Warriors

Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Kings hold off Warriors

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Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Kings hold off Warriors

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Player of the game: Aaron Brooks had 12 points in 20 minutes, but he had two big buckets when the Kings needed them most. Brooks hit a little jumper with 2:50 left and then converted a drive with 1:16 left and both times they bumped Sacramentos lead to five.Those were the Kings only two field goals in the games final 4:45.Key stretch: The Kings used a 16-0 run in the third quarter to turn a 56-56 tie into a 72-56 lead. DeMarcus Cousins had six points during the run, including the last four. Cousins finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds.Warriors run: The Warriors were down 89-78 with four minutes left, but stormed back and gave themselves a chance to win the game late. After the Warriors forced a Cousins miss late, they found themselves down 93-92 with 10.9 seconds remaining. Golden State ended up getting a great look with five seconds left from Klay Thompson from about 16 feet away. But the ball rimmed out.Couldnt ask for a better look, said Thompson, who finished with 22 points on 7-for-17 from the field. It felt great coming off my hand. I thought it was in but it hit back rim on a direct line and came back out. It was really disappointing. It was really disappointing. Its going to be a long bus ride back, its going to be a long night tonight.After Thompsons miss, the Warriors fouled on the rebound. After James Johnson made one of two free throws, Golden State (2-2) had one last opportunity inbounding at halfcourt with 1.3 seconds left. But the best they could manage was a Stephen Curry 30-footer and it didnt go down.Thats not where the game was lost, David Lee said of the last couple of possessions. The game was lost when the lead went from six or seven up to 16. From that point on you have to play perfect basketball to get back into it and we nearly did that. But it was third quarter and early fourth where we got hurt.Shooting woes: The Warriors came into Mondays game shooting 44 percent from the field through three games. They didnt boost that with their showing against the Kings.Golden State shot just 40.8 percent from the field, and nobody struggled more than Curry, who went 3-for-15 from the field.Thornton a thorn: If theres a player who has given the Warriors a problem or two in the past couple of seasons its Kings shooting guard Marcus Thornton.And he was at it again on Monday, scoring 14 points in just 16 first-half minutes against Golden State. The Warriors contained Thornton in the second half, and he finished with 16.Thornton, who is coming off the bench for Keith Smarts team, had his career-high against the Warriors when he scored 42 points in a victory over the Warriors in Sacramento back in 2010-11.Last season, Thornton put together a 28-point game against the Warriors. The Warriors dont seem to have a great matchup against Thornton, with the possible exception being Jarrett Jack. But Thornton did the majority of his first-half damage with Jack off the floor.Boguts night: Warriors center Andrew Bogut, who didnt play in Saturdays game against the L.A. Clippers, was back in the starting lineup against the Kings.Bogut played the games first five minutes, then sat for the remainder of the half even as the Warriors went from being up eight points to down 47-35 late in the second quarter.Bogut had four points and a rebound in those five minutes. Bogut played 19 minutes on the night, including the last seven. He finished with 12 points and three rebounds.I felt OK, Bogut said. Im out there so it is what it is. Im just trying to get through these next three to four weeks relatively sane.The plan for Bogut may actually change some as the Warriors move through November. Originally, the Warriors said Bogut would rest on the second of back-to-back nights, but that could be tweaked, according to Jackson.Its possible that Bogut could sit the first game of a back-to-back and play in the second game. Its possible that could happen this weekend when the Warriors play in L.A. against the Lakers on Friday and then back home against the Nuggets on Saturday.

Former coach takes epic shot at Cavs after they gave up 148 points to OKC

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USATSI

Former coach takes epic shot at Cavs after they gave up 148 points to OKC

When it rains, it pours for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

After starting the season 24-9, they have cratered. Including two losses to the Warriors and one to the Kings, the Cavs are 3-8 over their last 11 games.

During the stretch, they suffered through a four-game losing streak and nearly blew a 23-point lead against the Magic on Thursday.

But nothing was worse than what happened in front of a national TV audience on Saturday. The visiting Oklahoma City Thunder strolled into Quicken Loans Arena and hung 148 points on the defending Eastern Conference champs and won by 24 points.

Saturday's performance was so bad, former Cavs head coach David Blatt took a shot at them before coaching the Team Europe in the Turkish Basketball Super League All-Star Game in Instabul.

Asked by a sideline reporter for his thoughts on the game he was about to coach, Blatt offered this:

"Well, I don't think we're going to have any problem scoring. I'm just wondering if we're going to defend anybody. That's what I'm worried about," Blatt said.

The reporter followed up by asking for his expectation of the final score. That's when Blatt threw a haymaker at the team that fired him during the 2015-16 season despite a 30-11 record.

"Well, I hope we don't give up as many points as the Cavaliers did last night," Blatt said.

Ouch.

Unfortunately for Blatt, Team Europe lost 151-142 to Team Asia.

Clint Capela claims Rockets are better than Warriors; champs not worried

Clint Capela claims Rockets are better than Warriors; champs not worried

The Rockets are riding high after their 116-108 win over the Warriors on Saturday night.

Maybe a little too high.

After the game, starting center Clint Capela had some bold things to say about the rivalry.

"We're confident because we know if we're doing what we're supposed to do, we're going to beat them. We've got to keep playing. We know that they're going to come back if we have the lead, and we've just got to keep that mindset. Sometimes I feel like, in the past, we were all dragging down after mistakes. But today, we were ready. I think that if we're doing what we're supposed to do on defense -- all the switches, the weak side -- and keep playing our offense by keeping that mentality all game long, we have the weapons to beat them. We are better than them," Capela told ESPN after the game in Houston.

The young big man doubled down.

"We're definitely the best in the league with everybody healthy. We've definitely got a chance to get that 1-seed back. The thing is, of course, we're excited because it's the Warriors, but Monday is an important game, too. If we lose and the [Warriors] win their game, what was the point? The next game, every single time, is going to be the key to go get the No. 1, first seed," Capela told ESPN.

Guard Eric Gordon didn't go as far, but still compared the Rockets favorably to the Warriors.

"Offensively, we're just as good as them, no question. Defensively, they're a championship team. They're consistent, whether they win or lose. Us, we still have peaks and valleys. We just can't have those. That's why we've got to play well the next game, because we just have to sustain the same effort," Gordon said via ESPN.

The Rockets won the season-series with the Warriors by taking two out of the three meetings. They now trail the Warriors by 3.5 games in the race for the top spot in the Western Conference.

But are they really better than the defending NBA champs? Are the Warriors worried at all about the Rockets?

"The season starts over when you're in the playoffs anyway, so it doesn't matter. You're going to have to get through these teams to get to where you want to go. You have to play at home and on the road, so it really doesn't matter. We just want to be playing good basketball when it comes down to that point," Warriors forward Kevin Durant told ESPN after the game.

Draymond Green really didn't want to hear about home-court advantage.

"It's game 40-what? Seven, eight? Who we play on Tuesday? We just got to get ready for [New York]. Home court will take care of itself down the road," told reporters after the game.

With no more meetings during the regular season, the next time the two teams could meet, assuming they finish with the top two seeds, is in the Western Conference Finals. So we'll have to wait until May to see if the Rockets can back up the tough talk.