Warriors

Spurs hold off Hawks, pull even with Warriors for top spot in West

Spurs hold off Hawks, pull even with Warriors for top spot in West

BOX SCORE

SAN ANTONIO — Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points in his return from a concussion and the San Antonio Spurs tied Golden State for the NBA's best record with a 107-99 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night.

San Antonio made a season-high 16 3-pointers in its 19th straight home victory over Atlanta. The Spurs and Warriors are 52-14 with 16 games remaining, including the final regular-season matchup between them on March 29.

Atlanta point guard Dennis Schroder had 22 points and 10 assists, shooting 10 for 22 from the field. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 17 points, but the Hawks had their three-game winning streak snapped.

San Antonio's Patty Mills had 15 points and Danny Green added 14. The starting guards combined to shoot 7 for 12 on 3-pointers and the team finished 16 for 34 on 3s.

David Lee had 14 points in place of LaMarcus Aldridge, who missed his second straight game with a minor heart arrhythmia. Aldridge's status remains unknown.

The Spurs were also without injured point guards Tony Parker and Dejounte Murray, but Leonard returned from a one-game absence after suffering a concussion in the second half against Oklahoma City last Thursday.

Leonard made five straight shots, including a step-back, fadeway jumper at the close of the first quarter, after missing his first two attempts. The buzzer-beating shot gave San Antonio its first double-digit lead at 28-18.

The lead swelled to 15 but the Hawks were able to rally behind a season-high 23 turnovers by the Spurs.

Atlanta outscored San Antonio 14-8 in the opening five minutes of the fourth quarter, pulling to 89-87 on Hardaway's baseline drive and dunk.

TIP-INS:
Hawks: Atlanta has not won in San Antonio since Feb. 15, 1997. ... Mike Dunleavy missed his eighth straight game with an inflamed right ankle. Dunleavy has played in 19 games for Atlanta since being acquired in a trade with Cleveland. . The Hawks are 22-14 since Dec. 28. . The Hawks have 15 games remaining, including seven at home, as they battle for one of the East's top four seeds. . Atlanta is 33-9 when scoring 100-plus. . Atlanta, which is averaging 23.6 assists per game, had 27.

Spurs: San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said Aldridge underwent further tests Monday outside of San Antonio but his status remains unknown. "No, we're just going to wait until he comes back and assess him," Popovich said. "I think he'll be back either tomorrow morning or tonight, I don't know which." . Leonard has scored at least 19 points in his last 28 games, including 20-plus in 24 of those outings. . Parker missed his third straight game with back stiffness. The 34-year-old has missed 13 games this season due to injury and sat out two others for rest. . Murray missed his second straight game with a left groin injury. . C Pau Gasol played in his 1,104th career game, moving past former Spurs and Mavericks star Michael Finley for 64th in league history.

UP NEXT:
Hawks: Host Memphis on Thursday night.

Spurs: Host Portland on Wednesday night.

 

Kevin Durant shares advice he received to get past Draymond Green incident

Kevin Durant shares advice he received to get past Draymond Green incident

Almost exactly a month ago, it looked like the Warriors' dynasty was going to come crashing down.

Kevin Durant and Draymond Green had just gotten into the Shouting Match Heard 'Round The World in Los Angeles. In the aftermath, the Warriors lost four in a row. Durant looked like he was in a fog for a few games.

But now, it almost seems as if that incident never happened. Steph Curry is healthy and lighting the world on fire, Green is back in the lineup, and the Warriors have won four in a row.

So how did Durant get through all the drama? Lots of advice from the his friends and family.

“Go to work. Go to work the same way,” was the message he received, Durant told The Athletic's Shams Charania.

The common theme of the advice was to stay centered. Don't swing one way or the other on the emotional spectrum.

“People I lean on told me to stay centerfield with my thoughts and my feelings. I received so many people reaching out," Durant said. "My former coaches saying to stay centered, stay measured, stay pushing forward and keeping my foot on the gas. At that time, we were losing games, and people were banged up, so it’s easy to go the other way when you’re searching for answers. It was about staying positive and going to work."

Then Durant got a little deep with his thoughts.

“As players, we’re artists. How we express ourselves is on the basketball court," Durant told Charania. "When you’ve played ball so long for so much, it’s about continuing to find ways to express myself verbally instead of always using the basketball court. Every ballplayer speaks and tells you what they’ve been through through how they play on the basketball court. That’s the beauty of the game, what I’m in love with. I like basketball 100 percent. The other s*** is aight.”

For now, it appears Durant, Green and the Warriors have weathered the storm. Dub Nation can thank the people that got in KD's ear.

Warriors' Draymond Green was 'a kid in a candy store' in first game back

Warriors' Draymond Green was 'a kid in a candy store' in first game back

Draymond Green returned from an 11-game absence in the Warriors' 116-108 home victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night. According to Golden State's power forward, he could barely contain his excitement.

"I felt like a kid in a candy store the last few days," Green said after the game, "just getting to play again."

Green's prolonged absence was due to a sprained right big toe, a pesky injury for someone who often finds himself battling bigger bodies in the paint. In his first chance to test out that toe in live game action, Green came away no worse for the wear.

"It felt good, really had no issues at all," Green said of his toe. "And afterwards I still feel the same, which is always important."

Based on his stat line in the victory, it appears Green didn't miss a beat. He accounted for seven points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and a block in the win, while reassuming his position as quarterback of the defense. He did have a favorite play in his first game back, but it happened to be on offense.

With the game clock winding down at the end of the first half, Warriors guard Stephen Curry saw Green wide open next to the Timberwolves' basket. He lobbed Green an alley-oop, but rather than finish the play himself, Green made an acrobatic pass to Klay Thompson on the wing, who promptly drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

When asked to explain why he made the pass, Green provided a very honest answer.

"Realistically, I was gassed," Green described during his postgame press conference. "I had no energy to go for the layup and I saw Klay open.

"Steph threw me a lob. There was no way I was catching a lob."

Green is known for his passion on the floor, and his time away from the game and his teammates was admittedly tough on him.

"I was just excited to be back out there," Green told NBC Sports Bay Area's Kerith Burke immediately following the victory. "You know, I always want to bring what I bring to this team. That's communication, that's defense, try to push the tempo a little bit and I think, you know, as I get my feet back under me, get my legs back under me, I'll continue to get better at it."

Green certainly didn't look too rusty in his first game back, and if he continues to get better, well, that's bad news for the rest of the league.

As Green departed his postgame interview with Burke, she asked him what he feels building within the team given that the Warriors are getting healthier and currently riding a four-game winning streak.

"A run," Green said with a smirk.

With Green back in tow, what's to stop them?