Warriors

Draymond Green rediscovers 3-point stroke in Warriors' win vs. Mavericks

Draymond Green rediscovers 3-point stroke in Warriors' win vs. Mavericks

OAKLAND -- All he wanted was one. All he needed was one. And when Draymond Green got one, he didn’t hesitate to shout about it.

Less than three minutes after tipoff between the Warriors and the Mavericks on Saturday, Green burned a soft Dallas defense with a 3-pointer from the left wing and quickly turned toward the visitors on the bench and let them know he was just getting started.

About four minutes later, still against soft defense, Green drilled another triple.

“The first time, their bench yelled, ‘Stay back.’ No, you’d better come up,” Green said after a 120-116 win at Oracle Arena. “On the second one, it was like, ‘Stay back.’ I said, ‘It’s going to be a long night for you, champ.’

“Teams are going to play me that way. And that’s fine. But I like it.”

Teams aren’t bothering to defend Green’s deep shooting because it hasn’t hurt them. He had missed nine of 10 3-point attempts over the previous four games. Since the end of October, he was 1-of-16 from beyond the arc. Why bother with defense?

The Utah Jazz played soft Wednesday night, practically daring Green to shoot 3-pointers. He shot two, missed both, and called it quits for the night.

Stung by the lack of attention and the effect it has on his teammates, Green vowed after the game that his 3-pointers would start falling. He spent much of Thursday and Friday working to back up his words.

“Gotta speak it into existence,” he said.

“It’s always good to see that first one go in. Your confidence kind of grows. I’ve just got to stay aggressive.”

Green scored eight points in the first quarter on 3-of-5 shooting, 2-of-3 from deep (his third attempt rattled around the rim and out). He finished with 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting, 2-of-4 from deep.

“Tonight was a step in the right direction for Draymond, as far as being aggressive,” Kevin Durant said. “Before, he would get it out at the 3-point line and he’s looking (to) pass, which is what we want him to do. But if you get five of those possessions in the first half, we want him to shoot a couple of those.”

“Tonight, to start the game he knocked them down and it got him going and barking at the other bench.”

Green entered the game shooting 18.9 percent from deep. His confidence was wavering. Opponents noticed and let him be, playing 5-on-4 against his teammates.

That will change once Green makes a few more.

“I told you before the game that I thought he would make some,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s just getting into shape, to be honest with you, since the injury. The last couple games, he had good energy and just needed to get over the hump conditioning-wise.

“Tonight he did a great job. That was a typical Draymond game. Anytime he knocks down a couple 3-pointers, to go along with everything else he does, it’s a good sign for us.”

Warriors vs. Jazz watch guide: Lineups, injury report, player usage

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AP

Warriors vs. Jazz watch guide: Lineups, injury report, player usage

SAN FRANCISCO -- For years, the Jazz and Warriors have been among the top teams in the Western Conference. 

Now, following a three-game road trip, the Warriors enter Monday's matchup against the Jazz under a new distinction: The tied for worst record in the league.

Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6:30 p.m., with tipoff scheduled for 7:40 p.m.

Following Sunday's loss to the Thunder, the Warriors fell to 2-8, despite rallying from a 20-point deficit. Meanwhile, after an eventful off-season, the Jazz come to the Bay Area fifth in the Western Conference primed for yet another postseason appearance. 

Here's everything you need to know about the matchup.

PROJECTED LINEUPS 

Warriors
G D'Angelo Russell
G Jordan Poole
F Glenn Robinson III
F Eric Paschall
C Draymond Green

Jazz
F Bojan Bogdanovic
F Royce O'Neale
C Rudy Gobert
G Donovan Mitchell
G Mike Conley

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: Stephen Curry (left hand fracture) out, Jacob Evans (left adductor strain) out, Draymond Green (left index finger sprain) is available, Kevon Looney (Neuropathy in hamstring) out, Eric Paschall (right hip contusion) available, Alen Smailagic (right ankle sprain), Omari Spellman (left ankle sprain) is questionable, Klay Thompson (left ACL rehab) is out.

Jazz: Ed Davis (left fibula fracture) is out, Dante Exum, (right knee rehab) is out, Emmanuel Mudiay (left hamstring tightness) is questionable. 

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Jazz: Mitchell has continued his rise in his third season, averaging 24.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists through nine games. 

Bogdanovic -- who was acquired this summer -- has been fantastic, averaging 21.8 points per game, shooting 49.2 percent from the field, including a game-winning jumper to help the Jazz beat the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday evening. 

Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert is continuing his dominance, averaging a team-high 13 rebounds and a block per game. 

Warriors: Green is expected to return following a five-game absence at just the right time. Entering Monday's matchup, Golden State owns the league's worst defense, giving up more than 120 points per game.

Guard D'Angelo Russell is on a tear, averaging 37.3 points, 6.7 assists, and five rebounds over his last three appearances. 

Meanwhile, rookie Jordan Poole has struggled to start the season, shooting just 26 percent from the field through 10 games.

Following a one-game absence, rookie Eric Paschall is expected to return Monday evening to play against Mitchell, his childhood friend.

[RELATED: Steph's promise came 10 years ago today]

OFFICIALS:

Sean Wright (#4) Gediminas Petraitis (#50) JB DeRosa (#62)

Draymond Green willing to return despite aching finger and heavy heart

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AP

Draymond Green willing to return despite aching finger and heavy heart

SAN FRANCISCO -- With a heavy heart and bandaged left hand, Draymond Green plans to be available to the Warriors when they face the Utah Jazz Monday night at Chase Center.

Speaking after shootaround Monday morning, Green, who missed the last four games with a sprained left index finger, is listed as “probable” but said he is prepared to return despite discomfort that might linger throughout most of the season.

“It’s improved,” he said. “It’s not all the way, 100 percent, but I’ll be waiting until March for a finger to become 100 percent. So, you kind of get it to where you can tolerate it and move forward. It’s now at that point -- you kind of mess up your fingers all year, every year -- but it’s back at that point of a normal light sprain.

“Sometimes it’s going to get hit. Just keep it moving. But I can tolerate it now. I can dribble. I can catch. Solid.”

Green’s return comes as the Warriors are exhibiting clear signs of a team in development, with indications of progress while experiencing growing pains that are hard to watch yet impossible to miss. Keen observer that he is, Draymond took note while sitting out.

“These guys have gotten a chance to play a lot of minutes over the last week and a half,” he said. “That helps. It gives us something to (build on) and it gives me something to come back to. And that will be an adjustment, too, because some guys are more aggressive than they were.

“It’s been a little different style of play, so we’re figuring that out as well. But we’re definitely better and more aggressive and we seem to be understanding the defensive rotations and we’re showing more patience on offense.”

Green’s desire to play also sends a message to the team’s many young players. Some injuries necessitate sitting out, while some aches can be managed.

It was apparent, however, that Draymond was thinking less about himself than about a couple acquaintances, both with associations to his beloved Michigan State.

Charles Rogers, a wide receiver taken No. 2 overall in the 2003 NFL Draft, died at age 38 over the weekend, reportedly after battling cancer and liver disease.

And Cassius Winston, a member of the current Michigan State basketball team, lost his younger brother, Zachary, who was hit by a train over the weekend. Winston played Sunday, no doubt with his brother in mind, delivering 17 points and 11 assists in a 100-47 rout of Binghamton.

[RELATED: Four NBA draft targets if Warriors end up with No. 1 pick]

“For Cassius to play yesterday was huge for him,” Green said. “Because it’s two hours that you can kind of think about something else. It sucks. My prayers out to the family.

“My prayers also go out to the Rogers family. Charles Rogers was a legend to me. A lot of people look at Chuck and say, ‘Oh, man, he never became what he wanted to become in the NFL.’ He from Saginaw, Michigan. He was a No. 2 pick. He a legend. He paved the way for a lot of us guys coming out of Saginaw after him to believe that we could make it.

“Once Chuck did it, we all thought we could do it.”