Warriors

Clark doesn't really have an explanation for his gaudy numbers vs Blazers

Clark doesn't really have an explanation for his gaudy numbers vs Blazers

Programming note: Blazers-Warriors Game 2 coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

OAKLAND -- Ian Clark’s eyes may not light up at the sight of the Portland Trail Blazers, but his offensive statistics certainly do.

The backup guard’s most efficient game this season -- and of his Warriors career -- came last November in Portland, when he was 8-of-8 from the field and 3-of-3 beyond the arc in scoring 22 points in 25 minutes.

Seven weeks into the season, that was Clark’s season-high -- until the Blazers came to Oracle Arena on Dec. 17 and he scored 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting.

Asked about his success against Portland, Clark claimed to be unaware until it was pointed out to him on Tuesday.

“I haven’t really thought about it,” he said. “I don’t think it’s really anything. I just come out and play the same way.”

Clark against Portland in the regular season scored 52 points in 71 minutes, on 19-of-25 shooting. He dropped 12 points in 12 minutes Sunday as the Warriors posted a 121-109 win over the Blazers in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.

“I remember having good games; I don’t know the exact numbers,” he said. “But I approach every game the same. It’s just against this team, the shots fall.”

Though it certainly helps Clark that the Blazers guards, starters and reserves, aren’t known for defense, he says his preparation for Portland is not different than that against any other teams.

The only thing he can point to is the pace of Warriors-Blazers games, which tend to play fast, and the ongoing support of his teammates. Even when his shot isn’t falling, they continue to offer encouragement.

“The coaching staff and my teammates, they tell me to keep shooting,” he said. “Just be who I am. And me being a young player in this league -- they’ve been around a lot longer -- it hits me a little more than it would hit them if they miss a couple shots.”

He doesn’t miss very often against one particular team, which the Warriors happen to be playing at least three more times this postseason.

Kyrie Irving details why the Celtics can beat the Warriors in a seven-game series

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USATI

Kyrie Irving details why the Celtics can beat the Warriors in a seven-game series

The Warriors have the best odds of winning the 2019 title.

The Celtics have the second best odds.

Kyrie Irving is confident that his squad will be hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy in June.

"Can we beat Golden State in a seven-game series? Yes," Irving told ESPN's Jackie MacMullan. "Because of who we have, and what we're establishing here, not just for this season, but for hopefully for the next few years, something that's pretty special.

"I've played against Golden State in three straight Finals -- two that I was able to participate in -- and seeing them evolve, with the talent they have, and then adding DeMarcus Cousins, it's like 'OK, the whole league is on notice.'

"But there's one factor that they're aware of, and I'm aware of, and that's that I've seen them up close. I've played them so many times. We've gone in a seven-game series so I know what it takes."

Yes he does.

Over Games 3 through 7 in the 2016 Finals, Kyrie averaged 30.8 points and 4.4 assists while shooting just under 51 percent from the field (he also made a kind of important shot late in Game 7).

The five-time All-Star averaged 29.4 points and 4.4 assists on 47 percent shooting in the 2017 Finals.

Over the past couple of years, the Warriors' star players have consistently praised Kyrie and they genuinely respect his game.

The feeling is mutual as Kyrie understands the immense challenge that lies ahead.

"How do I communicate to our guys that this is the top-tier team, and we have to grow immensely in the next six months to beat them consistently? Not just one game, not just two, but in a seven-game series, because they're so dang great," Kyrie said. "They're a powerhouse."

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Report: Tyler Ulis signing with Warriors instead of Kings, Rockets

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Report: Tyler Ulis signing with Warriors instead of Kings, Rockets

The Warriors still are waiting on Patrick McCaw to sign his qualifying offer, but they reportedly brought in some backcourt depth in the meantime.

The two-time defending champions are set to sign ex-Phoenix Suns guard Tyler Ulis to an Exhibit 10 contract, according to The Athletic and ESPN. Ulis chose to sign with the Warriors over the Sacramento Kings and Houston Rockets, ESPN's Marc Spears reported Friday.

Ulis averaged 7.8 points and 23.4 minutes per game in 71 appearances with the Suns last season. He started 43 games, two of which came in April against the Warriors. 

The 22-year-old, whom the Suns drafted in the second round in 2016, figures to have a tough time cracking the Warriors' rotation. Point guards Stephen Curry, Shaun Livingston and Quinn Cook all will be ahead of him on the depth chart, and Ulis' lack of size (5-foot-10, 150 pounds) makes time at the other guard spot unlikely. 

That explains his contract, then. An Exhibit 10 deal means that Ulis will receive a bonus of up to $50,000 if he signs with the G-League Santa Cruz after the Warriors waive him, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks' explainer of the deal. Ulis' deal also can become a two-way contract, minus the bonus.