NBA Gameday: Draymond to play, Livingston probable for Warriors vs Kings

NBA Gameday: Draymond to play, Livingston probable for Warriors vs Kings

Programming note: Warriors-Kings coverage starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. on CSN Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live (territory restrictions apply) and streaming live right here

SACRAMENTO -- Even as the aches and pains piled up over the past couple weeks, the Warriors barely have skipped a beat. And now they’re in position to start getting healthy again.

They play only once during a five-day stretch, and that’s Saturday night in Sacramento against the Kings, who have lost four of five and haven’t beaten the Warriors in nearly four years.

The Warriors (43-7) will get forward Draymond Green back in the starting lineup after a one-game absence and it’s also likely guard Shaun Livingston, who has missed the past two games, will return.

The Kings (19-31) generally fight hard enough to be competitive but continue to search for a way to finish. Seven of their past eight games were decided by five or fewer points and they’ve managed to win three of them.

Warriors by 14

JaVale McGee vs. DeMarcus Cousins: After playing only four minutes when the teams met Jan. 8, McGee is certain to see a lot more of Cousins in this game. McGee will have to defend without fouling, which is pretty tough against Cousins, who has the deepest offensive arsenal of any center in the league. It’s pretty simple for the Warriors: Don’t let Boogie beat you.

Warriors: F Draymond Green (L shoulder contusion) is listed as available. G Shaun Livingston (mid-back strain) is listed as probable. C Zaza Pachulia (R rotator cuff strain) and F/C David West (L thumb fracture) are listed as out.

Kings: F Omri Casspi (R plantaris tendon strain), F Rudy Gay (L Achilles tear) and G Garrett Temple (R hamstring tear) are listed as out.

LAST 10:
Warriors: 9-1. Kings: 3-7.

The Warriors won the first meeting this season, 117-106, on Jan. 8 and have won 13 in a row overall, including seven in a row in Sacramento.

TEMPO CONTROL: The Warriors play at the second-fastest pace in the league, while the Kings are the fourth slowest. If the Warriors somehow get lulled into a slow-down game, it plays right into Sacramento’s hands. Though it’s highly unlikely, stranger things have happened.

OPPORTUNITIES APLENTY: The Kings rank 25th in field-goal percentage defense and 27th in overall defensive rating. And now their best defender, Garrett Temple, is out. The Warriors rank first in field-percentage offense and second on offensive rating. The math looks like money in favor of the Warriors.

ANDRE’S FEELING IT: Though Andre Iguodala is known more for his defense and smarts than his scoring, his shooting touch has been remarkable in recent games. He’s shooting 58.7 percent over his last 10 games, including 55.0 percent from 3-point distance.


Warriors solve three major problems by cutting back on fouls vs. Suns

Warriors solve three major problems by cutting back on fouls vs. Suns

OAKLAND -- The Warriors entered Monday with a 2-1 record they felt was tainted by performances below their standard.

They weren’t happy with their relatively poor 3-point shooting, aside from Stephen Curry.

They were displeased with their poor ball movement, resulting in low assist totals.

And they really, really, really were disappointed with the high amount of fouls they were committing.

None of the three was an issue Monday night, when the Warriors rolled to a 123-103 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

“That looked like our team,” coach Steve Kerr said.

The essential element was the reduction in fouls. The Warriors were whistled for a season-low 24 fouls, only 10 of which came as they took command in the first half.

“We understand what the keys to our success are, and when we don’t do them we make the game extremely tough and give the other team life,” Stephen Curry said. “It started as a better flow to the game in the first quarter because we didn’t foul.

“Whether they made or missed, we were getting the ball and running. We called some plays and we executed, but the game just had a better flow. All those things combined helped us to get out to that big lead.”

All the fouling in previous games -- the Warriors were whistled 81 times in the first three games -- led to a procession of opponents strolling to the free throw line, slowing the action and keeping the Warriors out of their devastating transition game.

“Part of the reason we don’t want to foul is that we want to get out in transition and run,” Kerr said. “That’s where our 3s come into play. They go hand-in-hand. For the most part, we did a really good job of defending without fouling, keeping the game flowing and getting out into the open court.”

As a result of the fouling, the Warriors often were jacking up 3s in half-court sets, sometimes in isolation, a style that Kerr generally detests. They were 24-of-74 from deep (32.4 percent) in the first three games. Curry was 16-of-34, his teammates 8-of-40.

The Warriors, beyond Curry, would like to shoot a few more triples -- and certainly make a higher percentage.

They achieved both on Monday. The Warriors were 14-of-37 (37.8 percent) from deep, and an impressive 13-of-30 (43.3) through three quarters, when the regulars were on the court.

“If you think about some of the shots we’ve had from the 3-point line in the first three games, aside from my off-the-dribble stuff, they were tougher shots,” Curry said. “I would say 33 of the 37 [on Monday] were great looks. If you can create those over time and guys continue to build their rhythm, our percentages will go up and it’ll be the threat that we want it to be.”

When they weren’t creating open shots in transition, they were doing it with ball movement. The Warriors totaled a season-high 35 assists, 24 in the first half and 31 coming in the first three quarters. Draymond Green and Curry had eight assists each, and four others had at least three.

“We definitely made progress,” Curry said.

Well, yes, they did. That it came against the Suns, a team not expected to be in the playoff race, is irrelevant. When the Warriors run into problems, it’s usually of their own making.

Which is to say the solutions have to come from within, and they made considerable strides in that regard Monday night.

Steph Curry, Dell Curry move up on NBA's father-son scoring list

Steph Curry, Dell Curry move up on NBA's father-son scoring list

OAKLAND -- In scoring a game-high 29 points Monday night, Stephen Curry lifted the Warriors to a 123-103 win over the Phoenix Suns while simultaneously putting shine on the family name.

The Currys -- Stephen and his father, Dell -- moved past the duo of Dolph and Danny Schayes and into second place on the NBA's all-time list for father-son combos.

The Currys have combined for 27,226 points, passing the Schayeses (27,218) and trailing only Joe and Kobe Bryant (38,895) on the career combo scoring list.

“It’s pretty special,” Curry said. “I know what my dad in his career, for 16 years, so this is him passing the torch to me.

“And I’m going to try to talk to the rules committee to see if we can get Seth Curry’s numbers in there, too."

Dell Curry retired in 2002 with 12,670 points. Stephen Curry now has 14,556, and Seth Curry has 1,217.

“That's the power of strength in numbers right there," Steph said. "Let’s see if we can catch Kobe and his dad.”