3-point field goal percentage (.396). They did nothing to put that ranking in jeopardy at least not early.The Warriors knocked down six of their first seven 3-pointers, helping them to a 35-23 lead early in the second quarter.

Draymond defends Bell's garbage time alley-oop off backboard to himself

Draymond defends Bell's garbage time alley-oop off backboard to himself

With just under three minutes to go and the Warriors leading by 25 points, Steve Kerr put the end of the bench into the game.

Somehow, with the game in control, rookie Jordan Bell found a way to produce the highlight of the night.

After Bell got a piece of Dwight Powell's shot, JaVale McGee batted the ball ahead. With no one in front of him, the rookie tossed the ball off the backboard and threw down a dunk. The sequence left his Warriors teammates flabergasted. But Bell may have broken an unwritten rule about showboating in a blowout game.

After the game, Draymond Green was not having it with possible criticism of Bell.

"Listen man, when you get on the basketball floor, I don't care if you get out there with two minutes to go up 25 or with two minutes to go down 25, somebody is evaluating you. So you gotta play the game just like it's tied up or if you're up four or if you're down four. You gotta play the game the same way. Somebody is evaluating you. So if you want to throw it off the backboard, feel free and dunk the ball. He got an And One. It was a great play. So, I got no message for him. Do what you do. Play basketball. That's what he did. I don't get all up into the whole 'Ah man, they're winning by this much, that's bad.' Says who? Dunk the ball. What's the difference between if he threw it off the backboard and dunked it as opposed to grabbing it and dunking it? It's a dunk," Green told reporters in Dallas after the Warriors' 133-130 win.

Green was then asked what he thought of the play, regardless of game situation.

"Great play. Great play. Amazing. Did you see it? It was dope. He got an And One too. He missed the free throw though. We gotta talk about that. That's my message for him. Make the free throw," Green said.

Kerr reportedly apologized to Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle after the game. Green commented on that.

"Steve's the coach. I'm not. That's not my problem," Green said.

Draymond wasn't the only member of the Green family defending Bell. His mom, Mary Babers-Green was on Twitter defending the rookie.


Why Steph Curry can never, ever chuck his mouthpiece again

Why Steph Curry can never, ever chuck his mouthpiece again

Stephen Curry knows he asked for this one. Begged for it. Wanted it so bad he not only ripped his mouthpiece out of his face but also wound up and fired it in the direction of a game official.

He has to be, and likely is, pleased that the NBA wanted nothing more than a $50,000 bite out of his newly fortified paycheck.

“It was a dumb thing to do. Stupid,” he said after shootaround Monday morning. “Learn from it and try to move on and be better.”

It was not nearly enough for the league that Curry apologized immediately after the mouthpiece-tossing incident that got him tossed in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 111-101 loss to the Grizzlies on Saturday. Apologies don’t carry much weight in these matters and they are entirely weightless when it’s a second offense.

And that’s what this was, as you may recall Curry flinging his mouthpiece late in Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. He was tossed from that game, too.

Of more importance, and what Curry has to take away from this is that he can’t afford another offense. Ever. Though he surely can afford it monetarily, it would rob the Warriors of their offensive catalyst.

Throwing a mouthpiece once is a forgivable mistake. Doing it twice is a relapse that some may forgive while others definitely will not. Doing it three or more times falls into the selfish category, even if selfishness is not a characteristic fairly applied to the two-time MVP.

It’s conceivable that no one in the NBA gets pushed and grabbed and knocked around as much, without a whistle, as does Curry. Part of this is on him, for not being better at selling calls. Part of it is on officials who typically use a different standard for him than those usually set for MVP-caliber players.

Through it all, and it has gone on for years, Curry rarely says a peep. He plays on, simmering, but staying on task.

“I think people on the outside automatically think that these guys can control everything and be robots and score 35 and be perfectly composed,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Monday morning. “But they’re all human beings, just like the rest of us. There’s going to be times where you lose your mind. There’s going to be times where you get angry and times where you’re in perfect mental and you’re playing at a high level and everything is under control.

But nobody can keep that level 100 percent of the time.”

Curry’s actions Saturday in Memphis were only partly the result of the officiating. The Warriors were losing, again. Curry was committing silly fouls, again. It was a buildup of unfavorable events and he lost it.

“We were playing terrible,” Curry said Monday morning. “I was frustrated because I was fouling. I thought I got fouled on the last play. The reaction was definitely a little over the top.

“Stuff happens. I’m going to try to continue to be myself and show some fire, but do it in a way that doesn’t take away from the team and misrepresent who I am.”

Curry said Monday that he didn’t bother to review his actions because he knew how unbecoming they were. He also expressed regret about lashing out. There was no need to brace for the fine he knew was coming.

Next time, though it won’t be a fine that will take a fraction of his check. Next time, it’ll be a suspension that will take away a piece of the Warriors.