Warriors

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in dominant 132-100 win vs. Pacers

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in dominant 132-100 win vs. Pacers

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The way the Warriors are rolling, even the respectable Indiana Pacers didn’t have much of a chance.

After concluding their longest road trip of the season with an emphatic 132-100 rout of the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Warriors will return to the Bay Area Tuesday early morning with an 11-game win streak.

The Warriors took control early, building a double-digit lead that never was seriously threatened thanks to a 24-3 run in the first quarter.

Here are three takeaways from a game in which the Warriors never trailed:

Curry’s insane efficiency

Aside from nearly injuring himself while celebrating a Klay Thompson dunk, Stephen Curry did just about everything perfectly.

He made his first six 3-pointers before ultimately finishing 6-of-8 from beyond the arc. He shot 10-of-13 from the field, scoring a game-high 26 points. He grabbed six rebounds, passed for three assists and nabbed two steals. He was plus-10 over 27 minutes.

Curry’s third 3-pointer gave him 200 this season, extending to seven his streak of seasons with at least 200 3-pointers – making him the first NBA player to accomplish the feat.

Yet, it was his reaction to an impressive dunk by Thompson early in the second quarter that put a scare into the Warriors. Curry leaped off the bench and dropped his warmup jacket, only to get his feet tangled in the jacket.

He survived intact.

Boogie’s Night

It’s a frightening sight whenever a player returns from serious injury, and hits the floor hard for the first time. Cousins, who returned 10 days ago, took his first scary spill with 7:35 left in the first quarter.

Clobbered by Pacers power forward Thaddeus Young while trying to finish a breakaway at the rim, Cousins landed awkwardly on his left foot – just below his surgically repaired Achilles – grimaced and writhed on the floor for a few moments before rising and limping.

He also survived intact.

Young was assessed with a Flagrant 1, and Cousins went to the line and made both free throws. His minutes were unaffected, as was his game. Cousins totaled a season-high 22 points (7-of-12 from the field), six rebounds and four assists. He was plus-7 over 25 minutes.

There may be residual effect Tuesday, but Cousins showed no ill effects.

The return of Jordan Bell

With Draymond Green sitting out with general soreness, coach Steve Kerr had a decision to make. Who should start in pace of Green? Kerr went with Jordan Bell, who has spent much of the season out of the rotation.

Bell responded with eight points, five rebounds, one block and one steal. He was plus-9 over 19 minutes.

Insofar as Bell had not played since Jan. 21 against the Lakers in Los Angeles, where he had a very visible heated exchange with Kerr, giving Bell the start was a surprise.

Kerr could have inserted Andre Iguodala, a good defensive matchup with Indy forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who specializes in perimeter shooting. Going with Bell kept Kevin Durant at small forward, on Bogdanovic, while Bell matched up with Young.

There could be a number of reasons for starting Bell. He may have earned it with his work habits and preparation. He may have been on display for a possible trade. Maybe Kerr liked the matchup.

In any case, Bell acquitted himself well.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr wishes 49ers well in Super Bowl 54 vs. Chiefs

Warriors coach Steve Kerr wishes 49ers well in Super Bowl 54 vs. Chiefs

Draymond Green might not be rooting for the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, but one other prominent member of the Warriors’ organization will be.

Coach Steve Kerr delivered a message via social media on Friday, wishing the Niners well as they prepare to take on the Kansas City Chiefs at Hard Rock Stadium on Feb. 2.

"I just wanna say good luck to the 49ers," Kerr said. "Everybody's pulling for you guys, let's go."

[RELATED: How Dubs benefit from Cauley-Stein trade to Mavericks]

Draymond said after shootaround on Friday that he’ll be rooting for the Chiefs, whose roster features his close friend, defensive end Frank Clark.

Both Kerr and Green happen to know a thing or two about winning championships, but only one of them will be happy with the result from Miami.

How Warriors gain flexibility in Willie Cauley-Stein trade to Mavs

How Warriors gain flexibility in Willie Cauley-Stein trade to Mavs

SAN FRANCISCO -- Willie Cauley-Stein walked out of shootaround, down a long corridor that leads to the Warriors' locker room in Chase Center late Friday morning in preparation for a game scheduled hours later against the Indiana Pacers. The trek marked the big man's last as a member of Golden State.

By Saturday morning, Cauley-Stein officially was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for the Utah Jazz's second-round draft pick in 2020, ending his short tenure in the Bay Area. Along the way, the Warriors set themselves up for future flexibility. 

In the immediate aftermath, the Warriors shed Cauley-Stein's current $2.17 million salary and his $2.8 million player option for the 2020-21 season, while freeing up an open roster spot for this season and beyond. From a financial perspective, it sank Golden State $2.57 million below the hard cap, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks. Additionally, the Warriors have enough salary space to convert the two-way deals of either Ky Bowman or Marquese Chriss. 

Six months ago, Cauley-Stein came to Warriors in search of career revitalization. After four years in Sacramento, he demanded that the Kings rescind his qualifying offer to make him a free agent last summer. After garnering more lucrative offers from other teams, he chose to sign a one-year contract with Golden State, which included the player option. With a new contract, the center hoped to keep the Warriors' postseason streak alive while earning a payday next summer. 

However, those wishes didn't come to fruition. A week before training camp, Cauley-Stein sprained his foot, causing the center to miss the first month of the season. His injury, coupled with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney missing significant time, led to a lost season for the big man.

Nonetheless, Cauley-Stein expressed a desire to stay with the Warriors long term, citing his relationship with coach Steve Kerr. 

"He wants to build a relationship with you," Cauley-Stein told NBC Sports Bay Area last month. "I think, in the past I hadn't had a relationship with my coach. [Former Kings coach Dave] Joerger, me and him had a pretty good rapport, pretty good, like cordial, but we never had like in-depth conversations about life and stuff like that, and the first couple of conversations I had with coach Kerr was real-life stuff and that hit home with me like, 'Damn, he really tried to get to know me.' "

[RELATED: Draymond not rooting for 49ers]

Unfortunately for Cauley-Stein, he won't get to continue that relationship with Kerr.

Now, with Dallas in need of a center with the loss of Dwight Powell, his hope to find a similar relationship with Rick Carlisle will immediately start in a Mavericks uniform.