Omari Spellman

Omari Spellman exits Warriors-Thunder game with sprained left ankle

Omari Spellman exits Warriors-Thunder game with sprained left ankle

The Warriors finished Saturday's loss in Oklahoma City with eight healthy players.

Golden State entered the game against the Thunder with nine active players, but big man Omari Spellman sprained his left ankle in the first half and didn't return in the second half.

The injury occurred with just over five minutes remaining in the first quarter when Spellman appeared to tweak his left foot on a drive to the basket.

He stayed in the game and finished with four points and three rebounds in 12 minutes.

When the third quarter began, the Warriors deemed Spellman questionable to return, but he never came out of the locker room.

Without Spellman, the Warriors went on to lose 114-108 to the Thunder.

Just 15 minutes before tip-off in Oklahoma City, the Warriors ruled rookie Eric Paschall out with a right hip contusion.

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Paschall and Spellman join Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, Jacob Evans, Klay Thompson and Alen Smailagic as the Warriors currently dealing with injuries.

The two forwards have a couple of days to recover as the Warriors don't play again until Monday night when they host the Utah Jazz at Chase Center.

Warriors vs. Timberwolves watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

warriorswatchguideap.jpg
AP

Warriors vs. Timberwolves watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

When the Warriors walk into Target Center on Friday, they’ll do so under circumstances they have not experienced in seven years.

Their record (2-6) is inferior to that of the Timberwolves (4-3).

Like many other teams, Minnesota will be seeking retribution against the team that has beaten it in 28 of the last 35 meetings. Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 4 p.m., with tipoff scheduled for 5:10.

While the Warriors -- who will benefit from the return of D’Angelo Russell -- are committed to reloading, the Timberwolves are hoping to find a measure of success. They have reached the postseason only once since 2004, when Kevin Garnett, then 27, was voted league MVP.

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The current Timberwolves, anchored by center Karl-Anthony Towns and guard Andrew Wiggins, might be buoyed by the results of their last game against the Warriors, when they posted a 131-130 overtime win last March 29.

Warriors fans remember that game for several controversial calls, along with Stephen Curry’s postgame comments, when he referred to official Marat Kogut as the “MVP” of the game.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Warriors

F Glenn Robinson III
F Eric Paschall
C Willie Cauley-Stein
G Jordan Poole
G D’Angelo Russell

Timberwolves

F Josh Okogie
F Robert Covington
C Karl-Anthony Towns
G Andrew Wiggins
G Jarrett Culver

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: G D’Angelo Russell (right ankle sprain) is listed as probable. G Stephen Curry (left hand fracture), G Jacob Evans III (left adductor strain), F Draymond Green (left index finger sprain), F Kevon Looney (neuropathy), F Alen Smailagic and G Klay Thompson (right ACL rehab) are listed as out.

Timberwolves: F Jordan Bell (right shoulder sprain) is listed as questionable. G Shabazz Napier (right hamstring strain) is listed as doubtful. G Jeff Teague (illness) is listed as out. F Keita Bates-Diop and C Naz Reed are on assignment in the G-League.

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Warriors: The return of Russell gives the Warriors two -- two! -- point guards, as Ky Bowman can expect 12-16 minutes off the bench. There will be instances when Bowman plays PG while Russell slides to SG ... It will be interesting to see how the Warriors defend Towns, a 7-footer who may be more comfortable launching triples than planting himself on the block. Expect the Warriors to stick to their three-man rotation, with Omari Spellman and Marquese Chriss following Cauley-Stein ... Expect Robinson to get the bulk of the minutes against the 6-8 Wiggins, who is the tallest shooting guard in the league ... Poole is 21-of-21 from the line. The last Warriors rookie to make that many in a row, at any point of a season, was Klay Thompson in 2011-12.

Timberwolves: With Teague (and possibly Napier) out, Minnesota becomes appreciably bigger in the backcourt. Wiggins (6-8) and Culver (6-7) started Wednesday at Memphis, with mixed results. They combined for 45 points but lost by 21, as the Grizzlies’ duo of Dillon Brooks and Ja Morant combined for 57 ... Towns, who leads the team in 3-point FG percentage (46.7) could be in for a monster game. The natural matchup, in terms of length, pits him against former college (Kentucky) teammate Cauley-Stein. Towns, however, has enough of an offensive repertoire to pose a huge challenge against any of the Warriors’ big men ... The most dangerous scorer off the bench is ex-Blazer Jake Layman, who can shoot the 3 and is averaging 8.9 PPG.

Officials: Tony Brothers, Tre Maddox, John Butler.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr embracing new normal, excited about future

Warriors coach Steve Kerr embracing new normal, excited about future

HOUSTON -- Just off a baseline inside Guy V. Lewis Development Facility at the University of Houston, Warriors coach Steve Kerr found himself in a familiar place Thursday afternoon. 

For four of the last five postseasons, Kerr and the rest of the Warriors used the adjoining facilities to train while in town to defend their championship ambitions. On this trip, Kerr -- hours removed from his latest blowout loss to the Rockets -- has a different mission than he's used to: building a championship mindset instead of maintaining one.   

"It's a different vibe," Kerr admitted. "Normally a day like this in the last couple of years was a game day and then back-to-back games, probably wouldn't even practice, or if we did it would be very, very light." 

With Draymond Green, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson injured for an extended time, Kerr currently oversees a battered roster of just 10 players, two of which are on two-way contracts, and six of which are under the age of 23. All-Star point guard D'Angelo Russell is expected to return Friday after a three-game absence. 

Under the current structure, Kerr's roster has been defined by youthful inconsistency. On Saturday, Golden State held the Charlotte Hornets -- the league's best 3-point shooting team -- to just 17 percent from beyond the arc, and took a brief lead with just over a minute left in regulation. Two nights later, the Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers, limiting guard CJ McCollum to just 37 percent from the field. Then, on Wednesday, they were outscored 87-66 over the final 27 minutes against the Rockets, much to Kerr's chagrin. 

Each loss came without Golden State's All-Star core. Thompson -- who tore his ACL in June -- isn't expected to return this season, while Curry's broken left hand will be re-evaluated in February. Meanwhile, Green didn't make the current three-game road trip as he tended to a torn ligament in his left index finger. 

The current climate is new territory for Kerr. Over his first five seasons in Golden State, Kerr won 78 percent of his games while overseeing the best run in NBA history and winning three titles. During his playing career, he won three championships with the Chicago Bulls (and another two with the Spurs). Once, while doing voiceover work for NBA 2K15, Kerr was shocked at the notion that he had the option to play as himself on the 1996 Bulls -- a team that won a league-record 72 games -- against himself as a coach on the 2015 Warriors -- a team that won the championship and broke the Bulls' record the following year. Now, sporting a 2-6 record through eight games, Kerr is reconciling the new normal. 

"I can't stand losing," Kerr admitted. "I'm also a realist and I understand the job at hand. Organizationally, we're trying to bring this young group ahead, forward, so that we can really build the depth of our roster and we know eventually Steph and Klay and Draymond are gonna be back."

Until that point comes, the coach who made a habit of breaking clipping boards when he was frustrated with a team destined for a championship is embracing a new approach with his younger squad.  

"Stay on them," Kerr said. "But stay positive. I mean the hardest thing is you're trying to get better. You're trying to improve every day, but you're losing some games. We're 2-6. It's not easy." 

As Kerr prioritizes development over wins, his young group is showing promise despite the circumstances. Over the last three games, rookie Eric Paschall is averaging 26.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game while shooting 51 percent from the field. In Wednesday's loss to the Rockets, Warriors big man Omari Spellman scored 13 points -- making all six of his shot attempts -- and added seven rebounds in 18 minutes, strengthening Kerr's optimism about the future.

[RELATED: Zaza makes lofty comparison for Warriors rookie Paschall]

"We're gonna get better," Kerr promised. "And we'll continue to add to our team the next couple of years, through the draft, through free agency. So, let's get these young guys up to speed and if a few of them can really develop and become rotational players, then we put our organization in a really good spot. So, that's the job."