Warriors

Warriors Under Review: Season-long trend continues in loss to Celtics

Warriors Under Review: Season-long trend continues in loss to Celtics

The Warriors-Celtics matchup was seen as a Finals preview when the NBA schedule was released last summer. But, after a decisive 128-95 win by Boston Tuesday night, it looks like the Celtics are the team with eyes on June. 

The Celtics pounced on the champs early, jumping to an 11-0 lead in the opening minutes. 

The loss marks the Warriors fifth in their last eight contests, leaving the champs in familiar territory as they begin their stretch run. 

Here are the positives and negatives from the game: 

NEGATIVE

Slow start

That looked familiar. 

As mentioned above, the Warriors again found themselves not mentally prepared for the moment. Following a 12-1 Golden State run to cut the Celtic lead to 13-12, Boston's advantage quickly grew to more than 20. 

Tuesday marked the fourth straight game the Warriors have been down five or more points in the first quarter, continuing a trend that's been around all season. 

The Warriors have more than enough talent to win each game they play in. Their problems lie within their ability to get up for games and show up with the appropriate amount of respect for their opponent.

NEGATIVE 

Defense

There wasn't much of it. 

The Celtics got every shot they wanted, highlighted by a 41-24 second-quarter run that blew the game open. Boston shot 51 percent from the field and 41.2 percent from 3-point range. 

Boston forward Gordon Hayward, who has been struggling most of the season, scored a season-high 30 points in 28 minutes off the bench. What's more disheartening is the Celtics came into Oracle Arena in a slump, having lost five of their last six games. This was a game for the Warriors to make a statement and they chose not to. 

NEGATIVE 

Kevin Durant's shot

He couldn't find it. 

On a night the Warriors couldn't find much offense, Durant struggled, scoring 18 points on 5-of-16 from the field. 

Durant has been struggling from the field (by his standards) as of late. Over his last four games, he's shooting just 42 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from 3-point range. 

Durant is a transcendent scorer who can heat up at any moment so there shouldn't be much worry going forward. 

[RELATED: Durant, Kerr searching for answers]

POSITIVE

Stephen Curry can shoot!

Could there more of that on the way?

After struggling from the field during Golden State's most recent four-game road trip, Curry found his shot, scoring 23 points on 8-of-16 from the field, including four 3-pointers. 

Curry led the run to briefly get the Warriors back into the game in the first quarter before the wheels fell off. In a blowout loss with not much good to be found, a good shooting performance from Curry could be a welcome sign for the Warriors going forward.

Witness says Raptors GM Masai Ujiri didn't strike sheriff's deputy

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USATSI

Witness says Raptors GM Masai Ujiri didn't strike sheriff's deputy

A Warriors season-ticket holder claimed to see Thursday night's encounter between Masai Ujiri and a sheriff's deputy, and said the Raptors president of basketball of operations did not strike the deputy as the sheriff's office claimed. 

Greg Wiener, 61, told the Associated Press on Friday said he stood next to the deputy during the waning moments of the Raptors' 114-110 win over the Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday at Oracle Arena. Wiener told the AP that the deputy first "put his hand on Ujiri's chest and pushed him," and that "Ujiri shoved him back before bystanders intervened." 

“The thing about the cops saying the policeman asked for his credentials, that didn’t happen," Wiener told the AP on Friday. "There was no conversation at all. This part about striking him in the face, yeah that didn’t happen.”

The Alameda County Sheriff's Office told NBC Bay Area on Thursday that it was conducting an investigation along with the Oakland Police Department into an incident in which "a man believed to be a Toronto Raptors executive" pushed and struck a sheriff's deputy in the face on the Oracle Arena court. Sgt. Ray Kelly later identified the executive as Ujiri to NBC Sports Washington on Friday morning, telling the outlet that a deputy blocked Ujiri from reaching the court because he didn't display the proper credentials.

NBC Bay Area obtained video showing a man standing in between Ujiri and the deputies with his arms outstretched. Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry guided Ujiri through the crowd and on to the court to celebrate with the team. 

Kelly said the deputies let Ujiri go once they realized who he was, but they are gathering evidence to submit to the district attorney. Deputies called the incident misdemeanor battery on an officer, according to NBC Bay Area. Ujiri has not yet been charged. 

“The incident is being looked at, and we are cooperating with authorities," a Raptors spokesperson said to NBC Sports Washington on Friday. "We look forward to resolving the situation."

Ujiri, 48, has been the Raptors president since 2013. The Washington Wizards are preparing to offer Ujiri the top job in their front office, and NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig reported the offer could be worth $10 million annually and include an ownership stake in the team. 

Lakers fan Tiger Woods reacts to news of reported Anthony Davis trade

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USATSI/AP

Lakers fan Tiger Woods reacts to news of reported Anthony Davis trade

PEBBLE BEACH -- The Los Angeles Lakers have missed the playoffs in each of the last six seasons, but things look to be turning around. 

News broke Saturday that the Lakers and Pelicans reportedly have agreed to a deal that will send Anthony Davis to the Lakers in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three-first round picks. 

Pairing Davis with LeBron James gives the Lakers a 1-2 punch that is unrivaled, especially with the Warriors licking their wounds following a devastating NBA Finals loss to the Toronto Raptors that saw both Kevin Durant (ruptured Achilles) and Klay Thompson (torn ACL) go down with injuries.

Diehard Lakers fan Tiger Woods had an obvious reaction to the trade when informed of the move after his third round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach on Saturday. 

While the Lakers look to be headed in the right direction, the same can't be said for Woods at Pebble Beach. 

Needing to post a low number to get back into contention Saturday, Woods bogeyed two of his first three holes before battling back to shoot even par. He enters Sunday's final round at even par for the championship, 11 shots back of leader Gary Woodland. 

[RELATED: Lakers need more than AD to win West]

Woods won't be a factor Sunday at Pebble Beach, but it looks like the Lakers will be a factor in the Western Conference for the next couple seasons.