Warriors

Warriors blow out Jazz behind Monta's 33

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Warriors blow out Jazz behind Monta's 33

BOX SCORE

OAKAND The Warriors played a solid second half on Thursday night, turning a close game into a lopsided win over the Jazz. The game was the final one of a six-game homestand for the Warriors, and with the win they finish it at 3-3.Warriors 119, Jazz 101Star of the game: After shooting 12-for-43 from the field in his previous three games, Monta Ellis broke out and broke out in a big way against Utah. Ellis had 33 points but that was only part of the story.
Part 2 of the story was how efficient he was along with Stephen Curry. Ellis went 13-for-21 from the floor, including 3-for-7 from beyond the arc.You cant expect that night in and night out, Jackson said of Curry and Ellis play. We really, in the second half, separated ourselves offensively. We executed, we took care of the basketball, we limited their second-chance opportunities and we defended. A thing of beauty unselfish basketball.Key stretch: The Warriors used a 13-2 run to finish the third period, giving them separation from a close game. Ellis closed the period in spectacular fashion, converting on a beautiful alley-oop layup from Curry and then knocking down a long 3-pointer with two seconds remaining in the period.That stretch took the Warriors from a 75-75 tie to an 88-77 lead. In the quarter, the Warriors outscored the Jazz 40-31.In the third quarter, we gave up 40 points, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. We got away from executing our offense and that was one of the things that we were concerned about right from the beginning. You get into an uptempo game with them at a fast pace and take early shots, theyre really dynamic at taking advantage of your turnovers.Curry impressive: Curry had one of his best games of the season, perhaps his best as a matter of fact. He finished with 29 points and 12 assists and was every bit as efficient as Ellis.Curry went 10-for-14 from the field and 7-for-8 from the line.First-half struggles: There were some good numbers halfway through the game as far as the Warriors were concerned, but one troubling one.The Warriors committed only five turnovers in the first half and outrebounded the Jazz 27-21. Problem was, the Warriors shot only 38 percent during the first 24 minutes, with David Lee struggling more than everyone else.Lee shot just 2-for-12 from the field in the first half and Nate Robinson was 0-for-5.Banged-up backcourt: The Jazz were without three important backcourt contributors on Thursay night. Neither Raja Bell (strained abductor) nor Earl Watson (sprained ankle) made the trip to Oakland, and Devin Harris was a late scratch because of a hamstring injury.Before the game, Jackson was asked whether Utah being shorthanded in the backcourt would impact his strategy.You dont attack them differently, Jackson said. They are a very good team, a well-coached basketball team with veterans and proven guys. Ive seen in the past as a player, announcer and as a fan where somebody goes out and somebody steps up and plays great basketball.We dont want that to happen. In a situation like with Watson Jamaal Tinsley is a proven guy and more than capable of going out and doing whats asked of him. We dont blow that up and make a point to do anything out of the ordinary. If we take care of our business, it will not matter who is in uniform.

In his own way, David Lee was a launching pad for the new age Warriors

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AP

In his own way, David Lee was a launching pad for the new age Warriors

So we say Goodbye, once and for all, to David Lee, who was nothing less than the visible lightning rod for all that was good and bad about the Warriors during their advancement from a hut on the outskirts of the NBA to the league’s penthouse suite.

Lee was, in his own way, every bit as much of a launching pad for the New Age Warriors as was Stephen Curry.

Lee, who disclosed his retirement Sunday in a very 2017 America way -- with an Instagram post -- came to the Warriors from the New York Knicks in a July 2010 sign-and-trade deal. He was the one-man brass band providing accompaniment to the announcement of the team being purchased by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber.

An expensive band, too, as the Warriors handed Lee a six-year contract worth $80 million.

Fairly popular in New York, having been the team’s only All-Star in the nine-season span from 2001-02 to 2010-11, Lee became a fast favorite among many Warriors fans because he produced impressive individual numbers for a struggling team with a richly earned inferiority complex.

In 2012-13, Lee’s third season as a Warrior, he became the team’s first All-Star since Latrell Sprewell 16 years earlier. Lee led the NBA in double-doubles, his favorite statistical category. That season, not coincidently, also marked the team’s return to the playoffs after a five-year absence.

Lee by then was partnering with Curry as the leaders of a team -- no, a franchise -- determined to became a player in the NBA. With Guber’s theatrical flair and Lacob’s naked ambition, the Warriors were not going to be stopped.

It became apparent the following season, even as the team was making its second consecutive playoff appearance, that Lee had a ceiling. He could score and rebound well enough to rack up double-doubles, but he was giving away points on the other end. Lee was an awful defender, constantly picked on by opponents.

The Warriors could win a lot of games with Lee as their starting power forward, but they weren’t going to win any championships.

That door didn’t crack open for the Warriors until late in the 2014 season, and it opened wide during the playoffs against the Clippers. Three games into the series, with LA’s Blake Griffin having his way with Lee, Warriors coach Mark Jackson realized he had an answer to his Griffin problem.

Jackson turned to Draymond Green, who played well over the final weeks of the season as Lee recovered from an injury. Green immediately got under Griffin’s skin and stayed there for the rest of the series. More than three years later, Green still terrifies Griffin, which is why the Warriors own the Clippers.

The Clippers won the series in seven games, but the Warriors were enlightened.

Jackson was fired after that series, and Steve Kerr was hired as the new coach. Kerr says he came in believing Lee would be his starting power forward. Lee had the misfortune of straining a hamstring in the final preseason game, pressing Green into the starting lineup. He has been there ever since.

As their 2014-15 season marched on, the Warriors coaching staff began carefully rationing Lee’s reserve minutes to obscure his defensive limitations. In two years, he had gone from a numbers beast and Curry’s chief sidekick to being marginalized on a team bound for a championship.

A member of the 2015 championship team, Lee also was the most glaring casualty of the Warriors amazing ride to the top of the NBA.

His arrival had given them a modicum of credibility, something utterly lacking at the time. That helped the franchise. His departure, traded to the Celtics in July 2015 -- five years to the day after he came to the Bay -- gave the Warriors some immediate cap relief. That also helped the franchise.

After two years bouncing around the league, from the Celtics to the Mavericks to the Spurs last season, Lee is hanging up his sneakers. He’s diving into life with his new fiancée, the tennis star Caroline Wozniacki. Life was good and it should stay good.

Lee has much about which to be proud. He did his job well enough for the Warriors, but not as well as they needed it to be done to reach the very top. No shame in that, none at all.

Kerr dreams of world with quiet Trump and LaVar Ball: 'Wouldn't that be great?'

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USATSI

Kerr dreams of world with quiet Trump and LaVar Ball: 'Wouldn't that be great?'

In the real world, the President of the United States Donald Trump started a Twitter feud with LaVar Ball on Sunday. 

Trump believes he should have left three college athletes, including Ball's son LiAngelo, in a Chinese jail for shoplifting. In return, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr wants the two to simply stop talking.

"It would be nice for all of us if both of them would just be quiet," Kerr said to reporters at the Barclays Center. "Wouldn't that be great?"

Coach Kerr on LaVar/Trump beef: “It would be nice for all of us if both of them would just be quiet.”

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"Modern life. Two people seeking attention and are both getting it, so I'm sure both guys are really happy," Kerr initially said when first asked about the two. 

Unprompted, Kerr then asked reporters for a request to help us all. 

"You know what would help, if all of you stopped covering both of them," Kerr pleaded. "Is that possible? You can probably stop covering LaVar. I don't think you can stop covering the President. I don't think that'll work."