Stephen Curry's wizardry gives him another NBA record, Warriors another win

Stephen Curry's wizardry gives him another NBA record, Warriors another win

OAKLAND -- One after another, players and coaches proceeded to the podium, being asked about Stephen Curry’s latest magic trick and basically shrugging it off as routine, like water from a faucet.

Just Steph being Steph.

“I expect it at this point,” Kevin Durant said of his Warriors teammate.

“Sounds like the regular Steph Curry that I watch on TV,” said Clippers guard Lou Williams, who knows his way around shooting exhibitions.

“You know, I was telling my coaching staff, I still think Steph Curry is one of the most underrated players in the NBA,” Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers said. “I don't even know how that happens, but he is. He's taken for granted.”

The praise poured upon Curry after he scored 38 points on 16 field-goal attempts in 37 minutes, lifting the Warriors to a 121-104 playoff-opening romp over the Clippers on Saturday night at Oracle Arena, was richly deserved yet somehow faint.

He also snagged 15 rebounds, a fantastic total for anyone but patently absurd for a 6-foot-3, 190-pound point guard.

There are nights when words barely do justice to Curry’s work, and this was one of them.

Curry not only led his team to a Game 1 victory in the best-of-seven series, but he also pushed another Hall of Famer out of the record book. He moved past Ray Allen and into first place on the all-time list of postseason 3-pointers with 386.

“The way I play, the shots I take, I obviously have confidence every time I rise up,” Curry said. “But to be in the same category and to pass a guy like Ray Allen and all the iconic moments he’s had in playoff games and Finals games ... it’s pretty surreal.”

The way Curry is shooting, he could get to 400 in this series and add another 50 or so if the postseason extends into June.

“He’s attained a lot of 3-point records pretty quickly,” Draymond Green pointed out. “What is he now, third all time? Guys have played a lot of games, and here he is third all time in the middle of his prime.

“No, I’m never surprised when it comes to anything with Steph shooting the basketball. I don’t think there’s much argument when anyone says he’s the greatest shooter of all time.”

Curry was 8 of 12 from deep, and he has 2,483 regular-season 3-pointers, behind only Reggie Miller (2,560) and Allen (2,973) on the career list. Allen played until he was 38, Miller until he was 39. Curry is 31 and in the second year of a five-year contract not expected to be his last.

“I get asked that a lot: ‘Is this the best he’s playing,’ ” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “It seems like every year, that’s the question: 'Is this the best he’s playing? Is this the best he’s playing?’

“He’s been playing his best for about five years, as far as I can see.”

Rivers, keenly aware of Curry’s shooting, tried a different defensive approach on him. Rather than assign point guard Patrick Beverley, who has an adversarial history with Curry, Rivers sent Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a 6-6 wing. Beverley, at 6-1, was assigned to 6-9 Kevin Durant.

“We put a smaller guy on him just to take away the dribble attacks, because Durant is so good off the dribble,” Rivers said of his strategy on Durant, who scored 23 points. “I thought we were effective there.

“The problem is now you don’t have Pat guarding Curry. And so one thing I’ve learned as that (the Warriors) are really good and, you know, you can’t put Pat on everybody. But Curry has destroyed us all year. He really has. We have to try to do a better job from a coaching perspective. We have to do something different for sure.”

[RELATED: Ref Steph sarcastically called 'MVP' won't work NBA playoffs]

Well, yes, Rivers and his staff will go back to their white board and seek another way to defend Curry because this one was a spectacular failure -- as are the vast majority of schemes.

“I expect him to come in and shoot well every night because he puts the work in,” Durant said. “I expect him to come out here with MVP-like focus because he is an MVP.

“It was just another night at the office for him.”

Ex-Warrior Stephen Jackson asks that Americans get real about racism

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Ex-Warrior Stephen Jackson asks that Americans get real about racism

Anyone paying a moment of attention to the latest symptom of our national crisis had to see this coming. Stephen Jackson, emotionally wounded and visibly unnerved all week, is asking for help from a group whose support is essential.

Standing before a crowd in Minneapolis on Friday, where his friend, George Floyd, died under the knee of a police officer, the former Warriors forward sent a message that needs to be heard:

“To my white brothers, I love you. Every race here, I love you. But it comes to a point now, where if you love me and you not standing on the side of me, then your love don’t mean s--t.”

Jackson was appealing to folks of all colors to stand up or sit out. Join the struggle for progress or concede you accept America as it is, in which case your love or friendship is hollow.

Wearing a black hoodie etched with white letters “RIP GEORGE FLOYD 3rd Ward, TX,” Jackson – joined by the likes of Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns and entertainer Jamie Foxx – urged folks of all races and ethnicities to ensure Floyd does not die in vain.

And that any trial should not focus on Floyd’s character – he allegedly was passing a possible $20 bill – but on those responsible for his death.

"I'm here because they're not gonna demean the character of George Floyd, my twin," Jackson told those at the rally. "A lot of times, when police do things (that) they know that's wrong, the first thing they try to do is cover it up and bring up their background -- to make it seem like the bulls--t that they did was worth it. When was murder ever worthy?

“But if it's a black man, it's approved.”

"You can't tell me,” Jackson continued, “when that man has his knee on my brother's neck -- taking his life away, with his hand in his pocket -- that that smirk on his face didn't say, ‘I'm protected.’”

Jackson, and many others with a platform, is urging sisters and brothers of another color to pick a side. Are you willing to accept such tragedies as that which resulted in the death of Floyd and so many, many, many others throughout American history? Or are you ready to stand up and join the fight against a system that routinely enables malicious actions that tear at the hearts of communities?

Floyd’s death is the third high-profile incident this year involving an African-American fatality at the guns of law enforcement or vigilantes. These actions ignited the flame that resulted in rebellious acts all over the country. Oakland. Los Angeles. Denver. New York. Chicago. Obviously, Minneapolis and its twin-city neighbor St. Paul.

It’s also raging in Louisville, which already was seething in the wake of the shooting of Breonna Taylor, who was home in bed.

In the so-called enlightened age, it’s reasonable to wonder how much of this can be tolerated.

“If they’re not giving us no answers, we gotta come up with our own answers,” Jackson said. “And we willing to do that. Understand that. We’re willing to do that. We gonna use our platform. I’m going to use everything I have to get a conviction, to get all these MFs in jail – excuse my French, I’m angry – but I’m a proud back man.”

From slavery to lynching to Jim Crow to today, with violent crimes recorded on cell phones, there is a preponderance of evidence of racism in the United States. America’s racist history, and its racist present, is by far the biggest barrier to be cleared before we can reach our national potential.

[RELATED: Curry, Kerr among sports figures outraged by Floyd's death]

Effecting real change can’t happen if the majority is silent. Non-racists merely perpetuate the status quo, which has existed for 400 years.

No, any real progress toward this country living up to its ideal, its written promise, requires cooperation across all lines. Racial. Gender. Sexuality. Ethnicity. Age. Economic. Political.

Whether it’s an impossible bridge to build is to be determined. But millions, over four centuries, have tried, some giving their lives. All have failed.

And we will continue to fail until enough people with a conscience can summon the courage to join hands and fight the only war that can improve our nation. Jackson is ready.

"I'm hurt. I'm angry,” he said. “But I ain't scared.”

Steve Kerr, Warriors make fun of Draymond Green same way once per year

Steve Kerr, Warriors make fun of Draymond Green same way once per year

In April 2011, when he was a junior at Michigan State, Draymond Green put on a helmet and pads, and participated in the Spartans' spring football game.

Of all the players Steve Kerr has coached with the Warriors, is the 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year the one guy he believes could play in the NFL?

"I would say Draymond Green -- he's got the body type, he's got the competitiveness, he's got the fight -- [but] the problem is, every year, we show one clip of Draymond playing in the spring game at Michigan State," Kerr explained to Chris Long on the "Green Light" podcast. "He jumps offsides as a tight end, and then he drops a pass.

"We show that in our film session once a year just to make fun of him. So, I don't think I can say Draymond."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

If you have never seen the video, here you are ...

“It’s never as easy as it looks,” Draymond told Hugh Bernreuter of mlive.com in June 2011. "I thought I knew what I was doing, until I got jammed at the line of scrimmage. It’s not easy. It’s like basketball. It looks easy, but it’s not.

“I like my future in basketball a little better.”

[RELATED: Steph, Klay's QB skills blew Kerr's mind: 'Absolute cannons']

Yes, the three-time NBA champion made the right decision to pursue a professional hoops career. No doubt about it.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]