Warriors

Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Warriors cut through Nets

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Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Warriors cut through Nets

BOX SCORE
Warriors 102, Nets 93Player of the game: Klay Thompson emerged from a shooting slump to score 23 points and help lead the Warriors to their fourth victory in five games.Thompson went 10-for-19 from the field, marking the first time all season hes made more than half of his shots in a game.He entered the game shooting just 33 percent from the field for the season.It felt like I got my game back, Thompson said. It felt great. I want to build on it Friday (vs. Denver) and keep this little win streak going. Im not going to lie to you, it felt amazing.Key stretch: The Warriors finished off the third quarter on a 14-3 run, which turned a three-point deficit into a 74-66 lead. The run was punctuated by a four-point play by Stephen Curry with 2.5 seconds remaining.Curry pulled up in transition from beyond the arc, was fouled by C.J. Watson, and the ball went in.Curry finished with 25 points to lead the Warriors, and David Lee had 20 points and 13 rebounds.Thompson, who missed five of his first seven shots, had eight of the Warriors 14 points at the end of the period, knocking down two 3-pointers and converting on a drive.Nothing really changed, Thompson said. I had a tough four-game stretch and its been a tough 11 games shooting the ball. But I got in the gym and ironed out my shot a little bit. It just feels great to come out here and see it pay off.Said Warriors coach Mark Jackson: Great to see Klay take and make shots. Ive said all along Im not concerned about Klays shooting. Thats like being concerned with Albert Pujols not hitting. He works too hard and its a gift. You dont lose a gift.Uneven but in it: The Warriors didnt play particularly well in the first half, but they did enough to be in the game. After falling behind 39-26, Golden State tightened the defense and crawled within 46-41 at intermission.Harrison Barnes was the best player on the floor for the Warriors offensively, at least scoring nine points and grabbing three rebounds in 17 minutes.The player giving the Warriors the most difficulty was Brook Lopez, who had 12 points at halftime on 6-for-10 shooting. Lopez did most of his damage on the interior, which isnt where he did most of his damage on Tuesday night against the Lakers.Lopez knocked down plenty of perimeter shots in the Nets 95-90 loss to the Lakers in L.A., but against the Warriors he made use of his size and scored mostly in close.We dont have LeBron James, Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant so we are going to have to do it by committee, Jackson said. We have some special talent but were going to have to do it by committee --- five guys holding onto the rope.Curry streak ends: Curry entered Wednesdays game having made 30 consecutive free throws. But that streak came to an end in the second quarter at 32 after he was fouled on a 3-point attempt by Deron Williams.Curry made the first two, and then the third one curled out.Who was out: The Warriors were without three players Andrew Bogut, Brandon Rush and Richard Jefferson. Bogut, who is recovering from a fractured left ankle, hopes to practice on Monday. But he wont play before Nov. 29.Rush tore his ACL in the second game of the season and will miss the remainder of the season. An MRI on Jefferson revealed a strained right calf. He didnt play against Brooklyn and is day-to-day.The Nets were without Gerald Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse.Rush back: Warriors small forward Brandon Rush was back at Oracle Arena on Wednesday for the first time since tearing the ACL in his left leg on Nov. 1.Rush sustained the injury while going up for a dunk in transition, but was thrown off-balance when Zach Randolph hit him trying to make a block.Rush is expected to miss the whole season.It was bad timing being the second game of the season and I was playing well, Rush said. I was very confident in my abilities and the, boom, this happens. Just brought me right back down.

What's caused Warriors' slow start and why it should come as no surprise

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USATSI

What's caused Warriors' slow start and why it should come as no surprise

It’s much too early to get legitimately nervous, much less start tumbling into a panic.

The Warriors are going to be fine.

Eventually.

They most certainly are not yet what they will become in about two weeks, when they settle in for a four-game homestand that begins Nov. 6. That’s 10 games into the season, and it’s conceivable the Warriors might be 6-4.

After a 111-101 loss to the ever-tenacious Grizzlies on Saturday in Memphis, the Warriors are 1-2 and, by their lofty standard, looking about as lost as a stray cat in a hurricane.

“We’re obviously not ready. We knew that,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’re not ready to put together a full effort. And I’m not doing a great job of putting together combinations, finding the right motivation to get guys going, to get some joy and laughter in here.

“It’s just one of those rough patches. And, hopefully, we can climb our way out of it. I’m sure we will. It may take some time.”

It will take some time, and of that there is plenty.

Do not blame this lull entirely on China, not when there is so much more. The Warriors are coming off their third consecutive prolonged season, this one followed by the training camp disruption caused by spending eight days in Oakland, eight days in China, followed by eight days in Oakland leading up to opening night.

It’s easy to see the timing is off on an offense that relies on precision. The spacing is off on an offense that requires room to operate. The energy is lacking on a defense that lapses into ordinary without its bedrock intensity. Both body and spirit appear less than peak.

“We’ve been playing hard,” Kevin Durant told reporters at FedEx Forum, “but I think we’ve got to take it up a level.

“We’ll be fine. It’s 79 more games left. I’m sure we’ll figure it out.”

Understand, a team that won an NBA-best 67 games last season and posted a league-record 16-1 postseason doesn’t lose it because opponents load up. When the Warriors are on their game, opponents don’t matter.

For now, though, there is an individual listlessness that results in collective slumber. Stephen Curry has gambled himself in foul trouble in both losses and was booted in Memphis. Andre Iguodala missed an entire game and Draymond Green missed the fourth quarter of the first loss, a game in which the Warriors gave up a 13-point lead over the final 12 minutes.

And Durant’s 4.6 blocks per game is impressive. It also happens to be offset by his 6.3 turnovers per game.

“That’s on me,” he said. “I’m turning the ball over at a high rate right now. I’m really pissed at myself about it. I’ve just got to hold on to the ball. Just make the correct pass. I think I’m just rushing. I just need to calm down, settle down, and that would ignite the whole team. But if I turn the ball over, that’s contagious.”

The Rockets turned 17 Warriors giveaways into 21 points. The Pelicans turned 14 into 20. The Grizzlies turned 17 into 24.

Asked what has to change, Klay Thompson went to exactly the right place, saying “probably our defensive intensity from the jump.”

That’s where it starts, at least on the court. Meanwhile, there is more video work, more group texts about details and the need for more time for their bodies and minds to become one.

“We’ll be better,” Durant said. “We’re still finding a groove with each other. We’re still getting back into shape as far as playing our game, the flow, just the reads off not calling plays. We’ve got to get used to that again.”

Thompson is, however, displaying a modicum of impatience.

“We’ll come out Monday and we’ll play a great game,” he said. “I guarantee it.”

He’s probably right. The Warriors will be playing at Dallas, against a Mavericks team that is built to be devoured by the powerful.

That might be a quick fix. But it won’t be the final fix. That is weeks away.

Gameday: Curry out for payback against Conley, new-look Grizzlies

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USATSI

Gameday: Curry out for payback against Conley, new-look Grizzlies

When the Warriors set foot in FedEx Forum on Saturday, they’ll find a very different atmosphere as well as a barely recognizable team of Memphis Grizzlies.

The Grindhouse is not the same. Zach Randolph and Vince Carter have left the building. So, too, has the “Grindfather” himself, Tony Allen.

So in their only trip to Memphis this season, the Warriors will focus mostly on point guard Mike Conley and center Marc Gasol, the remaining core members of the team that reached the playoffs in each of the last seven seasons.

The Warriors (1-1) will be playing for the second night in a row, while the Grizzlies (1-0) have not played since their season opener Wednesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.

BETTING LINE:
Warriors by 8.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Stephen Curry vs. Mike Conley: Curry has a long memory, and he will remember not only that the Warriors last season lost twice to the Grizzlies but also that Conley’s 27 points and clutch play offset Curry’s 40 points and led Memphis to an overtime win in Oakland. It won’t matter to Curry that the Warriors posted double-digit wins over the Grizzlies in the last two meetings last season. He may want to take over.

INJURY LIST:
Warriors: F Omri Casspi (L ankle sprain) has been ruled out.

Grizzlies: F JaMychal Green (L ankle sprain), G Ben McLemore (R foot surgery) and G/F Wayne Selden Jr. (R quad injury) are listed as out.

RECENT SERIES HISTORY:
The Warriors have won five of the last seven in Memphis and 10 of the last 13 meetings overall.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
BREEZE OR WHEEZE: Coach Steve Kerr has expressed some concern about the team’s conditioning level. On the second night of their first back-to-back set -- with the Warriors arriving at the hotel at 2:30 a.m. -- it could provide a glimpse of their progress. Kerr said he would consider resting one or two players. Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, both coming off injuries, would seem logical candidates.

GEORGIA VS. SPAIN: The Republic of Georgia’s Zaza Pachulia and Spain’s Marc Gasol know each other well, having spent years battling internationally and in the NBA. There will be no surprises, but Pachulia will have to avoid foul trouble to remain a part of his team’s defensive rotation against one of the league’s best big men.

HOT KLAY: Klay Thompson is off to a torrid start, shooting 11-of-18 from beyond the arc through the first two games. And now he won’t have to worry about Allen, who relished in opportunities to defend the Warriors All-Star. Memphis replaced Allen with Andrew Harrison, who is not in the Grindfather’s class as a defender.