Curry and Durant share court for first time since injury: 'The flow was there'

Curry and Durant share court for first time since injury: 'The flow was there'

OAKLAND -- In Part II of his three-part preparation for the playoffs, Kevin Durant took another step forward, particularly with respect to his efficiency.

Oh, and one more thing: The incremental improvement shown by Durant on Monday night came while sharing the court with Stephen Curry for the first time since Feb. 28.

“I guess I don’t make him worse after all,” Durant said with a sprinkle of sarcasm after pointing out Curry’s impressive offensive stats in a 105-99 loss to the Jazz at Oracle Arena. “He came out tonight and shot the ball extremely well, got us going on the offensive end. It looks like we can play together.”

While Curry remained in the hot zone he has inhabited for four weeks, scoring a game-high 28 points, including 6-of-8 shooting from deep, Durant submitted numbers identical to those of his first game back last Saturday night.

Playing 32 minutes, Durant finished with 16 points (6-of-12 from the field), 10 rebounds and six assists, leading the Warriors in the latter two categories.

“The flow was there,” Curry said. “It was kind of choppy at first, just the way Utah tried to slow the tempo down. We had some bright spots and some good runs, some good spurts throughout the game. That’ll continue.”

Curry finished plus-9 for the game, Durant plus-8. The only other Warrior deep in the plus category was JaVale McGee, who was plus-6.

Not that Durant, who shot 50 percent Monday, after shooting 40 percent last Saturday, was entirely satisfied with his performance.

“Points, I don’t worry about that because I feel like I’ve got a good advantage on that end,” he said. “But I’ve got to call somebody, because my 3-pointer is not working.”

In the two games he has played in his return, Durant is 12-of-27, 0-of-9 from deep. He’s 12-of-18 on everything else.

“I’ve got to figure that out,” he said of the triples. “They looked great tonight, too. I should’ve been 10-of-12 tonight from the field. I got some shots that I should’ve made that I normally make. But I’ve got to make that call, because my 3-pointer is not working right now.”

On a night Klay Thompson sat out to rest, Kerr, however, had no complaints about Curry or Durant or much of anything else, other than pointing the rebounding discrepancy (49-42).

“I wanted to get KD around 32 minutes, which we did,” Kerr said. “And with Steph, I wanted to get him his usual run. But I didn’t want him to finish the game.

“That was part of the idea tonight was to get them as many minutes together as possible.”

Jordan Bell wants, needs 'all the credit' for DeMarcus Cousins' debut

Jordan Bell wants, needs 'all the credit' for DeMarcus Cousins' debut

Over a six-game stretch from Dec. 19 to Dec. 29, Jordan Bell scored a total of two points and played a combined 25 minutes.

On New Year's Eve at Phoenix, the Warriors big man racked up 10 points, six rebounds, three blocks and two assists in 15 minutes. After the win that night, Bell explained the reason for his breakout game.

"Boogie gave me a lot of confidence yesterday in open gym -- me just kicking his ass,” Bell told reporters. “It gave me a lot of confidence. I think Steve (Kerr) saw it yesterday, too.

"He saw the confidence was up. So he decided to play me a little bit today."

Speaking of Boogie, he made his season and Warriors debut Friday night at the Clippers. The four-time NBA All-Star registered 14 points (5-of-11 shooting overall, 3 of 4 on 3s), six rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block. He committed one turnover and fouled out in 15 minutes.

[RELATEDWith Boogie back, GM Bob Myers updates Warriors' open roster spot]

Overall, it was a successful night for DeMarcus Cousins. And according to Bell ...

... Bell deserves some love.

From Marcus Thompson of The Athletic:

“Oh yeah. Give me all the credit,” Bell said. “I want all the credit. I need it.”

Why is Bell taking credit for Cousins’ debut? Because he was the one matched up with Cousins in all the scrimmages to get the Warriors’ new big man ready to play. And Bell purposefully tried to run Cousins off the court. Bell defended Cousins the whole 94 feet, using his youth and superior athleticism to pressure Cousins. When Bell’s team had the ball, he sprinted up the floor to force Cousins to chase him.

All game. Every time. Each play. Bell did his part to get Cousins running.

Here's a good example of Cousins on the move (and keep an eye on how excited Bell was on the bench when Boogie got the ball):

Bell wasn't in the rotation Friday, but he made the most of his opportunity when he entered the game for the final four minutes -- making all three of his shots, plus an assist.

No word on if Cousins is taking the credit for that ...

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

Warriors Under Review: DeMarcus Cousins, Draymond Green excel vs. Clippers


Warriors Under Review: DeMarcus Cousins, Draymond Green excel vs. Clippers

LOS ANGELES -- Boogie Night went well for the Warriors, exceedingly so for DeMarcus Cousins and just enough for his new teammates.

The Warriors went full junkyard dog in the second half, taking apart the Clippers in a 112-94 win Friday night at Staples Center.

It was the seventh straight victory for the Warriors, and also their NBA-best sixth in a row on the road.

Here are some of the positive and negatives taken from the game:


The glory of Cuz

The Warriors, players and coaches, had only an idea about how Cousins would fare in his first game. They thought he’d be OK as long as he didn’t try to do too much. Turns out, Boogie packed a lot of good in his 15 minutes: 14 points (5-of-11 shooting, 3-of-4 from deep, 1-of-2 from the line), six rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal. He was plus-21. Walking off the floor after fouling out, he had to realize he met some expectations and exceeded others.

He did a lot of reaching and got too impetuous at times, but in the context of a preseason game -- that’s what it was for Cousins -- he was outstanding.


Draymond stays sharp

Remember when Draymond Green was giving away the ball every third blink of an eye? He committed 25 turnovers in the first six games of the season, 13 in his first four games after missing 11 games with a toe injury. The undersized power forward has turned it around quite nicely. He had a team-high nine assists and one turnover against the Clips. This was after an extraordinary 14-1 ratio against New Orleans on Wednesday. Over his last six games, he's had 60 assists and seven turnovers.

Green has settled down and cut back on passes that were high-risk or even reckless. His point forward skills are in a beautiful groove.


KD’s first half

If not for Kevin Durant, the Warriors would have gone into intermission with one turnover. They would have ended the game with a season-low five. KD, however, committed five in the first half. A couple went directly into the hands of the Clippers. He was playing as if anxious or desperate, perhaps trying to force things in hopes of benefitting Cousins. He came out in the second half, kept it simple and committed no turnovers. Durant finished with five, half of the team’s total for the game.

Though Durant’s passing has been a highlight all season, he sometimes gets too adventurous. He did in the first half, did not in the second. He figured it out.


Second-half lockup

After sauntering through most of the first half, giving up 20 points to Tobias Harris and allowing the Clippers to be within a point (52-51), the Warriors after halftime went into lockup mode. Harris was limited to eight points in the second half, all on free throws. He was 0-of-8 from the field. LA shot 33.3 percent over the final 24 minutes, with Green and Cousins being especially effective.

The Warriors can take over most games with a few minutes of stifling defense. Holding LA to one field goal in the first five minutes of the second half qualifies.


Curry’s triple trouble

A pattern is emerging within the 3-point shooting of Stephen Curry. Every fourth of fifth game, his shot becomes fallible. This was such a night. He was 3-of-11 (27.3 percent) from beyond the arc. He was not alone in this regard; the Warriors were 9-of-37 (24.3 percent) from deep. But this was the fifth time in 23 games since Curry returned to the lineup on Dec. 1 that he shot less than 30 percent from deep.

When Curry misses three of every four triples he takes, it stands out. Truth is, most NBA players would pray to have an “off” shooting night every fifth game.