Rush scores 20, W's outlast Kings 93-90


Rush scores 20, W's outlast Kings 93-90

Warriors 93, Kings 90Star of the game: Brandon Rush had 15 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, including one stretch in which he hit three 3-pointers in a two-minute span.Rush entered the game tied for the league lead in 3-point percentage at 57.1 percent. He went 4-for-5 from beyond the arc against the Kings.Rush also hit two free throws with 2.2 seconds remaining that gave the Warriors a three-point lead, the final margin of victory.Key stretch: The Warriors held the Kings scoreless for the first 5:17 of the final period, turning a one-point deficit into an eight-point lead.The bench guys just played great, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. And Ive always said if you want to play force me to leave you in and those guys did exactly that. They deserved to win or lose this ballgame.
Bench again: Its starting to become more the norm than the exception, but once again the Warriors bench was more effective than the starters.It was the substitutes who turned Tuesdays game around, specifically in the fourth period. Nate Robinson, Klay Thompson, Brandon Rush, Dominic McGuire and Ekpe Udoh held the Kings scoreless for five-plus minutes to begin the fourth period.That enabled the Warriors to take a 76-68 lead midway through the fourth quarter.Jackson stayed with the second unit for the entire period, but for a short time when he replaced Udoh after he fouled out and when he put Stephen Curry in for foul shooting down the stretch.Give that second unit a lot of credit, Jackson said. They did a great job of battling on the defensive end, paying attention to detail and they elevated the energy level. And we got quality offensive trips even when we didnt make shots we got what we wanted. They did a great job of bringing it home.
Taking care of ball: The Warriors had been turning the ball over a lot in recent games but not so in the first half on Tuesday. The Warriors committed only three first-half turnovers.Still, they didnt take care of other areas of the game rebounding and shooting the ball and those were the reasons they went into the half down 47-45.Biedrins early: Jackson said he was excited about Andris Biedrins playing against the Kings on Tuesday, and sure enough Biedrins did some things early.Biedrins took four shots in the games first five minutes, with the team making an obvious effort to get Biedrins the ball. Biedrins had five points early, including a three-point play which was his first made free throw of the season after four misses.Biedrins also committed his second personal foul with 2:15 remaining in the period, but Jackson kept him in for a few minutes afterward.

Without Green, Iguodala, fourth quarter turns into disaster for Warriors vs Rockets

Without Green, Iguodala, fourth quarter turns into disaster for Warriors vs Rockets

OAKLAND -- The defending champion Warriors started cracking in the hours before tipoff Tuesday night and broke apart when they usually come together.

The fourth quarter was a disaster area and it cost the Warriors, as the Houston Rockets wiped out a 13-point deficit and tagged them with a 122-121 loss before a stunned sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.

So ends, as it should, the spurious notion of a rubber-stamp championship for the Warriors. A strain here and a tweak there and they found themselves on the painful end of the score.

The Warriors learned prior to the game that forward Andre Iguodala, their valuable Sixth Man, would be out nursing a strained back. They were hit with another injury, this one to Draymond Green, who was highly effective, late in the third quarter.

“He was our best player tonight,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He was the guy who was bringing the energy and the life.”

Green’s numbers -- 9 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists -- barely hint at his value in this game. Green and Iguodala are the primary defensive communicators, and Green held it down fairly well -- until he, too, was gone.

“Our communication wasn’t very good and we didn’t stick to the game plan; we gave them too many wide-open threes,” said Klay Thompson, who scored 11 first-quarter points but only 5 over the final three.

“We did a good job in the half-court of keeping them in front,” said Kevin Durant, who also scolded himself for committing eight turnovers. “But in transition we got cross-matched so many times and we just didn’t communicate well enough.”

Games aren’t always lost in the fourth, despite the frequent narrative, but this one most assuredly was. With Green in the locker room accompanied by ice, the Warriors were outscored 34-20 in the fourth quarter.

After shooting 45.8 percent through three quarters, the Rockets took it to 56 percent in the fourth, closing the game on a 13-5 run over the final 4:01.

The Warriors don’t yet know when Green and Iguodala will return, whether it’s as soon as Friday at New Orleans or a matter of weeks. Until they do, Kerr will have to resort to patching things together.

Problem is, aside from the scoring of Nick Young (23 points on 8-of-9 shooting, including 6-of-7 from deep) and Jordan Bell (8 points on 4-of-5 shooting in 12 minutes), the bench did not distinguish itself.

That was particularly true on defense, which happen to be where Iguodala and Green make their greatest impact. The reserves accounted for 13 of the 25 fouls called on the Warriors.

“We’ve got to be better,” Durant said. “We’ve got to be better, and we’re looking forward to practice Wednesday.”

D'Antoni claps back at Draymond, Warriors after Rockets' 122-121 win

D'Antoni claps back at Draymond, Warriors after Rockets' 122-121 win

Draymond Green usually gets the last word.

Not this time.

"Somebody said we don't take it seriously on defense. Well obviously they don't take it seriously either," Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni said after the Rockets knocked off the Warriors 122-121 on Tuesday night., according to Santa Rosa Press Democrat's Phil Barber.

The jab stems from Green's comments after practice on Monday.

"You should believe that. I'm turning over a new leaf. Number 1 -- they want it to be a shootout, which is fine. But we're gonna play some defense. We score pretty well, but we're a damn good defensive team, too. So we're gonna play some defense.

"I don't know how serious they take defense with that comment, but I know they added some good defensive players," Green told reporters Monday.

Green won't get his next shot at D'Antoni and the Rockets until January 4 in Houston.