Warriors

Rewind: Even when they win by 24, Warriors know they can be better

Rewind: Even when they win by 24, Warriors know they can be better

They shot more than 50 percent from the field, had 10 steals and 10 blocked shots, and reached the 30-assist mark for a franchise-record 10th consecutive game.

They won their 10th straight, this one by 24, and it put them atop the Western Conference standings for the first time this season.

Yet coach Steve Kerr was unimpressed, essentially describing the Warriors’ 109-85 victory over the Lakers on Friday night in Los Angeles as an experience he does not care to repeat. Ever.

“It was one of the worst basketball games I’ve seen in my life,” Kerr told reporters at Staples Center. “We were awful and they were awful. The people who bought tickets should get their money back. Honestly. I’m not trying to make a joke. It was a horrible basketball game.”

That’s where the Warriors are nowadays, their coach spitting out a double-digit win.

Informed of Kerr’s summation, forward Draymond Green grinned and paused before replying.

“I don’t think it was very good,” he said. “I think we could’ve been a lot better than we were. But I don’t know if it was the worst basketball game ever. But . . . he’s a coach.”

Forward Kevin Durant, who was nothing short of marvelous – 29 points, nine assists, six rebounds, two blocks – also had a slightly different opinion than Kerr.

“We won, and we held them to 85 points. That’s what I’m looking at,” Durant said. “But if Stevie Kerr is saying we didn’t play well, then we’ve got to come out tomorrow and try to play better.”

Players and coach can agree that there is considerable room for improvement over this performance, beginning with the lazy start that prompted Kerr to call a timeout 90 seconds after tipoff and ending with 18 turnovers, second-most in any game this season.

Though the Warriors took the lead for good midway through the first quarter, the game had a languid, choppy feel throughout. The Lakers, with three starters out with injury, could offer only so much resistance. The Warriors, though, were so utterly ordinary they needed a 14-3 closeout run over the final five minutes to put a shine on the scoreboard numbers.

“It looked like a Thanksgiving food hangover,” Laker coach Luke Walton said of the game. “You know Golden State is obviously a premier team in this league, and I didn’t even think they were great tonight.

“They were good, they were better than us. But I thought our guys played hard. We just didn’t play hard and smart tonight.”

The Warriors (14-2) rolled up some fancy numbers, the 51.6-percent shooting, the assists and the blocks and the steals, as well as holding LA to 35.6-percent shooting. By and large, though, this was one of those nights when a nondescript showing by a truly fabulous team was more than enough to vanquish a plucky but profoundly overmatched squad.

“It’s obviously nice to get a win, but we can play a lot better,” said Stephen Curry, who submitted 24 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals. “So tomorrow we have to try to get back to get a win against a good Minnesota team. You have to understand that obviously there is a big two-game schedule, but we can play better.”

They have played better, certainly during this 10-game streak. Eight of the victories were by double digits. They’ve lifted their overall shooting percentage above 50, to 50.3, and their field-goal percentage defense has climbed up the ratings and into the top five at 43.2.

These numbers illustrate that these Warriors are many years and exponentially more talented than they were when such coaches as Brian Winters and Dave Cowens were trying to coax wins out of rosters featuring the likes of Bobby Sura, Danny Fortson and Chris Mills.

Kerr can look at those teams and be thankful. He’ll probably take another look at this game and be, well, not nearly as disdainful as he was minutes afterward.

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.”