Warriors

Klay Thompson says Warriors still motivated to get home-court advantage

Klay Thompson says Warriors still motivated to get home-court advantage

OAKLAND - During Klay Thompson's recent absence, the Warriors had one of their signature wins of the season against the 76ers... but also suffered their biggest loss of the Steve Kerr era Tuesday against Boston. 

Now, with many observers wondering if the champs have enough to win another title this season, Thompson -- who is expected to return Friday night -- has little doubt about his team's chances ahead of the showdown against the Nuggets. 

"I don't have not one bit of concern in my body," the guard said following shootaround Friday afternoon. 

Despite Thompson's outward demeanor, his team's performance over the last few weeks are cause for concern. Since the All-Star break, the Warriors have lost four of their last seven games, giving up more than 112.4 points per game while posting a 111.8 defensive rating. Even worse, they've started games slowly, finishing each of their last four first quarters with a deficit.

Still, Thompson, armed with the experience of three championship seasons, believes his team will have the motivation to win another title despite the recent stretch. 

"When we're challenged and our backs are against the wall, we are at our best," Thompson said. "Knowing what's at stake these next 18 games we got to play like that."

[RELATED: Warriors must bring 'Roaracle' back in pursuit of top seed]

The first opportunity to make right by that statement comes Friday night, when the Dubs, who own a one-game lead over the Nuggets, take on Denver. 

"I think we're very motivated," Thompson said. "No one wants to travel throughout the playoffs. We're very motivated to get that number one seed and give the fans at Oracle one last hurrah before we move."

After a hectic few days, Andrew Bogut fares well in reunion with Warriors

After a hectic few days, Andrew Bogut fares well in reunion with Warriors

Insofar as 14 months have passed since he last played in the NBA, Andrew Bogut’s second debut with the Warriors on Monday went about well as could be expected.

For an emergency starter whose head is spinning in multiple directions, it was solid.

“Andrew was great,” coach Steve Kerr told reporters in San Antonio. “It’s great to have him back. He’s a tremendous defensive player. He’s a great passer. He’s a lob threat. He’s going to help us.”

Bogut tried to help against the Spurs – producing  points, seven rebounds, one assist and one steal in 19 minutes – but was unable to prevent a 111-105 loss to the Spurs at AT&T Center.

“Me personally, it was just good to be out there and trying to contribute,” he said. “But I would like to have left with a win.”

Bogut, 34, came out of retirement last week, signing for a second tour with the Warriors upon a March 3 completion of his season with the Sydney Kings of Australia’s National Basketball League. The 7-foot center and his family arrived in the Bay Area over the weekend, giving him four days to find a house, take conditioning tests and prepare to play Thursday against Indiana at Oracle Arena.

But when DeMarcus Cousins sustained a mild injury to his right foot Saturday at Oklahoma City, the timeline moved up three days – to Monday, less than 24 hours after he arrived in San Antonio. Bogut barely knew where he was, much less fully prepared to start an NBA game.

“I felt all right,” Bogut said. “I was sucking wind a little bit in the first quarter, just from flying from Australia the last couple days. But once I got into a rhythm, I felt pretty good.

“I’m just figuring things out like where guys like the ball. That was something I’ve got to still figure out. I’m figuring out a few of our sets, which are new, but for the most part it’s about playing basketball.”

Bogut was signed mostly because he brings much-needed size, familiarity with the systems utilized by the Warriors – he was a member of the team in Kerr’s first two seasons as coach before being traded in 2016 – and his hoops IQ is a seamless fit.

It didn’t take long for Bogut to get his first hello by whistle, as fourth-year official Gediminas Petraitas assessed a foul for an illegal screen nine seconds after tipoff.

“Welcome to the league for sure,” Bogut said. “‘We know you set some hard screens, so we’re just going blow one early.’ That’s how it goes.”

The call “shocked” Kerr.

“It didn’t seem like much,” he said. “He just stood there. He didn’t stick his hip out. It was just a back screen, didn’t impact the play. And, bam, quick foul.”

There were a couple hiccups, as was expected, but Bogut never looked out of place among his new/old teammates. He was minus-2 for the game.

“Obviously, playing with Klay and Steph when I was here last time," Bogut said. "And now throw (Kevin Durant) in there and see how talented he is and how easy the game comes to him, it makes you a little bit jealous. Those guys are really talented.”

Bogut’s return to the Warriors came precisely two months after Cousins was activated. Both are former All-NBA centers. The Warriors won in Cousins’ debut, beating the Clippers, but fell short against the Spurs.

Better days are ahead, according to Bogut.

[WATCH: Steph beats first-quarter buzzer]

“When you get our offense free-flowing, there are so many weapons,” he said. “I can say tonight was a bad night for us, but you can see the potential of this lineup, especially once you throw DeMarcus out there and a few other guys. It’s pretty special.”

The Warriors should benefit from Bogut’s presence. If the first game is any indication, he’ll be a very good backup to Cousins, as dictated by matchups.

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from Warriors' tough loss to Spurs

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from Warriors' tough loss to Spurs

BOX SCORE

SAN ANTONIO — Following back-to-back solid performances against Houston and Oklahoma City, the Warriors couldn't find their shot in a 111-105 loss to the Spurs on Monday night. 

Despite a late run to get within four points with two minutes left, a late flurry from DeMar DeRozan sealed the win for San Antonio. 

The loss snaps a two-game Warriors winning streak and, with a road game against Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, makes the reality of a 2-2 trip all the more possible

Here are three takeaways from the game. 

No 'Splash' from the Brothers

In a game that begged for offense, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had a hard time providing it. 

Curry finished with 25 points on 9-of-25 from the field, missing a number of shots that could have kept the Warriors in the game down the stretch.

[WATCH: Curry banks in buzzer-beater]

Meanwhile, Thompson, who came into Monday’s game rolling, made just five of his 18 shots on the night. 

Thompson had been averaging 30 points on 50 percent from the field over his last four games. A good shooting performance from Klay would have helped the Warriors' cause. 

Andrew Bogut's return

After being summoned due to DeMarcus Cousins' sore right ankle, Bogut started his second tour of duty in Golden State in an appropriate fashion, committing an offensive foul after setting an illegal screen to free up Curry. 

Following the foul, Bogut gave the Warriors solid play, finishing with seven points, seven rebounds and one steal in 19 minutes. 

The offense seemed to flow well when Bogut was on the floor, giving a glimpse of what the Warriors can expect if the veteran center can recapture his play from his previous tenure in the Bay Area. 

Warriors couldn't stop fouling

The Warriors needed to be disciplined, but they committed 20 fouls on the night, including a momentum-stopping foul from Kevin Durant on Marco Belinelli in the fourth quarter that led to a four-point play. 

For a team that's trying to turn the tide on a subpar second half of the season, unnecessary fouls aren't conducive to that goal.