Warriors

Warriors survive test from Heat: 'Definitely a different game'

Warriors survive test from Heat: 'Definitely a different game'

OAKLAND -- The Miami Heat these days aren’t much to look at. The megastars have abandoned South Beach, leaving the franchise to hatch anew. Yet as the brain trust eyes the future, those still in uniform play with an admirable relentlessness.

Which is exactly what the Warriors need to see and feel, as often as possible.

If the Warriors are to reach the NBA summit in June, they’re going to need plenty of experience in rugged, ugly, borderline-brutal games, such as that which the Heat forced them into Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.

Though the Warriors prevailed, 107-95, they took many blows along the way, beating back multiple rallies. Not until the final seconds were they able to exhale.

“They play hard every possession,” coach Steve Kerr said of the Heat.

“They just play hard,” Stephen Curry said. “Every possession, they were coming at you.”

For a team like the Warriors, who can get casual about their abundance of talent, being pushed and shoved and made to perspire is fabulous practice.

As is having an 11-point lead after three quarters shaved to three by the middle of the fourth.

The Warriors were put in a position where they had to execute, or else risk losing to a team that had lost eight of nine and entered the evening with an 11-28 record.

They succeeded.

“Yeah, we didn’t turn the ball over, which is helping us at least get shots on the rim,” Curry said. “We definitely had several possessions where we knew exactly what we wanted to get and we executed.

“That’ll continue to show itself as we go through the season with just our focus and just the clarity of what we want to accomplish down the stretch of games. Whether we make or miss shots, you live with that, but not turning the ball over and getting a lot of movement and not settling, that was big for us tonight.”

Kevin Durant, who scored a team-high 28 points, took note of the team’s work in the fourth quarter and came away feeling as if there is progress in an area that had been an issue in close games.

“Coach called some plays and we ran them to perfection and got some layups and got some stops as well,” he said. “It was definitely a different game, not having him out there, but we adjusted as the game went on.”

Though it may have been against Miami without LeBron James or Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh, this was no gimme. This is not a team that will be in the playoffs, but it brought intensity to everything it did Tuesday night.

And that’s enough for the Warriors to derive some healthy benefit.

Klay Thompson makes pledge to North Bay fire relief efforts

klay-thompson-shot-harden-defense.jpg
USATI

Klay Thompson makes pledge to North Bay fire relief efforts

Klay Thompson is putting his money where his mouth is.

[POOLE: Unprompted remarks about wildfires show Klay isn't who you thought he was]

Shortly before Noon PT on Friday, Klay posted a 30-second video to Twitter to let it be known that he is donating to the North Bay fire relief.

"Hey everyone. As we all know, Northern California has been tragically effected by these wildfires for the past few weeks. 

And I will be pledging $1,000 per point I score for the next three home games. And you can donate as well by clicking on the link below.

We will be donating to the Redwood Credit Union's fire relief efforts. Let's stick together because a lot of loved ones and families have been displaced and lost from these terrible events.

Property has been damanged but we can build this thing back up if we stick together and donate.

Thank you for listening."

The Warriors' next three home games are:

1) October 25 vs Toronto (18.7 points over 11 career games)
2) October 27 vs Washington (18.4 points over 11 career games)
3) October 29 vs Detroit (18.2 points over 11 career games)

Hopefully the Warriors will be able to create a lot of good looks for Klay during that stretch...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Gameday: Draymond Green vs Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins

green-draymond-davis-anthony-curry.jpg
AP

Gameday: Draymond Green vs Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins

Programming note: Warriors-Pelicans coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area.

After blowing a 13-point fourth-quarter lead in the season opener Tuesday night, the Warriors will try to wipe away those memories with a win over the Pelicans on Friday night at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.

The Warriors will have forwards Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala to help their cause in the home opener for the Pelicans.

History will be on the side of the defending champions, who have won 10 of their last 11 games in New Orleans.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 8.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Draymond Green vs. Anthony Davis: Coming off his injury scare, Green surely expects to be tested by Davis and his teammates. Green tends to thrive on even the slightest challenge. If he and his teammates can keep Davis under control (under 25 points, below 50-percent shooting), the Warriors will have won the battle.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Draymond Green (L knee strain) and F Andre Iguodala (back strain) are listed as available. F Omri Casspi (L ankle spain) is listed as out. G Quinn Cook will be activated, while C Damian Jones and F Kevon Looney will be healthy inactives.

Pelicans: C Alexis Ajinca (R knee injury), C Omer Asik (illness), F Soloman Hill (L hamstring tear), G Frank Jackson (R foot fracture) and G Rajon Rondo (L core muscle injury) are listed as out.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors have won seven in a row and 17 of the last 18 meetings.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE BIGS: Whereas the trend in the NBA is to go small, a strategy the Warriors often use, the Pelicans play two traditional big men. In addition to Davis, who has 6-foot-10, they also start 6-11 former Kings C DeMarcus Cousins. Though both are listed as forwards (as Cousins prefers) both also spent time in the post. Expect the Warriors to use their small lineups in hopes of speeding up the game. Will it work?

DEPTH FACTOR: While the Warriors are relatively healthy, the New Orleans is coping with the absences of Rondo, Hill and backup centers Ajinca and Asik. Warriors coach Steve Kerr is unafraid to go deep into his bench. If the Warriors are prepared, in terms of conditioning, to set the fast pace they desire they’ll have a chance to wear down the Pelicans late.

ANGER MOTIVE: The Warriors were displeased with themselves after losing the season opener at home. Iguodala notes they tend to respond to poor performances by examining their mistakes and making corrections. They haven’t opened a season with two consecutive losses since 2009 and want no part of a 0-2 start.