Rewind: Even when they win by 24, Warriors know they can be better

Rewind: Even when they win by 24, Warriors know they can be better

They shot more than 50 percent from the field, had 10 steals and 10 blocked shots, and reached the 30-assist mark for a franchise-record 10th consecutive game.

They won their 10th straight, this one by 24, and it put them atop the Western Conference standings for the first time this season.

Yet coach Steve Kerr was unimpressed, essentially describing the Warriors’ 109-85 victory over the Lakers on Friday night in Los Angeles as an experience he does not care to repeat. Ever.

“It was one of the worst basketball games I’ve seen in my life,” Kerr told reporters at Staples Center. “We were awful and they were awful. The people who bought tickets should get their money back. Honestly. I’m not trying to make a joke. It was a horrible basketball game.”

That’s where the Warriors are nowadays, their coach spitting out a double-digit win.

Informed of Kerr’s summation, forward Draymond Green grinned and paused before replying.

“I don’t think it was very good,” he said. “I think we could’ve been a lot better than we were. But I don’t know if it was the worst basketball game ever. But . . . he’s a coach.”

Forward Kevin Durant, who was nothing short of marvelous – 29 points, nine assists, six rebounds, two blocks – also had a slightly different opinion than Kerr.

“We won, and we held them to 85 points. That’s what I’m looking at,” Durant said. “But if Stevie Kerr is saying we didn’t play well, then we’ve got to come out tomorrow and try to play better.”

Players and coach can agree that there is considerable room for improvement over this performance, beginning with the lazy start that prompted Kerr to call a timeout 90 seconds after tipoff and ending with 18 turnovers, second-most in any game this season.

Though the Warriors took the lead for good midway through the first quarter, the game had a languid, choppy feel throughout. The Lakers, with three starters out with injury, could offer only so much resistance. The Warriors, though, were so utterly ordinary they needed a 14-3 closeout run over the final five minutes to put a shine on the scoreboard numbers.

“It looked like a Thanksgiving food hangover,” Laker coach Luke Walton said of the game. “You know Golden State is obviously a premier team in this league, and I didn’t even think they were great tonight.

“They were good, they were better than us. But I thought our guys played hard. We just didn’t play hard and smart tonight.”

The Warriors (14-2) rolled up some fancy numbers, the 51.6-percent shooting, the assists and the blocks and the steals, as well as holding LA to 35.6-percent shooting. By and large, though, this was one of those nights when a nondescript showing by a truly fabulous team was more than enough to vanquish a plucky but profoundly overmatched squad.

“It’s obviously nice to get a win, but we can play a lot better,” said Stephen Curry, who submitted 24 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals. “So tomorrow we have to try to get back to get a win against a good Minnesota team. You have to understand that obviously there is a big two-game schedule, but we can play better.”

They have played better, certainly during this 10-game streak. Eight of the victories were by double digits. They’ve lifted their overall shooting percentage above 50, to 50.3, and their field-goal percentage defense has climbed up the ratings and into the top five at 43.2.

These numbers illustrate that these Warriors are many years and exponentially more talented than they were when such coaches as Brian Winters and Dave Cowens were trying to coax wins out of rosters featuring the likes of Bobby Sura, Danny Fortson and Chris Mills.

Kerr can look at those teams and be thankful. He’ll probably take another look at this game and be, well, not nearly as disdainful as he was minutes afterward.

Four things we learned while Steph Curry dealt with fourth ankle injury

Four things we learned while Steph Curry dealt with fourth ankle injury

UPDATE (2:40pm PT on Tuessday): Steph Curry has been cleared for full team practices with the goal of playing this week, the Warriors announced.


The Warriors’ usual late-spring sprint toward the postseason, already slowed to a limp, deteriorated into a forlorn crawl Monday night in San Antonio as they were losing for the fourth time in six games.

Draymond Green, the only “healthy” member of the team’s All-Star quartet, left the game in the second quarter with a pelvic contusion and did not return.

Though Green said after this 89-75 loss to the Spurs that he doesn’t consider this a serious injury, it’s abundantly clear reinforcements can’t arrive soon enough.

Stephen Curry, a profoundly superior reinforcement, may return as soon as Friday.

Curry’s tender right ankle is scheduled to be reevaluated Tuesday, after which the Warriors will establish a timeline for his return. He could, according to team and league sources, be back in the lineup Friday night when the Atlanta Hawks visit Oracle Arena.

That would provide a massive injection of talent for the Warriors, who lost of three games during a four-day stretch in which they were forced to rely heavily on reserves and role players.

“We’re already shorthanded and then we lose another All-Star, the glue to our team, Draymond, at halftime,” said Quinn Cook, who in scoring 73 points over the past three games did an admirable job of trying of producing Curry-like numbers.

As good as Cook was on Monday, scoring 20 points, it’s a bit much to ask Cook to lead the Warriors past a San Antonio team fighting to extend its 20-year streak of consecutive playoff appearances.

The Warriors are built around their four All-Stars -- Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Curry and Green. They usually can withstand the loss of one, and they can often are OK missing two. But when it’s three, and possibly four, the defending champs are a home without a foundation.

As the Warriors were losing four of six games, and two of the last three, we have learned four things:

1) Cook is an NBA keeper.

The point guard from Duke, who turns 25 on Friday, has proved not only that he belongs in the league but also that he can survive in the rotation of a championship contender. He’s considerably more effective than Pat McCaw. Even if everybody were healthy, it would be hard, maybe foolish, to deny Cook minutes.

2) Kevon Looney continues to smooth the rough edges of his game.

The Warriors opened the season uncertain what they could expect from a forward that has undergone surgery on both hips. Month after month, though, he has done most everything they could have asked. He operates well in their switching defense, is effective in traffic and now he’s blocking shots and raining jumpers. At this rate, the Warriors would be delighted to have him back next season.

3) David West and Jordan Bell are in search of rhythm.

West was reliably excellent, at both ends, prior to missing five games with a cyst on his right arm. Since returning last Friday, there have been visible signs of rust. He’ll be OK in time, but at 37 likely needs another game or two to rediscover his touch.

Bell missed 14 games with a left ankle sprain, returned briefly, sustained a sprain of his right ankle and missed three more games. In the three games since his return, he has yet to look comfortable. It’s not just rust; it’s also the team around him. He’s at his best when supporting the stars. It may take him a while before he shines again.

4) Postseason minutes may be scarce for Nick Young

The Warriors hired Young to score while not embarrassing himself on defense and he has had good moments on both ends. But his inconsistency -- partly attributed to unspectacular conditioning -- grates on coaches and sometimes teammates. As much as he wants to enjoy the postseason, he’s playing his way toward an insignificant role unless injuries dictate otherwise.

Source: Warriors, Curry aiming for Friday return


Source: Warriors, Curry aiming for Friday return

UPDATE (2:25pm PT on Tuesday): The Warriors announced that following an examination by the team's medical staff, Steph Curry has been cleared to participate in full team practices beginning on Wednesday. The goal is for Curry to "play later this week."

The Warriors return to action Friday when they host the Hawks. They face the Jazz on Sunday in Oakland.


The Warriors have been without Stephen Curry for six full games and all but the first two minutes of a seventh. The last three were less out of medical necessity than an abundance of caution.

Curry could, however, return as soon as Friday when the Atlanta Hawks visit Oracle Arena, multiple sources disclosed to NBC Sports Bay Area on Monday night. ESPN, citing league sources, was first to report the team’s plan.

The two-time MVP’s right ankle is scheduled to be reevaluated Tuesday, after which time a firm return date is expected.

Curry was physically able to play -- and actually pushed to return -- last weekend, according to league sources. But the Warriors, looking ahead to the playoffs and seeing diminished value in the remaining regular-season games, opted to continue rehabilitation in hopes of maximizing support for the area around his ankle.

The Warriors have described Curry’s injury not as a sprain but a “tweak,” implying less severity.

Though the Warriors won the game in which Curry was hurt, 110-107 over the Spurs on March 8, they have since lost four of six, including 89-75 on Monday in San Antonio.

The Warriors arrived early Tuesday morning and won’t practice Tuesday afternoon and are contemplating skipping an official practice on Wednesday.

The Warriors, averaging a league-leading 115.5 points per game this season, saw that figure drop to 103.3 during Curry’s six-game absence.