Warriors

NBA Gameday: Kerr, Warriors out for revenge against Walton, Lakers

NBA Gameday: Kerr, Warriors out for revenge against Walton, Lakers

OAKLAND – Steve Kerr is 0-1 against his former lead assistant, Luke Walton, so the Warriors coach will be seeking a measure of revenge Wednesday night when his team faces Walton’s Lakers at Oracle Arena.

Kerr’s players have reason to be even more motivated. They’ve won eight in a row since their last loss, 19 days ago against the Lakers in Los Angeles, where they were blown off the floor, 117-97, by a team inferior in most every respect.

So this won’t be a time for the usual sense of comfort, or even complacency, that can creep into the minds of a team returning home after a four-game road trip. If anything, the Warriors (12-2) will be on purple-and-gold alert.

The surprising Lakers (8-7) are on the second night of a back-to-back set, coming off a 111-109 win over the Thunder on Tuesday in LA.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 17

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Klay Thompson vs. Nick Young -- Thompson was dreadful in the first contest. With his father, Mychal, watching from courtside as a Lakers radio analyst, he’ll want to atone for that forgettable performance against the team he grew up watching. Once one of the league’s biggest screwballs, Young seems to found the best of himself under the guidance of Walton and Lakers top assistant Brian Shaw.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: C Damian Jones (R pectoral surgery recovery) is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the Development League.

Lakers: G D’Angelo Russell (L knee soreness), Julius Randle (hip) and C Ivica Zubac (R ankle sprain) are listed as out.

SERIES HISTORY

The Lakers have won the last two meetings, including the first of this season, 117-97, on Nov. 4 in Los Angeles. The Warriors have won nine of the last 13 overall.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

1) Bench brigades -- LA’s bench has been highly productive; a reserve has been the team’s leading scorer in 11 of its first 15 games. Guards Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson rank second and fourth, respectively, in scoring among NBA reserves. The Warriors will be the more rested team, which should prove beneficial.

2) Attack the paint -- The Warriors love the 3-ball, but with the Lakers doing a good job defending the arc, holding opponents to 32.7 percent (fourth), the path to the rim tends to be open. LA is dead last in opponents’ field-goal percentage at 47.5.

3) The 30 Club -- The Warriors lead the league in assists, averaging 30.9 per game, more than five ahead of the second-place Hawks. Moreover, the Warriors have recorded at least 30 in eight consecutive games. A ninth such game would be a franchise record.
 

Kevin Durant caught on camera telling Mavericks fan to 'shut the f*** up'

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USATSI

Kevin Durant caught on camera telling Mavericks fan to 'shut the f*** up'

Kevin Durant had a rough week, and it appears it was even worse than we initially thought.

Last Monday in Los Angeles, Draymond Green said some pretty nasty things to him. During the three-game road-trip through Texas, Durant shot 39.1 percent from the field and 7 percent from 3-point range.

Now, a video has emerged showing Durant cussing out a fan during Saturday's Warriors-Mavericks game in Dallas. TMZ Sports obtained the video, which was shot on a cell phone.

"Watch the f****** game and shut the f*** up," Durant can be heard telling the fan.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

What prompted the outburst from Durant? According to TMZ Sports, the fan was taunting Durant with "cupcake" references. Durant asked the refs to intervene, but they didn't take any action, so it appears KD took matters into his own hands.

We can understand why Durant is a little sensitive to criticism right now, but he has to know he can't do this.

Warriors road trip redux: Inside observations from 0-3 Texas visit

Warriors road trip redux: Inside observations from 0-3 Texas visit

The Warriors came back from Texas winless, going 0-3 in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. It’s part of the larger stretch of five losses in seven games. When the Warriors flew home Sunday night with a 12-6 record, their six losses put them in fourth in the Western Conference, behind the Trail Blazers, Grizzlies and Clippers with five losses each.

Let’s recap what happened in Texas ...

The Warriors arrived in Houston on Thursday. Draymond Green returned to the lineup after serving his one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, and there was a giant spotlight on his relationship with Kevin Durant. Even my mom called me to get the scoop.

Draymond talked to the media at shootaround. He explained: “I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I play with that same emotion. Sometimes it gets the best of me, and it doesn’t work to my favor.”

Draymond concluded: “We’re not going to crumble off of an argument. We’re going to move forward. That’s all I’ve got to say.”

The game against the Rockets was a 21-point loss. The quarter-scoring breakdowns were 19-22-22-23 in a low-energy game for the Dubs.

One fun thing behind the scenes was the joy on a Warriors staffer’s face when he learned Chuck Norris was in the building. On the bus ride to the game, we were telling Chuck Norris jokes (Chuck Norris CAN touch MC Hammer!), and we had a magical moment where we felt like we willed his presence into existence at the game. We then decided to talk about Beyoncé so she’d show up at the next game. Didn’t happen.

On to Dallas. The Warriors held an optional practice Friday, then the rest of the day was free. Dinner was at Nobu.

I went to Home Depot to buy N95 masks to bring home for the smoke. My husband told me school was canceled around the Bay Area.

On game day Saturday, Steph Curry made his first comments about the strife between KD and Draymond.

“They have a lot of equity built in that relationship. ... They’ve won championships together,” Steph said. “They’ve brought the best out of each other. Obviously, they never had an incident to this level. But when you have the experiences that they had and go through the journey we’ve been on, they won’t let it be derailed by something like that.”

Steph reiterated Draymond’s sentiment that an argument in November won’t derail the team.

Steph's groin injury will be re-evaluated Nov. 24. He has been doing workouts with Rick Celebrini at practice and before games.

The Mavs game was a good one for Damian Lee, who scored 11 points in the first half and finished with 13. Lee was going to be my halftime interview ... but he raced off the floor before Ray Ridder could corral him!

Halftime became more unusual when the battery fell off my microphone as I talked to Jarron Collins. I take the mic with me everywhere, even when I’m interviewing people off camera. When I got to my seat, I noticed the microphone felt lighter ... the battery was gone ... and I had to immediately retrace my steps.

The battery fell off by the Mavs bench. A Mavs security person found it and placed it on the team’s water cooler. A Mavs fan saw all this happen and let me know where the battery was when I walked over in a panic. Crisis averted!

The Warriors brought more energy to the Mavs game, and Lee, Quinn Cook, and Shaun Livingston contributed 40 points off the bench, but the team faded late in the fourth quarter and lost.

The Warriors flew to San Antonio after the Mavs game, and reached the hotel at about 2 a.m. The late arrival blended into the next day, the kind where it’s normal to greet your fellow travelers with “good morning” when you see them for brunch at 12:30 p.m.

Steve Kerr let the players sleep in Sunday, and the coaches conducted the pre-game meeting in the locker room at the game instead of at brunch, like usual.

The Warriors arrived at the Spurs' arena 0-2 and hungry for a win to end the trip on a good note.

The Spurs led by as many as 18 points, and the Warriors brought it back within one, but they did not win. It’s the first time they’ve had an 0-3 stretch in Kerr’s time with the team.

KD and Klay spoke postgame about their combined shooting woes. KD went 24 of 64 on field goals and 1 of 13 on threes during the road trip. Klay went 25 of 66 on field goals and 5 of 27 on threes.

Klay looked agitated by the outcome, but that’s his usual state after a loss. This dude hates to lose. He also has some discomfort being surrounded by a big media scrum after any game, but he soldiers through it.

I asked Spurs coach Gregg Popovich before the game what he thought about Kerr’s leadership and his ability to nurture a locker room dealing with issues. Pop cut me off and joked, ‘It’s all kumbaya.” But he continued when another reporter pressed him. Pop said, “I’m sure no matter how you all think or write or talk about it, it’s not as big a deal as you’ve all made it.”

This trip combined a web of disharmony, repair, injuries and cold shooting, and three games in four days, which resulted in losses that probably will be be glommed together under one screaming banner of “WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE WARRIORS???”

A few issues are intertwined right now to create this rough patch. Kerr summed it up Sunday night, saying: “We’ve had such a charmed existence the last four seasons. So, yeah, of course, this is the toughest stretch we’ve been in. This is the real NBA. We haven’t been in the real NBA the last few years. We’ve been in this dream. So now we’re faced with real adversity. We’ve got to get out of it ourselves.”