Warriors 5-0 stretch as impressive a week as any over last four seasons

Warriors 5-0 stretch as impressive a week as any over last four seasons

OAKLAND -- The Warriors have enjoyed many a successful week over the past four seasons, but none more incredible than that which was concluded Sunday night.

Their 139-115 rout of the Washington Wizards punctuated an eight-day stretch during which the Warriors played five games and won them all.

This was not just five games, but five games against teams destined for the playoffs.

Four games against teams holding top-four seeds in their respective conferences.

Two of the games came on the road, against their most dangerous Western Conference competition, on back-to-back nights.

“Honestly, when you’re looking at a schedule like that, I always look at like, ‘Man, we want to go 5-0,’ “ Draymond Green said. “To go 3-and-2 in that stretch is a success.

“But to really complete it and go 5-0 . . . you’re talking five playoff teams that we just played. And to win them all, two tough ones on the road, that says a lot about where we are.”

The treacherous stretch began March 26 with a 106-94 win over the Grizzlies, who had beaten the Warriors twice this season.

The Warriors left for Houston the next day, and beat the third-place Rockets 113-106 last Tuesday night. They then flew to San Antonio, arriving early Wednesday morning and found the resolve to overcome a 22-point deficit and take a 110-98 victory over the second-place Spurs, who have been stalking them for weeks.

After winning those three games in four nights, coming home for a rematch against the Rockets, followed by the formidable Wizards, a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference, was almost like rolling downhill.

The result was two more victories -- against four teams that entered the week with a combined 6-2 record against the Warriors this season.

It’s been a great run,” Klay Thompson said. “We all just want to finish the season on a high note, carry some momentum going into the playoffs.”

Thompson surely has done his part, averaging 24.4 points, on 51.1-percent shooting, 47.1 percent from beyond the arc, over the five games.

Stephen Curry was even more prolific and nearly as accurate, averaging 29.2 points, on 51.0-percent shooting from the field and 46.3 percent from deep.

“It’s a strong showing,” Curry said of the past eight days. “It was a tough task, obviously, all playoff teams and teams you have to execute well on both ends of the floor if you want to beat them. You have to play a full 40 minutes if you want to beat them, and we were able to do that.”

The Warriors entered this period with a six-game win streak and ended it with an 11-game streak.

They entered with a two-game lead over the Spurs and exited with a 3.5-game lead, needing to win only three of their final five games to clinch the No. 1 seed in the postseason.

“We want to bottle this up and keep adding pennies to the jar as we go down the stretch of the season,” Curry said. “Keep feeling really good about ourselves and build momentum as we go into playoffs with five games left.”

Warriors need vets to bounce back against young Suns


Warriors need vets to bounce back against young Suns

The Warriors have lost three of their last four games, their roster is in shambles and, still, they look like pure gold in contrast to the Suns team they’re facing Saturday night in Phoenix.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6 o’clock, with tipoff scheduled for 7:05.

Reeling from the absences of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, the Warriors (52-17) showed plenty of the scrap in losing to the Kings on Friday in Oakland but couldn’t get much offense from their veterans.

The Suns (19-51) are having the worst season since 1968-69, their inaugural season. They’ve lost seven in a row, 16 of their last 17 and 21 of their last 23.


Warriors by 3


Quinn Cook vs. Elfrid Payton: Payton bolted to a 16-point first quarter and scored 29 the last time he faced the Warriors. Quinn is coming off a career-high 25-point game. With teams relying on diminished rosters, whichever of the two young PGs can set a tone gives his team an advantage.


Warriors: G Omri Casspi (R ankle sprain), G Stephen Curry (R ankle tweak), F Kevin Durant (R rib soreness), G Pat McCaw (L wrist fracture) and G Klay Thompson (R thumb fracture) are listed as out.

Suns: G Devin Booker (R hand sprain) and F Alan Williams (R meniscus tear) are listed as questionable. G Brandon Knight (L ACL tear) is listed as out.


Warriors: 7-3.

Suns: 1-9.


Tony Brothers (crew chief), Jacyn Goble, James Williams


The Warriors won the first of four meetings this season, 129-83 on Feb. 12 at Oracle Arena. They swept all four games last season and are 12-1 against the Suns in the Steve Kerr era.


MOTIVATED VETS: Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Zaza Pachulia, David West and Nick Young, expected to generate offense, combined to shoot 19-of-59 (32.2 percent) in a five-point loss Friday. They must be better; they can’t be much worse. Phoenix leads the NBA in points allowed.

THE BIG MEN: JaVale McGee started nine straight games at center, but Pachulia started the last two. The Suns are long up front, so McGee could be in line for a start or more minutes. In addition, Damian Jones, the team’s other 7-footer, also could get playing time.

STREAKING WITH THREES: The Suns own the longest active streak of games with at least one 3-point make (1,128). The Warriors are No. 2 (1,121). Both streaks are endangered. Curry, Thompson and Durant are out for the Warriors. Booker will either sit out or play with a splint on his shooting hand.

Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss

Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss

OAKLAND -- If Quinn Cook plays at anything close to the level he performed Friday night against the Kings, the Warriors should avoid any catastrophic stumbling in the absence of their top three scorers.

They stumbled plenty in a 98-93 loss to Sacramento, but not because of Cook. The two-way player who has spent most of the season with G-League Santa Cruz scored a team-high 25 points, shot 10-of-13 from the field and played respectable defense.

He did more than could have been reasonably expected.

“I felt like this was coming,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He was fantastic. He really lit it up and gave us a huge boost.”

The Warriors ran into problems elsewhere, shared among the usually reliable veterans who need to be particularly reliable in the absence of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.

Usual starters Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia combined to shoot 6-of-20.

Usual reserves Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, David West and Nick Young shot a collective 13-of-39.

In the second half, when Warriors mustered only 34 points -- a season-low for any half -- the six vets combined to take 32 shots and missed 24.

Those are atrocious numbers and they explain what went wrong in a game that was there for the taking.

They’re also an anomaly.

“We just couldn’t get anything going,” Green said. “But we got some good shots. We got ‘Dre on a couple of pull-ups in the lane, I got a couple open shots, Nick got a couple open shots, Zaza got a couple open ones. D-West had one pop in and out. (Kevon Looney) had two pop in and out.

“We just got cold. But hopefully those shots will fall tomorrow.”

West, returning after missing four games with a cyst on his right arm, was 1-of-6 from the field. He came into this game as a 60.8-percent shooter this season.

Igoudala was 4-of-10; he shot 70 percent over the previous 10 games. Young was 5-of-15, well below his 44-percent shooting this season. Livingston’s 3-of-8 shooting is uncharacteristic of someone shooting at least 50 percent for four years running.

If history is any indication, Green (5-of-14) and Pachulia (1-of-6) are not going continue to miss at the rate they did in this game, the first this season in which the Warriors were without all three of their top scorers.

If history is any indication, the Warriors can’t be counted on to score 34 points on 27.3-percent shooting in the second half of a game.

“I loved how our guys battled,” Kerr said. “They really competed well and made some big plays. We just couldn’t get the ball to go down quite enough in the second half.”

That’s going to change, perhaps as soon as Saturday night in Phoenix, were the Suns are playing to lose.

So if Cook plays steady basketball, the Warriors will fall off and their fans won’t become a basket case while waiting for the three shooters. The Warriors surely believe that.

“He really showed up. I’ve been waiting on that Quinn,” Green said. “We needed that. It was great for him to come out and play like that. And most importantly, his shots were falling. Since he’s been playing (more often) he’s been playing well, but his shots weren’t really falling. But tonight, they fell for him.”

They won’t always fall at a rate of 77 percent. They won’t have to once his teammates drop in a few more of their own shots.