Warriors

Magic vs. Warriors: What to watch for

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Magic vs. Warriors: What to watch for

The Warriors have made the most of their recent stretch of home games, and they hope to continue that Monday night against the Orlando Magic at Oracle Arena. Golden State has won five consecutive home games, dating back to mid-November. After the Warriors play the Magic, they head out onto the road for their longest trip of the season a seven-gamer that will take them to the Midwest and East.The Warriors (10-6) are off to their best start since the 2005-06, season when Mike Montgomery had them at 12-6.

Here are some things to watch for during Mondays game between the Magic and Warriors:Sense of urgency: Do the Warriors have one? They certainly should. With plenty of games away from Oakland looming theres no doubt the Warriors would like to wrap things up back here in a tidy manner. The Magic are coming off a big win on Sunday night in Los Angeles against the Lakers, meaning they could suffer some ill effects against the Warriors both physically and mentally.

This is a game teams with playoff aspirations win and the Warriors have playoff aspirations.Glen Davis vs. David Lee: Look for some big numbers out of both of these players. Davis and Lee are integral parts of their teams offense and both have matchups they likely feel they can exploit at that end.What you have in Davis and Lee are two players who sometimes struggle to score on the interior against athletic defenders. Both are among the league leaders in getting their shots blocked. But since neither is an imposing defender, it could mean heavy production out of both players.Keep rebounding or start shooting better: The Warriors have done a great job of offensive rebounding this season.

That aspect of their game has allowed them to get extra possessions and shots and they have taken advantage.One of the reasons the Warriors have been able to be successful despite not shooting well is because they get so many attempts. If the Warriors dont start shooting the ball better, theyre going to need to continue to rebound at a strong clip.

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.”

D'Antoni claps back at Draymond, Warriors after Rockets' 122-121 win

D'Antoni claps back at Draymond, Warriors after Rockets' 122-121 win

Draymond Green usually gets the last word.

Not this time.

"Somebody said we don't take it seriously on defense. Well obviously they don't take it seriously either," Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni said after the Rockets knocked off the Warriors 122-121 on Tuesday night., according to Santa Rosa Press Democrat's Phil Barber.

The jab stems from Green's comments after practice on Monday.

"You should believe that. I'm turning over a new leaf. Number 1 -- they want it to be a shootout, which is fine. But we're gonna play some defense. We score pretty well, but we're a damn good defensive team, too. So we're gonna play some defense.

"I don't know how serious they take defense with that comment, but I know they added some good defensive players," Green told reporters Monday.

Green won't get his next shot at D'Antoni and the Rockets until January 4 in Houston.