Warriors

Kevin Durant on Seth Curry saying Warriors harder to guard without him

Kevin Durant on Seth Curry saying Warriors harder to guard without him

Ever since Kevin Durant strained his right calf during the third quarter of Game 5 against the Rockets, the Warriors haven't lost.

So naturally, the national narrative has shifted to "The Warriors are better without Durant" and "The Warriors don't need Durant."

Portland Trail Blazers guard Seth Curry offered a different perspective, saying the Warriors are "harder to guard" without KD.

As you might imagine, Durant doesn't agree, and he voiced his opinion in the most Durant way possible: A comment on an Instagram post.

All Durant wrote in response to a graphic of Curry's quote was "Hell no."

Before Game 2 against the Blazers on Thursday, the younger Curry brother spoke to The Athletic and was asked about facing a Warriors team sans Durant.

“I think they are harder to guard [without Durant],” Seth told Sam Amick. “They move around faster when he’s not out there. They’re definitely not a better team, but they’re harder to guard. Obviously, they play a different style of basketball when Steph and Klay [Thompson] are the focal points offensively, and we haven’t played that team in a while."

Durant's teammate, Draymond Green, on Friday addressed the assertion that the Warriors are better without Durant, and was emphatic in his answer.

[RELATED: Cousins ahead of Durant in recovery]

"That’s idiotic,” Green told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami. “It’s very idiotic. I don’t think there’s one person in this locker room, one person in this organization that thinks that. And I know for damn sure that any idiot that does possibly [say] it don’t believe it.”

Without Durant, who likely will miss the entire Western Conference finals against the Blazers, the Warriors have a 2-0 lead as the series shifts to Portland for Game 3 on Saturday night.

Would Warriors' Alec Burks like to stay long term? 'Yeah, I like it here'

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AP

Would Warriors' Alec Burks like to stay long term? 'Yeah, I like it here'

SALT LAKE CITY -  Warriors Alec Burks has known stability for much of his NBA career. 

That all changed a little more than a year ago, when -- after eight seasons with the Jazz -- he spent much of last season floating between three teams in six months. Even in free agency -- a period players exert the most control over their destination -- he was technically an employee of two teams in a week span. However, standing on the floor housing his former team, he expressed interest in being with his current team long term.  

"Yeah, I like it here," Burks said following shootaround Friday morning. "Great culture, great players great coaching staff. I would love to." 

Burks' current reality didn't seem plausible during the onset of his career. During his first five seasons, he averaged 10.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists. The performance led to a four-year, $42 million contract in 2014. Then, his base began to crumble, as a series of stress fractures limited the wing to just 100 games over a two-year period, putting the stability of his career in peril. 

Last season, he was traded three times, finishing the season averaging just 1.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 13 games with the Sacramento Kings. In July, Burks agreed to a deal with the Thunder, believing he'd play with Paul George and Russell Westbrook. When both were traded, he was let out of his contract, ultimately signing a one-year deal with the Warriors for basic factors. 

"I just knew it was championship oriented because they were winning so much," he said. "I could see how Steve [Kerr] coached them from afar and the way they worked." 

While he's shooting just 42 percent for the season, Burks has shown an ability to score in spurts. Last month against the Grizzlies, he scored 17 of his team-high 29 points in the first half, adding eight rebounds in 36 minutes, helping the Warriors to their second win of the season. With the Warriors in transition, Burks says he wants to be a part of its climb back to championship form. 

"Now I'm a part of it, I just see how everything is laid back," he said. "They work hard and they go about their business and have fun doing it."

While Burks sees a future in the Bay, his comfort level in Salt Lake is apparent. Just before Golden State's matchup with the Jazz more than two weeks ago, Burks spent an extra 15 minutes on the floor conversing with old teammates and arena staff following his pregame workout, an ode to the stability he once had. 

"I built real relationships with everybody in the arena. Not just the players but people that worked for the team. People that work in the arena," he said. "They showed me love so I show them love back." 
 
Burks may have an opportunity to build that in the Bay Area for years to come, but as he knows all too well, that opportunity won't be promised. 

"You never know in this league, he said. "You never know."

Warriors vs. Jazz live stream: How to watch NBA game online, on TV

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USATSI

Warriors vs. Jazz live stream: How to watch NBA game online, on TV

Fresh off a devastating overtime loss to the lowly Knicks, the Warriors travel to Salt Lake City for a battle with the Utah Jazz.

The Dubs will be without Eric Paschall (hip) and Draymond Green (rest), as well as Ky Bowman who was reassigned to the G League in order for the Warriors to preserve his NBA time. 

As for the Jazz, star guard Mike Conley will miss his fifth straight game. 

Utah (14-11) has lost four of its last six games, so the Jazz should be motivated to beat up on the reeling Warriors in order to stay in the Western Conference race.

[RELATED: How GRIII's life was shaped by parents' different paths]

Here's how to watch Friday's Warriors-Jazz game. 

When: Friday, Dec. 13, at 6:00 p.m. PT -- pregame coverage begins at 5:00 p.m.
TV Channel: NBC Sports Bay Area
Live Stream: MyTeams App