Warriors' rookie McCaw leaves Pelicans game with ankle sprain

Warriors' rookie McCaw leaves Pelicans game with ankle sprain

NEW ORLEANS – Warriors guard Pat McCaw sustained a sprained left ankle in the second quarter Friday night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

He did not return.

McCaw, who played three minutes in the first quarter, reentered with 3:30 left in the second, replacing Stephen Curry, who had been whistled for his third foul.

Inside the final minute of the half, McCaw appeared to come down and roll his ankle. Though he did not immediately leave the game, he was limping noticeably and was assisted into the locker room at halftime.

The rookie from UNLV had 3 points and one assist in 10 minutes before leaving. 

Draymond Green's rage by design fires up Warriors in wild win over Jazz

Draymond Green's rage by design fires up Warriors in wild win over Jazz

DENVER -- Draymond Green was raging. Jawing with the officials, yelling into thin mountain air, responding to opposition physicality with a little extra gusto, picking up five personal fouls and a technical foul along the way.

If this seems a bit extreme -- oh, it surely was -- it’s also by design.

Green picks his spots to crank up his personal volume and Friday night, inside the palpable drama of Vivint Smart Home Arena, was one of those instances when the Warriors needed a jolt. Nobody jolts better than Draymond.

“We were dead, man,” Green said after a pulsating 124-123 win over the Utah Jazz. “Sometimes, you’ve just got to do something to get everybody else going. I kind of felt that, and that’s on me. I’ve got to feel that, and when I feel it I’ve got to act on it and do whatever it takes to get the guys going.”

So Green, at a generously listed 6-foot-7 exchanged shoves with Rudy Gobert, Utah’s 7-1 center, sent a get-off-me forearm to hyper-aggressive Jazz forward Jae Crowder and yapped at officials from the first quarter to the fourth.

Green wasn’t so effective early. The Warriors fell behind midway through the second quarter, trailed throughout third and were down 95-82 with 5:46 left in the third when Green picked up his third foul for getting too physical with Crowder.

The sellout crowd had its villain and Green was booed lustily as he strolled to the bench, summoned by coach Steve Kerr. Green needed a cooling-off period.

Green’s teammates picked up their intensity almost immediately, outscoring the Jazz 10-3 over the next 2:34. The Warriors outscored Utah 27-20 in the fourth, winning on a Jonas Jerebko tip-in with .3 seconds remaining.

Green before cooling off: 7 points (3-of-8 from the field, 0-of-2 from deep), six rebounds, five assists and three turnovers. He was minus-8 over his first 24 minutes.

Green after returning to play the final 9:37: 7 points (3-of-4, 1-of-1 from beyond the arc), three rebounds, one assist and one block. He was plus-11.

His tactical plan, inconvenient at times, was in the end successful.

“He’s able to control it to the point where it’ll turn for him as we get deeper into the season,” Stephen Curry said. “So we’re not worried about that at all. Nothing was going his way early. He gets into a couple altercations, or whatever it is, it gets him going, gets his confidence going and he steps up and knocks down a big 3 in the fourth quarter and talks trash the whole way down the court.

“We love that, because we feed off that energy. His body language was amazing tonight, despite what was happening in the first half. And he made countless plays to help us win.”

This is why Kerr, who slapped five with Green when he came off the floor in the third quarter, tolerates his fiery power forward. There is a sincere player-coach appreciation that may be strained but never quite snaps.

“I just sensed that after the first game, where we really didn’t compete, where we were out of sorts, I sensed that the guys knew it and felt and wanted to get back to being us,” Kerr said. “We had a great practice (Thursday) and you could feel, even when were down, that the guys were connected and competing and still playing hard. We just had to get smarter.”

The Warriors needed Green to win this game and not until they responded did they find the will needed to pull themselves from a 16-point hole.

“He missed a lot of training camp, so he’s trying to get himself going,” Curry said. “But he’s a smart guy. He understands, in the moment, how to balance the fire, the (testiness), that edge that he needs and not distract us from what we do and how we’re going to play.”

Green got under the skin of the Jazz, got on the nerves of their fans. He also got into the souls of his teammates, not for the first time and hardly the last.

Jonas Jerebko caps off impactful night vs. Jazz with memorable game-winner

Jonas Jerebko caps off impactful night vs. Jazz with memorable game-winner

SALT LAKE CITY -- Jonas Jerebko was feeling his way through his new team, showing up early, staying late and always projecting professionalism. Until Friday evening, he didn’t have much to show for his commitment.

His coming out could not have been timed any better for the Warriors, or for Jerebko. Facing the Jazz, for whom he played last season, in an arena he knows well, he made the play that saved what had been a long, treacherous night.

Jerebko’s tip-in of a Kevin Durant miss with 0.3 seconds remaining lifted the Warriors to a 124-123 victory, delighting his teammates and breaking hearts all over what had been a roaring throng at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

“It felt great,” Jerebko said. "Being back here, I had a great time here. To come back, I said I wanted a win, so it felt great.”

It looked even better. After Jerebko’s tip dropped in, he was mobbed by so many Warriors the bench was practically vacant. Because the clock showed zeroes, officials were busy determining how much time might be left. The Warriors in their celebration were almost oblivious to that.

Utah’s last shot, a prayer by Donovan Mitchell, hit the side of the backboard and the Warriors ran into the locker with the joy that comes with a stirring comeback.

“It was an amazing moment,” Stephen Curry said. Curry scored 22 of his 31 points in the second half, when the Warriors wiped out a 16-point deficit.

“I didn’t see how he got to that position, to get the offensive rebound. It was a timely tip-in. Once I saw him go crazy, I knew time was almost out. It’s a great moment. He’s new to the team and made a big play, especially being back here in Utah.

“I know it’s early in the season, but these type of games are exciting and fun. We’re thankful to get the win, so we’ve got to celebrate accordingly.”

Jerebko’s game-winner capped off a night when he made a considerable impact. Coming off a scoreless six-minute stint in the season opener, Jerebko came off the bench with 5:03 left in the first quarter and took exactly 30 seconds to do what the Warriors wanted when they signed him as a free agent in July.

He drained a 3-pointer. He buried another triple with 2:45 left in the quarter on his way to 10 points and six rebounds over 24 minutes. Jerebko was 4-of-5 from the field, including 2-of-3 from deep.

“It’s always nice to see the first one go in,” Jerebko said. “But I feel real comfortable shooting the ball. I’ve got great players around me, so if I’m open I’m going to shoot it.”

The Warriors were trailing most of the second quarter, all of the third and for the first five minutes of the fourth. Kevin Durant, who scored 24 points in a lackluster first half for the Warriors,

Golden State needed everything it got from Jerebko, along with 38 points -- 24 in a marvelous first half -- from Durant and Curry’s scoring output. Draymond Green rallied from a fitful first 39 minutes to play a strong final nine, finishing with 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

But this night belonged to Jerebko, who as a free agent signed a one-year deal in July. Everyone in the locker room was smiling, but no one’s grin was bigger than his.

“He’s one of us,” Kerr said. “Anytime you’re a new guy with a team, you’re trying to make your mark. You do it in practice by going hard. You do it with your work ethic.

“But as soon as you hit a game-winner, that pretty much solidifies it.”

The Warriors need Jerebko to provide scoring off the bench. He did on Friday.

And he did it with style.