Warriors

Rewind: Steph Curry finds offensive rhythm, drops 32 on Lakers

Rewind: Steph Curry finds offensive rhythm, drops 32 on Lakers

SAN DIEGO – Warriors coach Steve Kerr was talking last week about how Stephen Curry usually needs just a few preseason games to find his offensive rhythm.

Consider it found.

Curry’s shooting stroke fired up fans at Valley View Casino Arena and lit up the Lakers as well Wednesday night in a 123-112 win over the Lakers.

“He found it,” Kerr said. “And he needed a few minutes, too.”

Maybe the minutes were the key factor. Through the first five preseason games, Kerr was careful distributing minutes to Curry and the rest of the starters, with the idea being that they ease into game shape while the coaching staff studies the reserves.

[POOLE: 'Evolving' Klay Thompson unveils new wrinkle vs Lakers]

The minutes bumped up on Wednesday, and Curry exploited the opportunity, scoring 32 points in 31 minutes – including 22 points in 15 second-half minutes. He fired in six 3-pointers.

“Steph needed to play,” Kerr said. “He needed to get up and down. He got going there in the second half.”

Curry's second-half flurry was vintage. He made 8-of-10 shots from the field, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. It was the first time this preseason that he looked like the guy who five months ago won his second consecutive MVP award.

“We came in expecting to play closer to regular-season minutes, and we started to pick up a rhythm for sure and just be a little more aggressive,” Curry said. “We were locked in as a team on the defensive end, which gave us a lot of energy. We started off the game well and kept it going.”

Curry had plenty of help from his two primary sidekicks, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. Durant finished with 27 points, and Thompson tossed in 19. The trio’s combined 78 points are in the range of what the team believes they can average in the regular season.

[RELATED: Durant continues to impress in another Warriors tune-up victory]

“It’s amazing to watch,” Kevon Looney said. “We all feel like fans when they go through their thing and are playing well. It makes it easy for everybody else on the team, so it’s a lot of fun to watch.”

With Curry, Durant and Thompson leading the way, Warriors starters outscored the Lakers’ first five 92-62. Such ownership of a struggling young team, as the Lakers are, may be relatively inconsequential. But is also is what’s expected under the circumstances.

It wasn’t just the shooting that boosted the Warriors starters. The defense was solid and the ball movement on offense was fabulous. Each starter had at least four assists, with Thompson the surprise leader with eight.

It helps when your passing options include teammates like Curry and Durant, who may enter friendly competition. It makes sense. Curry is the reigning scoring champion, and Durant is a four-time scoring champ.

“I hit a jump shot,” Durant said, “and (Curry) told me, ‘I could be a fan of yours.’ And when he got it going, you see everybody trying to get him the ball.

“It was pretty to watch, and I’m looking forward to a lot of that this season.”
 

Why Kevin Durant thought Warriors' loss to Mavericks 'not odd at all'

Why Kevin Durant thought Warriors' loss to Mavericks 'not odd at all'

Saturday was a night to forget for the Warriors.

The 126-91 loss to the lottery-bound Dallas Mavericks was the Warriors' worst at Oracle Arena under coach Steve Kerr. Golden State, without Steph Curry and chasing the Western Conference's top seed, weren't even close to the West's second-worst team.

If that sounds out of the ordinary for an NBA Finals contender, Kevin Durant doesn't think so.

"It's not odd at all," Durant told reporters in Oakland after the loss on Saturday (via ESPN). "I think everybody in that locker room has gotten their asses beat at home before. I know this experience is different, how much winning we've done the last few years. But we're still in the NBA; guys have been a part of terrible games, along with the great games, as well. The good thing about it, we play tomorrow night too."

The Warriors were short-handed, and lopsided losses do happen to good -- even great -- teams. But wasn't Golden State supposed to have already turned this corner?

They weren't blown out on March 10, but the Warriors lost to the Zion-Williamson-contending Phoenix Suns on that date. Golden State wasn't missing any regulars as was the case on Saturday, and the team said all the right things about that being a necessary wake-up call headed into a successful road trip.

"The first two games were important to us, especially after that Phoenix loss," Durant said on March 19. "To come out and beat two teams on the road, it was probably the best two-game stretch of the season for us, and we needed that, we needed to feel good about ourselves, going on the plane, going to practice the next day."

[RELATED: Quinn Cook, Austin Rivers agree on worst NBA road city]

The grind and ensuing malaise of an 82-game season real, especially for a team that has played as many games as Golden State has in the last five years. Plus, the Warriors battled injuries and struggled mightly down the stretch of the regular season last year ... and still won their third championship in four seasons.

In other words, a March loss to the Mavericks might not mean all that much if the Warriors lift the Larry O'Brien Trophy once again. But if they don't, Durant might look back on it as a defeat that was odd, after all.

Quinn Cook, Austin Rivers agree that Cleveland is worst NBA road city

Quinn Cook, Austin Rivers agree that Cleveland is worst NBA road city

The verdict is in. Cleveland doesn't rock.

In fact, Cleveland sucks, according to Warriors guard Quinn Cook and Rockets guard Austin Rivers.

Why?

"My family is there, they're calling me all the time, it's muggy and it's cold," Cook told Warriors sideline reporter Kerith Burke and Rivers on The Uninterrupted Road Trippin' podcast.

Cook's first professional contract actually came with the Cavs. After he went undrafted out of Duke in 2015, Cleveland signed him to a contract in September of that year. A month later, they waived him.

Why does Rivers hate Cleveland?

"It's just always freezing there," Rivers said. "And if you're there a day in between, which teams don't even do anymore, like you guys are staying here [in Houston] right now so you guys don't have to go to OKC for two days. There's nothing to do. What do you do?"

[RELATED: Rivers on how Curry transformed NBA]

Cook may not like the city of Cleveland, but his greatest professional accomplishment occurred there last June when he won an NBA championship with the Warriors.

You can hear the rest of Rivers, Cook and Burke's conversation on Road Trippin' in the player below, and subscribe here.