Warriors

Warriors

HOUSTON -- Steve Kerr had a plan late Friday night, but it was foiled by a group of men toiling nearly 2,000 miles away.

“I wanted to go to sleep,” the Warriors coach said after shootaround Saturday. “But I couldn’t, just like everybody else.”

Shaun Livingston had the same plan. The veteran guard’s eyes wanted to close, but he couldn’t help himself.

“Yeah, I was ready,” he said. “But that game kept up.”

“That game” was Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals in Portland between the Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets. It went into overtime. Then another OT. Then a third. And, finally, a fourth before the Blazers prevailed, 140-137.

Despite the two-hour time difference -- which put the end of the Portland-Denver game well past 1 a.m. in Texas -- the Warriors were watching because they have a 2-0 series lead over Houston in the other conference semifinal.

“I was in bed early, getting my sleep,” veteran wing Andre Iguodala jokingly said. “It’s important for our four-OT game, right?”

Then came the truth, as it usually does with Iguodala.

“Nah, it was exciting basketball, two teams fighting it out. No subs. Just gutting it out.”

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic played 65 of a possible 68 minutes. Portland got 60 minutes from CJ McCollum and 58 from Damian Lillard.

Asked if he could imagine playing 65 minutes in a game, Kerr demurred.

“No. That was usually my totals for the postseason, in 20 games,” he said, not bothering to point out that he made three starts in 128 playoff games. “[That was] incredible. Both teams, the resilience. That was a great basketball game.”

 

Might being riveted to a game late Friday affect the Warriors on Saturday night for Game 3 against the Rockets? They don’t believe so.

“The guys are young,” Kerr said. “They’ll get over it quickly. They’ll be all right.”

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Kerr pointed to “getting some early stops” as the first indication of how mentally and physically the Warriors will be.

“We’ve got be ready to take their initial punch and be ready to counter,” Iguodala said. “I’m sure they’ll come out throwing blows, being ready. I’m sure that’s the message that was sent through the whole team, no matter who’s in the game. We’ve got a must-win situation.