Detroit Pistons

Russell Westbrook receives flagrant foul for smacking Zaza Pachulia


Russell Westbrook receives flagrant foul for smacking Zaza Pachulia

Revenge is a dish best served cold. Or, sometimes, just with a flagrant foul.

You'll have to take Russell Westbrook's word for it. The Oklahoma City point guard once promised retribution towards former Warriors big man Zaza Pachulia, and he got it Friday night in a matchup between Westbrook's Thunder and Pachulia's Detroit Pistons.

Let's rewind the clock:

On Jan. 18, 2017, Pachulia -- then with the Warriors -- was assessed a Flagrant-1 for a hard foul on Westbrook late in the first half, which resulted in Westbrook lying face-down on the floor, and Pachulia standing over him.

Following that game, Westbrook didn't hold back, saying "I'm gonna get his a** back. Straight up ... I don't play that game. I'm gonna get his a** back. Whenever that is, I don't know what it's gonna be ..."

Fast-forward a year to Feb. 24, 2018. Pachulia fell on top of Westbrook's legs underneath the Warriors' basket, an act Westbrook deemed intentional following the game.

"Obviously, it was intentional," Westbrook declared. "Nobody touched him and he fell on my leg, tried to hurt me."

When asked if Pachulia was a dirty player, Westbrook responded, "Yeah. For sure."

Which brings us to Friday night, just over a year since that most recent incident.

[RELATED: Why Westbrook was suspended and Dray should be careful]

There's no question Westbrook was attempting to give a hard foul, and based on the officials' assessment -- they gave him a Flagrant-1 after review -- he went a little overboard.

There's still a decent chance the Warriors and Thunder could face off in the first round of the playoffs. Pachulia wouldn't be in that series, obviously, but here's assuming that won't stop Westbrook from finding a reason to get worked up for it.

Warriors Under Review: Dubs salvage back-to-back with win vs. Pistons

Warriors Under Review: Dubs salvage back-to-back with win vs. Pistons

OAKLAND -- The weekend at Oracle Arena was supposed to extend the momentum generated by the Warriors after walloping the Pacers on Thursday in the homecoming game following a successful road trip.

Coming in were the Mavericks and the Pistons, with the former betting on the future and the latter scraping the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff pillow fight.

Sweep, right? Well, sort of.

Dallas swept the Warriors into a state of disbelief Saturday with a 126-91 rout of the champs, who recovered nicely on Sunday by sweeping Detroit off the floor with a 121-114 victory.

Here are some of the positives and negatives culled from the back-to-back set:


Rest season is underway

It’s that time of year where coaches and trainers have one eye on the present and the other on the future. Rest nights are hereby given to selected players.

Stephen Curry, Andrew Bogut and Shaun Livingston got theirs on Saturday, with DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Iguodala getting theirs on Sunday.

The Saturday plan was a rousing success. Curry, Bogut and Livingston likely would not have made much difference against Dallas, but they were superb against Detroit. Curry scored a game-high 26 points, shooting 5-of-10 from deep while playing 35 minutes. Bogut scored eight points (4-of-5 from the field), adding five rebounds, three assists and three blocks in 24 minutes. Livingston was 4-of-4 from the field with two assists in 16 minutes.


Draymond’s bombs

This is something Draymond Green doesn’t mind you noticing -- as long as you don’t mention it: His broken 3-ball seems to be on the mend.

Green made one of the Warriors’ four 3-pointers against Dallas and then drained a big one to beat the halftime buzzer against Detroit. He was 2-of-5 from deep for the weekend, which may seem modest -- until you realize he’s been hovering well below 30 percent this season.

[RELATED: How Draymond's defense set the tone in Warriors' win]

Green over the last six games is shooting 50 percent (8-of-16) from beyond the arc. That’s a clear sign of progress. When his 3-ball is a threat, the Warriors are indefensible.


The spine remains intact

Displaying precious little determination and zero rhythm, the Warriors were barely in the building for the loss to the Mavericks. Never has a blowout been more richly deserved.

Did they even care? Based on that performance, it was impossible to say.

It bothered them enough that they bounced back. After an autopilot first quarter Sunday, they came after the Pistons with a vengeance, going up 14 at the half and taking a 20-point lead into the fourth quarter. The Warriors tend to respond loudly after being pantsed. They brought their backbone and it showed.

[RELATED: Sixth straight 50-win season has earned Dubs one thing]


The ghastly truth

As much as the Warriors would like to, as coach Steve Kerr put it, “flush this one down the toilet,” we cannot overlook the headlong dive into humiliation on Saturday.

How to lose to a team on your floor to a team 16 games below .500? The numbers tell the truth. Outrebounded 49-36. Shoot 4-of-30 from deep, while the opponent is 21-of-49. Have Klay Thompson hang a minus-39, Draymond Green a minus-29, Cousins a minus-27 and Kevin Durant a minus-26. Quinn Cook, starting for Curry salvaged a minus-24.

The Warriors looked like a bunch of guys hitting the gym after 16-hour shifts at the warehouse. This one was about as close to inexcusable as anything they’ve offered in recent years.


Loon in tune

Amid the ruins of the loss to the Maverick was a single jewel. Kevon Looney scored 12 points in 13 minutes on 5-of-6 shooting. He didn’t stop there.

Listed as questionable for the game against Detroit with a right forearm contusion, Looney was cleared to play and delivered once again, scoring 11 points in 13 minutes on 4-of-5 shooting from the field.

When a backup center comes off the bench in back-to-back games and scores 23 points in 26 minutes on 9-of--11 shooting from the field, he’s exceeding any realistic expectation.

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from bounce-back win over Pistons

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from bounce-back win over Pistons


OAKLAND - A day after the worst home loss of the Steve Kerr era, the Warriors played like themselves again, beating the Detroit Pistons 121-114 on Sunday night. 

For the umpteenth time this season, Golden State proved that when they're engaged for a matchup, no one in the league can beat them. 

They outshot, outrebounded, outpassed, outplayed and even starved off a late Pistons run for a much needed bounce-back win to move back atop the Western Conference standings.

Here are the main takeaways from the game:

Warriors couldn't miss

A day after the Warriors struggled to find their shot, Golden State had their best shooting performance of the season, making 61.3 percent of their shots and 52 percent of their 3-pointers. 

Klay Thompson scored 24 points on 10-of-17 from the field, including four 3-pointers in a bounce-back performance. 

Blake vs. Draymond

In a matchup that would've been a box office attraction in 2014, Blake Griffin and Draymond Green provided an interesting subplot Sunday evening. Early on, Griffin attempted to challenge Green in the post, with little success. 

Midway through the first quarter, Green found Griffin on a switch late in the shot clock, and, after a few jab steps, wasn't able to get a shot off in time, much to the delight of Green, who tapped Pistons coach Dwane Casey and shot a blank stare at the raucous Oracle crowd.  

Green's defense help force Griffin to just 3-of-8 from the field in the first half, while Green had one of his best games of the season, finishing with 14 points, five rebounds and eight assists

Stephen Curry return

After a one-game absence for rest, Curry scored eight of the team's first 10 points, finishing with 26 points on 9-of-19 from the field. 

It was a welcome sight for Curry, who has been struggling with this shot over the last month. 

Curry's absence in Saturday's loss was due in part to get him rest after 49 straight games on the court, and if Sunday's performance was any indication, the decision was well worth it.