Warriors

Steve Kerr: I'm going to put Steph Curry in a better position to get going

Steve Kerr: I'm going to put Steph Curry in a better position to get going

Steph Curry strugged on Sunday against the Cavs.

The reigning back-to-back MVP scored 15 points on 4-for-11 shooting. He recorded three rebounds, three assists, three steals and three turnovers.

Is Curry overthinking things?

"I think it's a combination of the entire process," Steve Kerr told reporters on Tuesday. "We're 32 games into this. He made a clear effort in training camp to defer to Kevin (Durant). He wanted to get Kevin comfortable. We're still learning as a coaching staff where to put pieces. What works, what doesn't. We've thrown out three or four things that we thought might work that haven't worked.

"I think Steph has probably had the biggest adjustment of all of our players with Kevin's arrival. I think if you look at it from a practical standpoint, he's doing great. His numbers are still fantastic ... but he also happens to be coming off the greatest shooting season in the history of mankind last year. So he has set the bar so high for himself that it's going to be a point of discussion.

"I think we can help him -- I can certainly put him in a better position to get going, which I will. We're still learning, we're still growing. I'm not the slightest bit concerned ... it's just part of our progression as a team."

Last season, Curry shot 45.4 percent from deep -- 43 percent on pull-ups (off the dribble) and 48.4 percent on catch and shoot triples. He made an NBA single-season record 402 3-pointers.

Curry averaged 30.1 points and 6.7 assists on 20.2 shots (11.2 3s) per game.

This year, Curry is shooting 39.9 percent from beyond the arc -- 29.3 percent on pull-ups and the same 48.4 percent clip on catch and shoot. He is on pace to make just under 312 3-pointers.

He is averaging 24.1 points and 5.8 assists on 16.8 shots (9.4 3s) per contest.

On Tuesday night, CSN Bay Area's Dave Feldman asked Curry about adjusting to playing with Durant.

"It's just different," Curry started. "You have to be purposeful about how we're playing and the things that we need to do game in and game out to be our best. And we're still learning those lessons -- myself individually, KD, all the other guys as well.

"Not worried about it all because we have such smart, high IQ guys, unselfish guys on our team that the best way for us to win will show itself and we'll make it happen."

Last season, Curry shot 46.2 percent from distance on the road and 44.5 percent at home.

This season, he is at 33.3 percent on the road and over 48 percent at Oracle Arena.

Warriors pull off sweep, overwhelm Trail Blazers with experience

Warriors pull off sweep, overwhelm Trail Blazers with experience

PORTLAND -- A sea of red. A crowd worthy of a win. A team that hasn’t been there before.

Winning in the NBA is a process and the Portland Trail Blazers learned that the hard way in their four-game sweep at the hands of the Golden State Warriors.

It’s not often that teams skip steps. The Denver Nuggets went from a team on the outside looking in last season to a double-overtime loss in Game 7 away from an appearance in the Western Conference finals.

The Trail Blazers made a larger leap.  

After being swept in the first round last year, Portland became the best story of the 2018-19 postseason. Their epic win over the Denver Nuggets proved that they were ready to compete with other up and comers.

With Monday’s Game 4 loss to the Warriors, the gap in experience was obvious and too much overcome.

“We couldn’t get over the hump,” Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said following the game. “I think it was more of a demonstration of how good they are and how good they have been over the years and they find ways to win.”

Down Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Iguodala, the Warriors never seemed to miss a beat. They’re headed to a fifth straight NBA Finals and their experience level is far beyond any other team at this point.

“Our experience has really been a big factor in our success, not only this playoff run, but the last couple,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said earlier in the evening.

Despite leading by as many as 17 in the third quarter, the Trail Blazers allowed the Warriors to close within eight to end the frame and you could feel the momentum shift.

This was a theme of the series. Portland led in Game 2 by 17 and lost. They led by 18 points in the first half on their home floor in Game 3 and fell by a final of 110-99.

[RELATED: Dubs erase deficit vs. Blazers once again, make history]

“There is a different intensity in the playoffs, just naturally because it’s win or go home,” Stephen Curry said. “We know how to find that next gear and it comes with the experiences that we’ve been through."

While the two teams split the regular-season series two games apiece, there is something different about the Warriors and postseason basketball.

“It’s so hard over 82 games to elevate to that level on a nightly basis, but when it matters most, we have nights like tonight where we just find a way and take a team’s best shot and run away,” Curry said.

The Warriors won 73 regular-season games in 2015-16, but lost a heartbreaking seven-game series to the Cavaliers in the Finals that season. That defeat seemed to sharpen their focus on postseason play, which is one of the reasons why they’ve rattled off consecutive NBA championships since.

Portland hasn't been this far in the playoffs since the 1999-00 season, long before Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum were hoisting triples at Moda Center.

Outside of reserve Rodney Hood, the Blazers don’t have a single player on their roster that has ever been to a conference finals and their leader in postseason appearances is Evan Turner, who has played in his 63 games over his nine-year career.

By comparison, Andre Iguodala has logged 139 postseason contests and Kevin Durant is just a game behind with 138. Curry, Klay Thompson, Shaun Livingston and Draymond Green have all played over a 100 postseason games as well, many of which have come together as the core of the Warriors dynasty.

“It seems like these days, we’re always going to be more confident because we’ve been doing this for a long time and we’ve seen pretty much every situation and had to respond to it,” Kerr added.

Portland may have jumped a step or two in its progress. They will be better for the experience. They’ve learned what a championship team looks like when the chips are down.

“It’s the furthest we have played in the postseason, and that’s a bit deeper water than what we’ve seen,” Damian Lillard said. “It’s a bit more physical and mentally trying; the level of play is higher. There’s more on the line.”

The Blazers were able to take leads, but holding on to them against one of the great offensive clubs in history was too tall of a task.

There is no shame in losing a series to the Warriors. It was clear from the opening game that one team was celebrating the accomplishment of making it to the Western Conference finals, while the other had a much larger focus in mind.

The Blazers can walk away with their heads held high and with a new appreciation for what it takes to get to the next level.

Warriors erase another big deficit vs. Blazers, make NBA playoff history

Warriors erase another big deficit vs. Blazers, make NBA playoff history

The Warriors did it again Monday night. 

Yes, they clinched their fifth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals with an overtime win in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. But their victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center made history in another sense, 

With Monday's win, Golden State became the first team to overcome three consecutive 15-point deficits in the NBA playoffs in two decades. 

Golden State trailed by 17 points with 1:55 remaining in the third quarter, and a Steph Curry 3-pointer cut it 14 just 13 seconds later. 

[RELATED: Warriors will have plenty of time to rest before Finals start]

"We know we can cover 17 points in a matter of three, four minutes," Draymond Green told reporters in Portland on Monday. "So we always try to keep that mindset that we're never out of the game, and we just need to make solid plays. It definitely helps to have No. 30, who -- you know, they go up 17 and he hits a three. It just kind of puts them back on their heels, and it shifts the momentum for us. We just really understand what we're capable of on both sides of the basketball. We're never out of the fight, and that's just always our mindset."

It took the Warriors a little longer than three or four minutes, as they didn't tie the game until there was 4:34 remaining in the fourth quarter. But at least in part because of that mindset, the Warriors are once again headed to the Finals.