Nameless Warriors coming of age after first win at Chase Center

Nameless Warriors coming of age after first win at Chase Center

SAN FRANCISCO -- In the minutes following Monday's 127-118 win over the Blazers at Chase Center, the Warriors' locker room looked more unusual than in years past.

Gone were the cramped quarters of Oracle Arena along with the generational stars that inhabited the space. Replacing the status quo is a crop of unproven young professionals.

The player of the game was finishing his graduation requirements six months ago, while its second-leading scorer has a 45-day limit on the roster. Of the nine active bodies, none played during any of Golden State's championship runs. In the last month, three of the team's All-Stars have suffered potentially long-term injuries. Under the current climate, wins are not expected. But after Monday's victory, the remains of Warriors are looking to establish their worth.

"I think there are chips on other people's shoulders just to prove," Warriors guard Ky Bowman said Monday evening. "Everybody's got something to prove in this league."

In their latest effort, Eric Paschall -- on his 23rd birthday -- scored a career-high 34 points, while adding 13 rebounds. Bowman -- one of Golden State's two two-way players -- finished with 19 points and eight assists. Along the way, the Warriors' defense -- much-maligned through the first month of the season -- held Blazers guard CJ McCollum to just 14 points on 6-of-16 shooting.

The team's performance comes as its health is in peril. In the last week, five players have missed games due to injury, including star guards Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, who both will be re-evaluated in February. With Curry, Thompson and D'Angelo Russell out, coach Steve Kerr named Bowman the team's starting point guard.

Despite being shorthanded, the nameless Warriors have gone toe to toe with their opponents.

In Saturday's loss to Charlotte, Paschall scored 12 of his 25 points in the first half, while Bowman finished with 16 points, adding seven rebounds and four assists in his first career start, helping the Warriors take a 71-68 lead into the fourth quarter before ultimately losing.

"We're just going out there, having fun and playing hard and letting the chips fall where they may. We've been in two games so that's just a testament to how good everybody in the NBA is," Warriors forward Omari Spellman said. "Yeah there are starters but the people coming off the bench are tough too so I'm happy E, Ky get to show people 'Nah bro, we nice.'"

Though Golden State has shown promise, its ability to close has been questionable.

On Saturday, despite owning a lead in the final two minutes, mistakes doomed the team. An inbounds turnover by Damion Lee was compounded by the Warriors allowing two offensive rebounds off late missed free throws by Charlotte with Willie Cauley-Stein -- who had eight rebounds on the night -- on the bench, providing yet another lesson for the undistinguished Warriors.

Two nights later, the Dubs momentarily changed course. After Blazers forward Mario Hezonja hit a 3-pointer to cut Golden State's lead to six, free throws from Jordan Poole and Lee put the game out of reach, sealing the Warriors' second win of the season.

"I was so proud of them the other night," Kerr said Monday. "I hated walking out of this building with a loss to Charlotte when we played well enough to win and I just felt like they deserved more and tonight they proved that so it's great validation that their effort and their work is being rewarded."

[RELATED: Warriors' Bowman refused to let Whiteside push him around]

As the Warriors begin a three-game road trip, the key to success may come from some friendly advice from within.

"By not eating the poison. Just because you've got win - that's one win," Spellman said. "Just don't eat the poison. Keep coming with the same energy and intensity we've been playing with. The worst thing we can do right now is get to smelling ourselves after one dub.

"We're not surprising anybody anymore," he added. "They just watched you beat what they said was a top-3 team in the West you're not surprising nobody no more, you gotta go play."

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in inspiring 100-98 win over Bulls

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in inspiring 100-98 win over Bulls


Too bad the Warriors can't play the Bulls every night. 

In their latest outing, the Warriors beat Chicago 100-98, sweeping the season series against Chicago while avoiding a winless five-game road trip. 

After Warriors coach Steve Kerr lamented his team's uninspired play, Golden State put together its best effort in nearly a week. 

The Warriors aren't going to beat most teams on talent like recent years. In order to have a chance on a nightly basis, they'll have to play as hard as they did Friday night at United Center. 

Here are the takeaways:

All heart

In the days leading up Chicago, Kerr was critical of his team's hustle and spirit. Against the Bulls, the Warriors got the hint, highlighted by a 16-5 run to start the second quarter. Golden State shot 57 percent from the field in the frame, helping the team get within one point at halftime. 

Similar efforts were littered throughout the game. When the Bulls went up seven, the Warriors went on a 14-5 run to take a brief lead. Eric Paschall continued his stellar rookie season, scoring 13 points, adding three rebounds and two assists. 

As they grow, the Warriors will continue to learn lessons during their transition. The one constant will have to be the effort they showed Friday. 

Too many miscues

Golden State's response to Kerr's demand would've been smoother with better control of the basketball. The Warriors committed 11 of their game-high 19 turnovers in the first half. 

Entering Friday, Chicago was among the stingiest teams in the league, forcing 18 turnovers per game.

Turnovers are a function of undisciplined play. The Warriors' youth was on display, and they were fortunate to get the win.

[RELATED: Ask Kerith: Why Warriors' focus is on player development]

Robinson drilling III's

In a game the Warriors needed an extra scoring punch, they got it from Robinson, who scored 20 points, including two 3-pointers. After struggling at the beginning of the season, Robinson has come alive in recent games. 

Over his last eight outings, he's averaging 13.6 points while shooting 41.4 percent from 3-point range. 

If Robinson can keep this up, he will force his way into Golden State's future plans.

Sources: Warriors' Steph Curry has surgery to remove pins from hand

Sources: Warriors' Steph Curry has surgery to remove pins from hand

The second surgery Steph Curry knew he needed on his broken left hand has happened.

Curry had surgery Friday to remove the pins that had been inserted in his hand, NBC Sports Bay Area's Logan Murdock confirmed through league sources.

The Athletic's Shams Charania was first to report news of Curry's surgery.

This procedure doesn't come as a surprise. Curry told the media on Nov. 11 that he would need a second surgery at some point in December, and last Friday, he told NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole that the surgery would happen within a week or two.

Curry is still on track to be re-evaluated Feb. 1.

The two-time MVP suffered the injury against the Suns on Oct. 30. In 19 games without Curry, the Warriors are 3-16.

[RELATED: Steph knows Warriors' pain can be worse]

Missing at least four months has been tough on Curry, as he told Poole last Friday.

“It’s just hardest on your competitive spirit,” Curry said. “When you get around basketball and get around the locker room with the guys, that’s the part I miss the most. And I love to play.

“Three months is -- and I’d only played three-and-a-half games -- just weird. It’s unfamiliar territory. I’m enjoying the downtime, because it was unheard of, in my experience, in the middle of a season. It’s just weird.”