Warriors

Monta lifts Warriors over Rockets, 106-97

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Monta lifts Warriors over Rockets, 106-97

BOX SCORE
Warriors 106, Rockets 97

Player of the game: Monta Ellis finished with 33 points on 13-for-23 shooting and seven assists.Key category: For the second straight game, the Warriors used the 3-point shot to help get them a win. The Warriors went 13-for-24 from 3-point range against Houston, which both helped them establish a 14-point lead early in the fourth quarter and then hold off Houston for the win.The Warriors went 13-for-25 from 3-point range in Thursdays victory over the Denver Nuggets.Curry-Ellis: Warriors coach Mark Jackson was asked whether or not Stephen Curry and Ellis were playing their best basketball together of the season.Curry had 14 points and five assists.Theyre a heck of a tandem, Jackson said. And I think what theyre doing right now is playing off one another. Theyre realizing who has the hot hand. At all times theyve been unselfish. From Day 1 those guys looked to make plays for the other, almost too much. Theyre a talented tandem and when theyre clicking theyre as good as it gets in this league.Thompson again: Warriors rookie shooting guard Klay Thompson is beginning to become more and more of a factor. He followed up his career-high 19-point game against Denver on Thursday with another solid outing against the Rockets.Thompson had 14 points and once again was feeling it from beyond the 3-point line. Thompsons two 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter helped lift the Warriors to a 93-79 lead, which was their biggest of the game to that point.Thompson came into Sunday nights game having connected on eight of his past 10 3-point attempts, and he went 4-for-6 against Houston. Thompson came into the game shooting 47.7 percent from 3-point range, good for fifth in the league.Of course, Thompson didnt make the Rising Stars game, the contest involving rookies and second-year players at All-Star Weekend.The good news is that if he continues to play like hes playing and continues to work hard, hes going to be in the big show, Jackson said of the NBA All-Star game. Hes not going to have to worry about freshman-sophomore games. Hes a great kid who works his tail off and is never satisfied.

Turnovers galore: Neither team was particularly crisp in the first half, combining for 25 turnovers. The Warriors had 12 of those turnovers, with David Lee committing four.The Rockets had 13 turnovers, with Kevin Martin also committing four.On the positive side for the Warriors, they held Houston to just 15 second-quarter points, which equaled a season-low for points in a second quarter by an opponent.The Warriors held the Lakers to just 15 points in the second quarter of a Jan. 6 loss in Los Angeles.No McGuire: The Warriors were without forward Dominic McGuire, who was experiencing left knee soreness. McGuire, who missed practice on Saturday, had hoped to play against Houston, but decided about an hour before the game he couldnt go.Block party: The Warriors had 14 blocks in Thursdays victory over the Denver Nuggets. It was the most blocks in a game by the Warriors since Nov. 29, 2005, when Golden State blocked 15 shots against Indiana.Sellout crowd: The game drew 19,596, marking the seventh sellout this season for the Warriors at Oracle.

Curry claims he didn't throw mouthguard at ref: 'I've got a pretty good aim'

Curry claims he didn't throw mouthguard at ref: 'I've got a pretty good aim'

Just before the Warriors officially lost the game in Memphis on Saturday night, their superstar point guard lost his cool.

After not getting a foul call with 43 seconds left in the game, Steph Curry chucked his mouthguard in the direction of referee Scott Wall in a fit of rage reminiscent of Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

Wall immediately ejected Curry, who continued to argue with the officials.

After the game, Curry wanted to make it clear he wasn't trying to his Wall with his mouthguard.

"If I tried to throw it at him and hit him, I've got a pretty good aim," Curry said told reporters after the game. "I've thrown my mouthpiece plenty of times and thrown it on the floor. Probably not the best thing to do, but I've done it. I own up to it.

"If I was trying to throw it at him or hit him, I would have been able to executed that."

Curry explained why he reacted the way he did.

"That last play, I thought I got fouled. My frustration boiled over, did something stupid, deserved to get kicked out and that's what happened. Obviously learn from it and try not to do it again," Curry told reporters.

Now Curry and the Warriors wait to see if the NBA will suspend or fine him. He has an expectation of what the punishment will be.

"Don't think it will be a suspension or anything. My pockets will be a lot lighter," Curry said after the game.

What's caused Warriors' slow start and why it should come as no surprise

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USATSI

What's caused Warriors' slow start and why it should come as no surprise

It’s much too early to get legitimately nervous, much less start tumbling into a panic.

The Warriors are going to be fine.

Eventually.

They most certainly are not yet what they will become in about two weeks, when they settle in for a four-game homestand that begins Nov. 6. That’s 10 games into the season, and it’s conceivable the Warriors might be 6-4.

After a 111-101 loss to the ever-tenacious Grizzlies on Saturday in Memphis, the Warriors are 1-2 and, by their lofty standard, looking about as lost as a stray cat in a hurricane.

“We’re obviously not ready. We knew that,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’re not ready to put together a full effort. And I’m not doing a great job of putting together combinations, finding the right motivation to get guys going, to get some joy and laughter in here.

“It’s just one of those rough patches. And, hopefully, we can climb our way out of it. I’m sure we will. It may take some time.”

It will take some time, and of that there is plenty.

Do not blame this lull entirely on China, not when there is so much more. The Warriors are coming off their third consecutive prolonged season, this one followed by the training camp disruption caused by spending eight days in Oakland, eight days in China, followed by eight days in Oakland leading up to opening night.

It’s easy to see the timing is off on an offense that relies on precision. The spacing is off on an offense that requires room to operate. The energy is lacking on a defense that lapses into ordinary without its bedrock intensity. Both body and spirit appear less than peak.

“We’ve been playing hard,” Kevin Durant told reporters at FedEx Forum, “but I think we’ve got to take it up a level.

“We’ll be fine. It’s 79 more games left. I’m sure we’ll figure it out.”

Understand, a team that won an NBA-best 67 games last season and posted a league-record 16-1 postseason doesn’t lose it because opponents load up. When the Warriors are on their game, opponents don’t matter.

For now, though, there is an individual listlessness that results in collective slumber. Stephen Curry has gambled himself in foul trouble in both losses and was booted in Memphis. Andre Iguodala missed an entire game and Draymond Green missed the fourth quarter of the first loss, a game in which the Warriors gave up a 13-point lead over the final 12 minutes.

And Durant’s 4.6 blocks per game is impressive. It also happens to be offset by his 6.3 turnovers per game.

“That’s on me,” he said. “I’m turning the ball over at a high rate right now. I’m really pissed at myself about it. I’ve just got to hold on to the ball. Just make the correct pass. I think I’m just rushing. I just need to calm down, settle down, and that would ignite the whole team. But if I turn the ball over, that’s contagious.”

The Rockets turned 17 Warriors giveaways into 21 points. The Pelicans turned 14 into 20. The Grizzlies turned 17 into 24.

Asked what has to change, Klay Thompson went to exactly the right place, saying “probably our defensive intensity from the jump.”

That’s where it starts, at least on the court. Meanwhile, there is more video work, more group texts about details and the need for more time for their bodies and minds to become one.

“We’ll be better,” Durant said. “We’re still finding a groove with each other. We’re still getting back into shape as far as playing our game, the flow, just the reads off not calling plays. We’ve got to get used to that again.”

Thompson is, however, displaying a modicum of impatience.

“We’ll come out Monday and we’ll play a great game,” he said. “I guarantee it.”

He’s probably right. The Warriors will be playing at Dallas, against a Mavericks team that is built to be devoured by the powerful.

That might be a quick fix. But it won’t be the final fix. That is weeks away.