Warriors

DeMarcus Cousins, Warriors receive good news from MRI results on ankle

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USATSI

DeMarcus Cousins, Warriors receive good news from MRI results on ankle

DeMarcus Cousins and the Warriors received good news Monday afternoon.

The MRI results on Boogie's right ankle came back clean, the team announced.

During Golden State's off day in San Antonio on Sunday, Cousins did not look very concerned about the soreness.

Cousins will not play tonight against the Spurs and is officially listed as day-to-day.

His status for Tuesday night's game at Minnesota is still up in the air.

The four-time All-Star is coming off two of his best performances of the season. He racked up 27 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and two steals at the Rockets, and followed it up with 12 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two steals, two blocks and zero turnovers at the Thunder.

He was also very good defensively at Oklahoma City.

Andrew Bogut -- who was not supposed to make his debut until Thursday against Indiana -- will be thrust into action tonight.

[RELATED: Draymond talks KD's free agency, guarantees title]

"I'm going to play him," Kerr told reporters after shootaround. "Without DeMarcus, we've got to guard LaMarcus Aldridge. So Looney can guard LaMarcus, Draymond (can too), but Bogut will be out there at some point." 

Get your popcorn ready!

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Warriors enter Game 3 searching for 'killer instinct' they use to have

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Warriors enter Game 3 searching for 'killer instinct' they use to have

LOS ANGELES –The Warriors have played 33 first-round playoff games over the past seven seasons and none was more highly anticipated than their 34th, which comes Thursday night against the Clippers at Staples Center.

That’s where, in Game 3, they’ll answer a question they’ve never had to face: Did they, as a team, learn a lesson about protecting a lead in the postseason?

It’s also where Kevin Durant will answer a question he has not faced since joining the Warriors in July 2016: Is he ready to impose his will?

The two questions combined form a third: Are the No. 1 seed Warriors ready to boot the eighth-seeded Clippers into the offseason?

“When we’re locked in, mentally and physically on both ends of the floor, getting a good shot with every possession and flying around on defense, we can dominate,” Stephen Curry said Thursday after shootaround. “We’ve got to take life out of the building, take life out of the team tonight.”

There is a broad curiosity about Game 3 and how the Warriors will respond. The hours since 10:30 Monday night and 7:30 Thursday night have been and will be filled by NBA fans discussing and debating how the Warriors blew a 31-point third-quarter lead – the biggest giveback in league playoffs history – at home, to Los Angeles in Game 2.

“We can highlight certain things that could have stopped the bleeding down the stretch,” Curry said. “My fouls. Turnovers. Being lackadaisical on defense in terms of not being in the right spots to start possessions and not being able to rotate around. It was a perfect storm of everything happening in their favor and them playing well and us not.

“But we understand that for six quarters, six-and-a-half, really, we were playing amazing basketball. We cannot get too far from that. We’ve got to rebuild that momentum, especially in the first quarter tonight.”

The Warriors are searching for the killer instinct they used to have. The club that holds the NBA record for most consecutive wins after building a double-digit lead, at 114 games – with the last 110 coming under coach Steve Kerr – has devolved into a group that takes pity on its opponent.

We’ve seen them in recent years blow double-digit leads on numerous occasions in the regular season. The 24-point lead to the Grizzlies that turned into a nine-point home loss on Jan. 6, 2017. The 17-point third-quarter lead to Houston on opening night of the 2017-18 season and the 14-point third quarter lead to Detroit in October less than two weeks later.

And then the one that seemed to sting more than the others, allowing the Rockets to come back from a 20-point third-quarter deficit last on Jan. 3. That looked to be the tipping point. The Warriors, angered, won 11 in a row, six by at least 18 points and four by more than 25. The “killer instinct” was back.

Then puzzling came the final six weeks, when the Warriors blew a 13-point third-quarter at Orlando, a 16-point second-quarter lead to the Suns at Oracle Arena and, finally, a 19-point third-quarter lead at Minnesota.

Game 2, however, was a giveback of epic proportions, in the playoffs, where the Warriors generally seek and destroy. They instead did a lot of standing around. They were destroyed.

“It was a very strange night for us,” Kerr said. “We’ve been at this now for years, but this was definitely the strangest playoff game I can remember our team having. The vibe in the second half and the letting go of the rope, or however you want to put it, I haven’t seen our team in that position before.”

It was a night when the performance of the Warriors sent a message around the league, becoming a motivational tool for other coaches, as in “No lead is safe in the playoffs. Look at what happened to the Warriors.”

Game 3 will tell us if these Warriors truly absorbed the lessons of Game 2 and can use it in real time as a cautionary tale and have learned, once and for all, from such a tangible illustration.

Patrick Beverley's impact on Kevin Durant has been grossly overblown

Patrick Beverley's impact on Kevin Durant has been grossly overblown

Editor's note: Grant Liffmann (@grantliffmann) is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders, which airs on NBC Sports Bay Area 90 minutes before each home game and 60 minutes after every game. Each week, Grant will drop his Outsider Observation on the state of the Dubs.

After an epic meltdown that allowed the Los Angeles Clippers to come back and win Game 2 of their first-round NBA playoff series, the Warriors have been the subject of warranted scrutiny. The defense fell asleep, the offense was reckless and the team became complacent as the Clippers stormed back.

One storyline, however, that is being overblown is that Patrick Beverley is shutting down Kevin Durant, leading to the Warriors' demise.

Let's first start with what Beverley has been effective in doing, and that is contributing to Durant's turnovers and early exits. Beverley has clearly been a pest to Durant, and his constant antics and pressure have gotten under the Warriors star's skin to an extent. Beverley is consistently grabbing, pulling, slapping, hugging, smothering and hounding Durant, putting the pressure on the officials to call fouls on every single play, which they aren't going to do. Because of that, Beverley knows that while he will be called for a few fouls, the refs will swallow their whistle a majority of the time, allowing him to pester Durant for much of the game.

On the flip side, when Durant creates space from Beverley by using a forearm or shoulder a few times a game, the officials have called an offensive foul which has further frustrated Durant.

Furthermore, these plays have put Durant in foul trouble which forced him to make an early exit in Game 2, and caused him to rack up multiple technical fouls in Game 1 when he was ejected.

Beyond those particular scenarios, Durant has been highly efficient scoring the ball and is playing the same way that led to many Warriors victories late in the season. Many are attributing Beverley's defense to Durant's low field-goal attempt totals. But that is not the case, as Durant has not been shooting a high volume of shots for weeks now and it has been working.

In the final weeks of the regular season, Durant had five games in which he shot the ball less than 10 times, and all those games were dominant Warriors wins. He has taken on the role of playmaker, moving the ball in a fast-paced offense while finding specific times to aggressively attack the rim or shoot the ball.

In the final six games of the regular season, Durant averaged only 16.5 points per game. So far after two games in the playoffs, Durant is averaging 22 points per game while shooting a highly-efficient 56 percent from the field. Durant has also taken 18 free-throw attempts in these last two playoff games, as opposed to 11 over the final six regular season games.

Through six and a half quarters to start the series, the Warriors were in absolute control, dominating the Clippers on both sides of the ball. Beverly was hounding Durant that entire time and it had little effect on the Warriors' offense. Over the final quarter and a half, the Warriors fell asleep at the wheel, leading to a Clippers comeback victory.

[RELATED: Kevin Durant, Steve Kerr at odds over how much Warriors star should shoot]

If Durant did not foul out in Game 2, then theoretically he could have helped the Warriors find a way to secure a win. And Beverley was one of the key reasons that Durant was not in the game.

But overall, Beverley's effect on Durant has been overblown, and it would not be surprising to see Durant emphasize that on the court at Staples Center on Thursday night in Game 3.