Warriors

Kevin Durant calls first title with Warriors life's 'defining moment'

Kevin Durant calls first title with Warriors life's 'defining moment'

For most of the week, Warriors fans have felt Kevin Durant didn't appreciate his three years in Oakland.

Durant's comments to the Wall Street Journal about feeling like he never fit in with the Warriors' core players dominated headlines.

But not everything about Durant's time with the Warriors was bad.

Durant did fulfill a lifelong goal of winning an NBA title. In fact, he won two. But it was that first one in 2017 that sticks with the two-time NBA Finals MVP.

“It’s very rare in our lives when we envision and picture something and it comes together the perfect way you envision it,” Durant said to WSJ Magazine's J.R. Moehringer. “[Winning a title] was the only time in my life that happened, and that summer was the most exhilarating time. Every day I woke up I just felt so good about myself, so good about life … That was a defining moment in my life—not just my basketball life.”

Durant's final season with the Warriors wasn't smooth at all, and his departure stung.

But no one can take away what Durant and the Warriors accomplished during his three years with the Dubs. He will return to the Bay Area in the future and be showered with adoration. He helped raise two banners. That never will be forgotten.

[RELATED: Pierce disagrees with KD's assessment of Warriors offense]

Durant likely will say more things that rain on his time with the Warriors, but deep down, we all know he accomplished what he set out to do when he signed with Golden State in 2016.

Warriors' Kevon Looney, Alen Smailagic cleared for on-court workouts

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Warriors' Kevon Looney, Alen Smailagic cleared for on-court workouts

MEMPHIS -- After injuries ravaged the Warriors' roster during the first month of the season, the team got a bit of good news Tuesday. 

Big men Kevon Looney and Alen Smailagic have been cleared for accelerated on-court workouts, while guard Jacob Evans will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

As the Warriors continue their four-game road trip, Looney and Smailagic are expected to participate in practices with the Warriors' G League team in Santa Cruz.

While nothing is set in stone, Warriors coach Steve Kerr didn't rule Looney out of next Monday's game against Oklahoma City.

The injuries updates come as the Warriors are in peril. In the last month,  Stephen Curry broke his hand, sidelining him until at least February, while two-way guard Damion Jones fractured his hand last week. In Tuesday's injury report, seven Warriors were listed as 'out,' including guard Klay Thompson. 

Looney, who was dealing with a neuropathic issue in his hamstring, carries the most importance. In the past two seasons, the multifaceted defender helped Golden State reach the NBA Finals. In his absence, the Warriors are giving up more than 120 points per game.

[RELATED: Bowman must adapt when Warriors are healthy]

Meanwhile, Evans was showing signs of progress following a tough rookie season, shooting 50 percent from the 3-point range before a left adductor sidelined him on Oct. 28. 

As for Smailagic, the rookie was expected to contribute right away with the Warriors undermanned frontline before spraining his ankle in a training camp scrimmage. In the last week, Kerr said the 19-year old told his coach he dunked during practice, showing his recent progress.

Warriors vs. Grizzlies watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

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Warriors vs. Grizzlies watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

In a battle featuring two teams in different stages of rebuilding, the foundering Warriors face the suddenly resurgent Grizzlies on Tuesday at FedEx Forum in Memphis.

Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 4 o’clock, with tipoff scheduled for 5:10.

The Warriors (2-12) own the longest losing streak in the NBA this season, seven games, dating back to Nov. 6. It’s their longest string of defeats since April 2012, when they lost eight in a row.

Though the Warriors have not lost a season series to Memphis since 2012-13 (0-3), they have lost at least once at FedEx Forum in 11 consecutive seasons, including each of the last three.

The Grizzlies (5-8), early in a full rebuild, opened the season losing five of their first six games under first-year coach Taylor Jenkins. They are showing signs of improvement, though, going 4-3 since then. They have won three of their last four.

 

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Warriors

F  Eric Paschall
F  Draymond Green
C  Willie Cauley-Stein
G  Glenn Robinson III
G  Ky Bowman

Grizzlies

F  Jae Crowder
F  Jaren Jackson Jr.
C  Jonas Valanciunas
G  Dillon Brooks
G  Ja Morant

 

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: G Stephen Curry (left hand fracture), G Jacob Evans III (left adductor strain), G Damion Lee (right hand non-displaced fracture), F Kevon Looney (neuropathy), F Alen Smailagic and G Klay Thompson (right ACL rehab) are listed as out.

Grizzlies: G Grayson Allen (left ankle soreness) is listed as out. F Andre Iguodala is not with the team.

 

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Warriors: Whether Warriors coach Steve Kerr stays with the unusual lineup that started Sunday in New Orleans (with Green starting at PG) remains to be seen. The slow start in that game (down 10-2 after three minutes, trailing by as much as 14 in the first half) could force a more conventional approach ... Undrafted rookie PG, who had 19 points and four assists in 28 minutes off the bench, made a strong case for starting, particularly with fellow rookie Morant at the point for Memphis ... Though rookie SG Jordan Poole remains mired in a shooting slump, the Warriors are encouraged that it has not affected his defense. The effort is there on that end, and the belief is his shots could start falling any day now ... Today’s player availability count: Nine.

Grizzlies: Though the team is built around Morant, the overall No. 2 pick in the June draft, rookie SF Brandon Clarke (No. 21 overall) has been terrific off the bench, averaging 12.3 ppg and 21.9 mpg ... The Grizzlies lead the league in paint points, averaging 55.0 per game, and Valanciunas is a big reason for that. He has scored in double figures in 12 consecutive games. Only two teams are more forgiving in the paint than the Warriors, whose opponents average 51.9 per game .. Picking up on the ball movement trend, the Grizzlies averaged 29.4 assists over their last seven games ... They also have made at least 10 triples in each of those seven consecutive games, matching a franchise record.

Officials: Kevin Scott (crew chief), Marat Kogut, Natalie Sago.