Rewind: Clippers 'didn’t have their antenna up,' Warriors win by 45

Rewind: Clippers 'didn’t have their antenna up,' Warriors win by 45

OAKLAND – The Warriors took a quantum leap between preseason games 1 and 2. Sloppy and languid in the opener last Saturday in Vancouver, they came home Tuesday and delivered a performance that had their fans giggling in the aisles.

They won big, 120-75, and the walloped opponent was the once-pesky Clippers, who are in danger of becoming little more than a downstate annoyance.

A quick 18-5 Warriors lead grew to 29-9 late in the first quarter and 71-33 at the half. The Warriors have beaten LA six straight times in the regular season, and they seemed to see this as an opportunity to jump on the Clips with both feet.

“This was the Clippers’ first game and they looked like we did in our first game in Vancouver,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “They didn’t have their antenna up and we did and that’s why we got out to that big lead.”

The Warriors brought the offense early and often, ringing up 71 first-half points on 59.5-percent shooting. Klay Thompson blazed away, scoring 24 of his game-high 30 before halftime, and Kevin Durant, making his Oracle Arena debut, poured in 18 of his 21 in the first half.

[POOLE: Ultra-dangerous Durant stuffs stat sheet in Oakland debut]

“For the most part we moved the ball well,” Durant said of the Warriors, who totaled 29 assists – 19 on 22 buckets in the first half. “Bodies were moving and had open shots for everybody. It was fun.”

The offense flowed. It was active and rhythmic and exceedingly tough to defend. It succeeded partly because the Clippers dozed though the half and partly because the Warriors showed signs of assimilating their abundant talent.

The attractive offensive options are plenty, and it’s going to take time to grow accustomed to having it all. There were times Tuesday when point guard Stephen Curry could race down the floor and choose between Thompson and Durant. Curry also had himself as a third option, and he led the NBA in scoring last season.

“That’s a part of who we’re going to be,” he said. “You don’t want to be too unselfish where you’re turning down shots because I might think there’s a better one coming, but I just tried to make the right play but be aggressive at the same time. There’s a balance to it that you want to be able to figure out.”

The Warriors were no less impressive on defense, holding Los Angeles to 32.5-percent shooting – only 24.4 percent and 33 points in the first half – and limiting the starters to 5-of-35 shooting overall.

“Defensively, we were really good at limiting their offensive rebounds and also making them shoot tough shots over the top of us,” Durant said. “If we continue to play that way on the defensive end, with that intensity, we’ll be fine.”

This was dominance on a broad scale, an illustration of one team, the Warriors, inching toward its comfort level, and another, though mostly intact, scrambling to keep up.

“I’m very pleased with the progress we made tonight,” Kerr said. “But now we have to lock in and have some good practices and string one good day after the next and that’s where you really start to make improvement.”

Steph Curry knows it comes with risk, but he's not going to change the way he plays


Steph Curry knows it comes with risk, but he's not going to change the way he plays

OAKLAND -- When he returns to the Warriors, likely on Friday, Stephen Curry will alter nothing about his game despite coming off a four-month period during which his surgically repaired right ankle endured multiple aggravations.

He’ll be the same Curry that fans have come to know, diving into passing lanes on defense while firing up 3-pointers and darting in and out of paint traffic on offense.

It’s the only way he knows how to play, and he’s played long enough to accept that it comes with risk.

“When I wake up in the morning I’ll know the difference between my right (ankle) and my left,” Curry said Thursday after practice. “But that won’t stop me from being who I am on the floor and having confidence in myself when I get back out there.”

Curry missed 11 games after spraining his ankle on Dec. 4 in New Orleans. He missed two games after tweaking it in shootaround on Jan 10. He missed no games after tweaking it March 2 in Atlanta. He has missed the last six games after tweaking it on March 8 against the Spurs.

“I’ve been very durable over the course of my career,” said Curry, who is listed as probable but fully expects to play Friday against Atlanta. “It’s just that I’ve had three untimely, freak accidents happen.”

Curry stepped on E’twaun Moore’s foot in New Orleans, on Zaza Pachulia’s foot in Atlanta and Dejounte Murray’s foot against the Spurs at Oracle Arena.

Not once in the previous five regular seasons did Curry miss significant time due to his tricky ankle. He missed a total of 16 games during that span, never more than four in a season, and six of those were for reasons of rest.

This season, however, has tested Curry’s patience like nothing since 2011-12, after which he had his second ankle surgery. He concedes that being in and out of the lineup has left him at times feeling “boredom, monotony and frustration.”

Though some of that can be attributed to the rehab process, there is no doubt part of that stems from watching the Warriors from the sideline.

With Curry out of the lineup this season, the Warriors are 13-8 (he missed one game with a hand bruise, another with a thigh bruise). That they are 40-10 when he’s in the lineup illustrates his importance.

It’s not just that he’s important. Curry is the catalyst for the offense and he can only be that if he is playing without regard for the possibility of injury. A hesitant Curry can’t be an effective Curry, so full throttle is the only way to go.

"If we’re trying to win a championship, I need to be out there,” he said. “That’s a given. We want every single guy out there, healthy and available, myself included. That’s the ideal situation.”

If he gets hurt along the way, so be it. As man of faith, he believes that anything that happens is influenced by a higher power.

“It doesn’t matter if I’m shooting 3s or pullups are going into the lane or playing defense, that’s liable to happen any time,” Curry said. “Other than those instances, I haven’t had anything to worry about on the injury front. We are prisoners of the moment when it comes (playing the game). I don’t feel like I’m at a point where I have to change anything based on me being a durable player and being on the court consistently.

“Down the line, if you ask me about it in three of four years, there might be something I might need to change. But not right now.”

There is a segment of fans, worried about Curry’s health and realizing it is tied to the fate of the team, who would like him to dial back his aggression. Maybe avoid the paint and settle for more jump shots. He’s heard the advice and is not unwilling to launch a few more shots from deep.

But Curry is going to go where he sees daylight, and the best chance to make a positive play. He’ll take his chances because hesitation has no place in his mind or his game.


How Iguodala helped Looney get career on track, 'I finally listened to him...'


How Iguodala helped Looney get career on track, 'I finally listened to him...'

Back in late October, the Warriors declined their $2.3 million team option on Kevon Looney for the 2018-19 season.

How did that make him feel?

"It was kind of a let down," Looney told Tim Kawakami and Marcus Thompson on the Warriors Plus/Minus Podcast. "I knew it was up in the air. It was going back and forth, back and forth. When they didn't pick it up -- they told me why, I understood, I've been here for three years, I've seen a lot of players come and go; I know basketball is a business -- I was kind of let down.

"But I knew I was going to try and make the most of it. Now I'm playing for my contract for next year. I just wanted to go prove myself. I knew this summer there was a lot of doubts about what I could do. People were doubting if I would even be in the NBA still ... I knew what I was capable of."

Looney underwent surgery on his right hip in August 2015, and appeared in just five games during his rookie season.

He then had surgery on his left hip in April 2016, and appeared in 53 games (8.4 minutes per night) during the 2016-17 season.

This year, he's averaging career highs in points (3.5), rebounds (2.9), blocks (0.7) and minutes (12.0).

"This summer, I decided I just wanted to try go back to the way I played in college. It's been working for me," Looney explained. "I lost about 30 pounds this offseason and it's really made me a lot faster and a lot quicker. And I've been staying healthy."

How did he drop all that weight?

"A lot of broccoli and turkey and plain food. Food that wasn't that good but it's something that I had to get used to," Looney said. "Taco Bell, fried chicken, I was eating that on the regular ... coming off of injury, you can't eat like that. It's a different level of intensity in the NBA.

"I had to change my diet. Andre (Iguodala) was in my ear for two years about it. I finally listened to him and it paid off."

Looney will become an unrestricted free agent in July.

Although the Warriors declined the option, the 22-year old could return to Golden State -- but the max amount the Warriors can offer him is $2.3 million.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller