Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Warriors 106, Nuggets 105


Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Warriors 106, Nuggets 105


Player of the game: David Lee had 31 points and nine rebounds to lead the Warriors to a nail-biter of a win. Lee went 13-for-15 from the field and also had six assists.

Key stretch: Jarrett Jack converted a tough drive with 1:15 remaining to give the Warriors a 106-103 lead and control of the game in the final minute.Not that bringing it home was easy for the Warriors (9-6).Andre Iguodala, who was fouled with 3.4 seconds remaining on a 3-point attempt, made two of those free throws to pull Denver within one. The Warriors failed to secure the rebound, giving the Nuggets one final chance to win it with 2.1 seconds left. After an errant pass went off Golden State, Denver had five-tenths of a second remaining to once again try to win it.Iguodala proceeded to bury a deep jumper at the buzzer, which the officials ruled as a good basket on the floor. But after going to replay, the basket was ruled to have come after the buzzer, giving the Warriors their fourth win in five games.Golden State battled back from a 16-point deficit, eventually drawing even midway through the fourth quarter.
Clamping down: The Warriors forced the Nuggets into a 1-for-8 start from the field in the fourth quarter, and that was enough time and enough defense to allow them to reclaim the lead midway through the period.That set up a back-and-forth final six minutes that had the crowd on its feet for a good portion of it.Third-quarter blues: In the Warriors 102-91 loss to the Nuggets on Nov. 23, the game turned in the third quarter. Denver opened the period on a 15-0 run to take control of that game and something similar happened on Thursday.The Nuggets, who were already up nine at half, began the third quarter by scoring 13 of the first 19 points, and lo and behold, they were up on the Warriors 73-57 with eight-plus minutes left.Good start spoiled: Less than five minutes into the game, the Warriors had themselves a 17-5 lead, and things appeared hunky-dory.But by the end of the first period, Denver had pulled within five points, and then came the second quarter and it was all Nuggets.Denver outscored the Warriors 35-21 in the second period, shooting 65 percent (15-for-23) percent in the process, and went into the locker room with a 60-51 lead. The cold, hard numbers for the Warriors were that they were outscored 26-8 to finish the second quarter.Lee was putting in work in the first half, and it was a good thing for Golden State or it would have been down more. Lee buried 8-of-9 from the field on his way to a 19-point, five-rebound half.The 19 points were the most by a Warrior in a half this season.Getting defensive: Through 15 games this season, the Warriors dont look very much like they have in previous years. The high-scoring Warriors arent scoring as much these days, averaging only 98 points per game, ranking them 15th in the league.Also strange to see is the Warriors among the league leaders in some defensive categories. Coming into Thursdays game against the Nuggets, the Warriors were holding their opposition to 43.1 percent shooting from the field, fourth-best in the NBA.Said Jackson: We are going to build this team towards our dream which is chasing down and ultimately hanging a banner up. The way you do that is holding each other accountable on the defensive end. There are people that are concerned about us scoring the basketball were going to score the basketball. Our defense has been exceptional and has allowed us to be in the seat we are in right now and we will continue that.

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.