Spurs fall to Lakers at home, open door for Warriors to clinch

Spurs fall to Lakers at home, open door for Warriors to clinch


SAN ANTONIO -- Tyler Ennis had 19 points in place of injured starter D'Angelo Russell and the Los Angeles Lakers never trailed in a 102-95 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night.

The Lakers led by as many as 26 points in snapping an eight-game skid against the Spurs.

Making his first start of the season, Ennis had six assists and only one turnover to help Los Angeles snap San Antonio's three-game winning streak. Russell missed the game after experiencing soreness in his knee during shootaround.

The Spurs pulled within 100-95 on back-to-back 3s by Kyle Anderson and Davis Bertans, but David Nwaba's follow slam shut the door on the rally. Bertans and Tony Parker led the Spurs with 14 points each.

San Antonio played its normal starting lineup, with the exception of injured guard Danny Green, despite already clinching the Southwest Division title.

Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge did not play in the second half, however, as Spurs coach Gregg Popovich opted to rest his starting forwards. Leonard finished with 11 points in 14 minutes, and Aldridge had eight points and six rebounds in 16 minutes.

Larry Nance Jr. had six points and two rebounds in the opening four minutes as the Lakers rolled to a 31-14 lead in the first quarter.

Nance finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.

Lakers: Brandon Ingram, who was initially listed as questionable, played 10 minutes despite experiencing right patellar tendinitis. "Originally he was on no minutes restriction, but with the pain (he is now)," Los Angeles coach Luke Walton said. "He really wants to play and the trainer said he should be fine." ... Tarik Black was also listed as questionable with a mild sprained left knee, but had five points in 27 minutes. ... Ennis has played in 49 games, 18 with the Lakers since being acquired in a trade with Houston.

Spurs: San Antonio G Manu Ginobili did not play after bruising his right quadriceps Tuesday against Memphis. ... Green missed his third straight game with a bruised left quadriceps. ... San Antonio played its first back-to-back games at the AT&T Center in a non-lockout shortened season since February 2009. ... Bertans has 25 blocks, one more than Leonard had his rookie season.

Lakers: Host Sacramento on Friday night.

Spurs: At Dallas on Friday night.


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.