Rewind: Steph Curry finds offensive rhythm, drops 32 on Lakers

Rewind: Steph Curry finds offensive rhythm, drops 32 on Lakers

SAN DIEGO – Warriors coach Steve Kerr was talking last week about how Stephen Curry usually needs just a few preseason games to find his offensive rhythm.

Consider it found.

Curry’s shooting stroke fired up fans at Valley View Casino Arena and lit up the Lakers as well Wednesday night in a 123-112 win over the Lakers.

“He found it,” Kerr said. “And he needed a few minutes, too.”

Maybe the minutes were the key factor. Through the first five preseason games, Kerr was careful distributing minutes to Curry and the rest of the starters, with the idea being that they ease into game shape while the coaching staff studies the reserves.

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The minutes bumped up on Wednesday, and Curry exploited the opportunity, scoring 32 points in 31 minutes – including 22 points in 15 second-half minutes. He fired in six 3-pointers.

“Steph needed to play,” Kerr said. “He needed to get up and down. He got going there in the second half.”

Curry's second-half flurry was vintage. He made 8-of-10 shots from the field, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. It was the first time this preseason that he looked like the guy who five months ago won his second consecutive MVP award.

“We came in expecting to play closer to regular-season minutes, and we started to pick up a rhythm for sure and just be a little more aggressive,” Curry said. “We were locked in as a team on the defensive end, which gave us a lot of energy. We started off the game well and kept it going.”

Curry had plenty of help from his two primary sidekicks, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. Durant finished with 27 points, and Thompson tossed in 19. The trio’s combined 78 points are in the range of what the team believes they can average in the regular season.

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“It’s amazing to watch,” Kevon Looney said. “We all feel like fans when they go through their thing and are playing well. It makes it easy for everybody else on the team, so it’s a lot of fun to watch.”

With Curry, Durant and Thompson leading the way, Warriors starters outscored the Lakers’ first five 92-62. Such ownership of a struggling young team, as the Lakers are, may be relatively inconsequential. But is also is what’s expected under the circumstances.

It wasn’t just the shooting that boosted the Warriors starters. The defense was solid and the ball movement on offense was fabulous. Each starter had at least four assists, with Thompson the surprise leader with eight.

It helps when your passing options include teammates like Curry and Durant, who may enter friendly competition. It makes sense. Curry is the reigning scoring champion, and Durant is a four-time scoring champ.

“I hit a jump shot,” Durant said, “and (Curry) told me, ‘I could be a fan of yours.’ And when he got it going, you see everybody trying to get him the ball.

“It was pretty to watch, and I’m looking forward to a lot of that this season.”

Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss


Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss

OAKLAND -- If Quinn Cook plays at anything close to the level he performed Friday night against the Kings, the Warriors should avoid any catastrophic stumbling in the absence of their top three scorers.

They stumbled plenty in a 98-93 loss to Sacramento, but not because of Cook. The two-way player who has spent most of the season with G-League Santa Cruz scored a team-high 25 points, shot 10-of-13 from the field and played respectable defense.

He did more than could have been reasonably expected.

“I felt like this was coming,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He was fantastic. He really lit it up and gave us a huge boost.”

The Warriors ran into problems elsewhere, shared among the usually reliable veterans who need to be particularly reliable in the absence of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.

Usual starters Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia combined to shoot 6-of-20.

Usual reserves Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, David West and Nick Young shot a collective 13-of-39.

In the second half, when Warriors mustered only 34 points -- a season-low for any half -- the six vets combined to take 32 shots and missed 24.

Those are atrocious numbers and they explain what went wrong in a game that was there for the taking.

They’re also an anomaly.

“We just couldn’t get anything going,” Green said. “But we got some good shots. We got ‘Dre on a couple of pull-ups in the lane, I got a couple open shots, Nick got a couple open shots, Zaza got a couple open ones. D-West had one pop in and out. (Kevon Looney) had two pop in and out.

“We just got cold. But hopefully those shots will fall tomorrow.”

West, returning after missing four games with a cyst on his right arm, was 1-of-6 from the field. He came into this game as a 60.8-percent shooter this season.

Igoudala was 4-of-10; he shot 70 percent over the previous 10 games. Young was 5-of-15, well below his 44-percent shooting this season. Livingston’s 3-of-8 shooting is uncharacteristic of someone shooting at least 50 percent for four years running.

If history is any indication, Green (5-of-14) and Pachulia (1-of-6) are not going continue to miss at the rate they did in this game, the first this season in which the Warriors were without all three of their top scorers.

If history is any indication, the Warriors can’t be counted on to score 34 points on 27.3-percent shooting in the second half of a game.

“I loved how our guys battled,” Kerr said. “They really competed well and made some big plays. We just couldn’t get the ball to go down quite enough in the second half.”

That’s going to change, perhaps as soon as Saturday night in Phoenix, were the Suns are playing to lose.

So if Cook plays steady basketball, the Warriors will fall off and their fans won’t become a basket case while waiting for the three shooters. The Warriors surely believe that.

“He really showed up. I’ve been waiting on that Quinn,” Green said. “We needed that. It was great for him to come out and play like that. And most importantly, his shots were falling. Since he’s been playing (more often) he’s been playing well, but his shots weren’t really falling. But tonight, they fell for him.”

They won’t always fall at a rate of 77 percent. They won’t have to once his teammates drop in a few more of their own shots.

Casspi rolls ankle, leaves game vs Kings


Casspi rolls ankle, leaves game vs Kings

OAKLAND -- Omri Casspi sustained a sprained right ankle with 9:00 left in the second quarter of the Warriors-Kings game Friday night and did not return.

After dropping in a short hook shot with 9:04 left in the quarter, Casspi landed awkwardly, rolling his ankle and dropping to the floor clutching his lower leg. Down for a couple minutes, he eventually got up and limped into the locker room, accompanied by physical performance specialist Chelsea Lane.

Casspi played six minutes off the bench, producing 6 points, one assist and one rebound against his former team.

He joins Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Pat McCaw and Klay Thompson on the sideline.