Rewind: Warriors' summer dream comes to life in throttling of Lakers

Rewind: Warriors' summer dream comes to life in throttling of Lakers

OAKLAND – Those curious about how the Warriors will look when operating at peak efficiency now have 48 minutes to ogle in slack-jawed awe.

They weren’t perfect Wednesday night, but they were close enough to glimpse perfection and perhaps even reach out and touch it. Their 149-106 dissection of an incomplete Lakers team was a study in basketball so beautiful it begged for an orchestral soundtrack.

The ball whipped around with stunning precision, as did the players. The Warriors totaled a season-best 10 turnovers while recording 47 assists, a franchise record and the most by any NBA team since November 1991.

Shots were falling through the net at a stunning rate, 52.8 percent from 3-point distance and 61.6 percent overall.

“That’s the beauty of our team is that we have so many passers,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We have so many guys who can make a play and move the ball and that’s why the assist totals are where they are.”

This was the team’s summer dream come to life. When the Warriors added Kevin Durant to a 73-win squad featuring a back-to-back MVP and two other All-Stars, they were seeking a level higher than very good. They were chasing greatness, with a long and active defense generating easy shots for a glut of great shooters.

The Warriors, simply put, were going for the competitive kill. And for the first time in 15 games, 13 of which have ended in victory, their assets were on full and devastating display.

“I had no expectations; I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Durant said of his decision to join the Warriors. “I had a little indication on how we’d play, but for the most part I didn’t know how it was going to work together. I know how to play basketball. I know I’m a great teammate. And those two traits make it a smooth transition. I’m just trying to fit in with the team as much as I can. But I’m still going to go out there and be me.

“It all works when we play for each other and make the right play. Nobody cares who scores the most points, who gets the assists or rebounds We just go out there to play a good game.”

Durant scored 28 points on 11-of-15 shooting, the seventh game he has shot at least 60 percent from the field. Stephen Curry put up a team-best 31 points and Klay Thompson totaled 26. The trio combined to score 85 points on 31-of-47 (66 percent) shooting, including 13 of 23 (56.6 percent) from deep.

This was the Warriors team that from the moment it was assembled in July sent Warriors fans into delirium and shock waves of distress through the NBA.

“The guys we brought on are really unselfish and they have been their whole career,” Thompson said, referring not only to Durant but also to veteran big men David West and Zaza Pachulia. “They only want to do one thing, and that’s to win.”

This Warriors performance is somewhat diminished insofar as it came against a Lakers team that was utterly overmatched without starting guard D’Angelo Russell and starting forward Julius Randle. But playing so exquisitely, regardless of the opponent, is to be commended.

The Warriors didn’t stop at getting an abundance of payback against the Lakers for a 20-point loss to them three weeks ago in Los Angeles. The Warriors took the Lakers to school, taught them a lesson and left them to ponder their own inadequacies.

“That was a beautiful exhibition they put on us out there,” Lakers coach Luke Walton conceded.

It was basketball as Warriors fans imagined, leaving the sellout crowd at Oracle Arena swaying and swooning in amazement.

The Warriors would like to believe they’re settling into the team they want to be. And though it won’t always look so seamless, particularly against sturdier competition, they’re realizing how good they can be as they continue to assimilate.

“The ball was moving and the guys were just playing and they are very comfortable playing together,” Kerr said. “It was fun to watch.”

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.