Jordan Bell takes advantage of opportunity as Warriors close out Rockets

Jordan Bell takes advantage of opportunity as Warriors close out Rockets

HOUSTON -- Of the many shocking moments Friday night at Toyota Center, the sight of Jordan Bell coming off the bench and into a crucial game at an important time might rank No. 1.

Warriors fans have seen the Stephen Curry spectacles, the Klay Thompson explosions, the Draymond Green orchestrations, the Andre Iguodala excellence and the Shaun Livingston steadiness.

They’ve seen Kevon Looney wobble into games and make a strong impact at both ends.

Bell, though, was so far down the bench in this second-round NBA playoff series against the Houston Rockets that he was barely visible. Through five games, he had played 11 seconds, four in Game 1 and seven -- enough time to make two glaring errors -- in Game 4.

Yet there he was, playing 11 mostly effective minutes in Game 6 and aiding a 118-113 victory that sent the Rockets home for summer and the Warriors into the Western Conference finals.

“Jordan was really energetic, had a really good run in the first half,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “It was critical for us.”

When Green picked up his second foul late in the first quarter, he was replaced by Bell. The second-year forward reemerged in the second quarter, this time for Looney, and played eight minutes.

Moreover, the Warriors trailed by four when Bell entered, and the game was tied when he exited for Looney with 1:16 left in the half.

Bell contributed four points, two rebounds, two blocks and one assist. He earned his minutes, which were the most he has played in any of the Warriors' 12 playoff games thus far.

The injury to Kevin Durant in Game 5 forced Kerr to go deeper into his bench. Suddenly, Bell was needed. He delivered.

[RELATED: Warriors' West finals schedule: Game 1 Tuesday at Oracle]

“We talk about strength in numbers, but the coach wasn’t doing much of that in the first five games,” Kerr said in self-reference.

With the uncertainty surrounding Durant’s availability for the conference finals, beginning Tuesday against the winner of the Portland-Denver series, it’s conceivable that Bell might see more opportunities.

What he does with them might be a factor in whether the Warriors want to bring him back next season.

What sporing event Warriors' Jordan Poole will miss watching most

What sporing event Warriors' Jordan Poole will miss watching most

Warriors rookie Jordan Poole has many interests outside of basketball.

If you follow him on Instagram, you know that he loves cats.

The 20-year-old enjoys watching movies and TV shows, and generally considers himself a homebody.

Poole also likes other sports, and when Wes Goldberg of the Bay Area News Group asked him which canceled or postponed sporting events he is going to miss, the Michigan product provided an answer that might surprise you.

"I love watching the college World Series, I definitely like watching softball as well," he said. "March Madness was going to be cool of course, but that’s basketball. The college World Series is something sports-related that I was really looking forward to."

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How did Poole get into college baseball?

"I would watch the games when we were in school (at Michigan), go support my guys on the team, but I was really locked into the World Series," he answered. "Those games get pretty rowdy."

[RELATED: Paschall reveals Warriors teammate he'd quarantine with now]

Last year, Michigan reached the College World Series for the first time since 1984.

The Wolverines advanced all the way to the championship best-of-three series -- winning Game 1 before dropping the next two to Vanderbilt.

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Eric Paschall reveals Warriors teammate he'd quarantine with right now

Eric Paschall reveals Warriors teammate he'd quarantine with right now

Programming note: Relive Game 5 of the 2015 Western Conference Finals when NBC Sports Bay Area re-airs the Warriors' win over the Rockets on Thursday, April 2 at 8 p.m. PT.

Warriors rookie forward Eric Paschall is following the shelter-in-place rules.

He is practicing social distancing and doing his part to flatten the curve.

But if he had to quarantine with one of his Warriors teammates right now, who would he pick?

"Ohhhhhhh. Ummmmm. I would choose my man Ky Bowman," Paschall told Mark Willard of KNBR 680 on Wednesday night. "He's always in a positive mood. His energy is unmatched.

"Definitely Ky. Me and him live in the same complex so I could do that anyway. But definitely my man Ky. We'd be compatible."

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It's safe to assume Paschall never thought he would be asked that question after the Warriors selected him with the No. 41 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

But the world has been turned upside down and here we are.

Lastly, Willard asked Paschall why he wears No. 7 with the Dubs.

[RELATED: Paschall refuses to bash Kerr when baited by Jefferson]

"All the other numbers I used to wear were taken," the Villanova product said. "No. 11 -- obviously I can't get that one. Klay Thompson has it. No. 14 is retired, No. 24 is retired and No. 4 -- Omari (Spellman) had. But at the time, Quinn Cook had it.

"So I was just stuck with seven ... I'm gonna stick with seven because it's a new journey in my life."

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