Kevon Looney

Warriors beat Clippers 133-120 for 9th straight win over LA (VIDEO)

1 Comment

LOS ANGELES (AP) Stephen Curry scored 29 points despite making just three 3-pointers, Kevin Durant added 26 points and 10 assists, and the Golden State Warriors defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 133-120 for their fifth straight victory on Thursday night.

Blake Griffin had 31 points, making 11 of 13 free throws, for the Clippers. They have lost nine in a row to their Bay Area opponents, the franchise’s longest active skid against a single team.

The rematch wasn’t the debacle that occurred last weekend when the Clippers lost by 46 points at Golden State.

But they still never led and trailed by 21. The Clippers got beat in every category despite Griffin’s hard-charging effort. The Warriors were dominant in the paint, on second-chance points and fast break points.

Golden State has won 11 of its last 12.

The Clippers got within seven on a 3-pointer by Jamal Crawford with 1:55 remaining in the game. But Durant answered with a 3-pointer and Klay Thompson added another.

The Clippers’ defense was no match for Curry. He slipped through the lane for a fastbreak layup with Raymond Felton dogging him on the left and DeAndre Jordan on the right. Curry fell down scoring, drawing the foul and completing the three-point play that kept the Warriors ahead by 15 in the third quarter.

The Warriors toyed with the Clippers, who got within four points in the first quarter and then five in the second quarter, only to have Golden State immediately push the lead back to double digits.

Golden State barreled around the court, knocking down former Warrior Marreese Speights and J.J. Redick in one fell swoop after Durant pushed Austin Rivers on another possession. It was all part of a rollicking first half when the Warriors bobbed, weaved and whipped circus-like passes around before scoring.

The Clippers gave up three dunks and had four turnovers to start the game. Curry forced two steals, feeding Durant and JaVale McGee for consecutive dunks that stunned the Clippers.

Los Angeles outshot Golden State in the first quarter when the Warriors took nearly twice as many shots as the Clippers.

MAKING HISTORY

Curry hit his 200th 3-pointer of the season with 2 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter, making him the first player in NBA history to have 200 or more 3-pointers in five consecutive seasons. He missed his first four 3-pointers in the game. Curry came into the game 4 of 28 from 3-point range in three previous games at Staples Center this season.

HIGHLIGHT REEL

Griffin’s windmill dunk over Warriors forward Kevon Looney drew oohs from the crowd and merited multiple replays on the video board. He took one large step through the lane and pushed his left hand off the head of a ducking Looney as Griffin elevated before slamming the ball down with his right hand.

TIP-INS

Warriors: Curry had 11 assists. … McGee and James Michael McAdoo each finished 5 of 6 from the field. They were among seven Warriors in double figures. … Curry got a technical for smacking the ball out of bounds in the second quarter. … They have reached 100 points in each of the last 26 games. … They were missing starting forward Draymond Green, who has a left shoulder contusion.

Clippers: Griffin passed Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo to move into second on the franchise scoring list. … Los Angeles is 2-5 in its last seven without injured Chris Paul. … Jordan will participate in the slam dunk competition on Feb. 18 during All-Star weekend in New Orleans against Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, Phoenix’s Derrick Jones Jr. and Indiana’s Glenn Robinson III. Jordan leads the league with 152 dunks this season.

UP NEXT

Warriors: Visit Sacramento on Saturday, a team they beat by 11 points last month.

Clippers: Visit Boston on Sunday to start their annual five-game Grammy road trip.

Klay Thompson sparks Warriors’ rally in 4th to beat Wolves

Leave a comment

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Klay Thompson scored 30 points and the Golden State Warriors roared back to avoid their first set of consecutive regular-season losses since 2015 with a 116-108 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.

Stephen Curry had 22 points and nine assists, and the Warriors extended their NBA-record streak to 111 regular-season games without losing two in a row. They trailed by 10 to start the fourth quarter, but opened the period with a 25-4 avalanche to turn the tide.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 points and 18 rebounds, and Andrew Wiggins scored 25 for the Timberwolves (6-18), who lost their fourth straight game.

Kevin Durant had 22 points on 6-for-21 shooting, and Draymond Green scored 18 for Golden State while going 5 of 8 on 3-pointers.

Zach LaVine scored 25 points and hit five 3s for the Wolves.

The Warriors were coming off a 21-point loss Saturday to the Grizzlies and were playing their fourth game in five nights, and it was clear from the start that they were a little weary.

Just when Curry appeared to be heating up, hitting back-to-back 3s midway through the third quarter, the best shooter on the planet tossed up an airball on the very next possession. Between that ghastly miss and Durant missing a wide-open layup, it was clear the Warriors were just a bit off for the second night in a row, something that hasn’t happened in the regular season since April 7, 2015.

The Wolves closed the third period with a 14-1 run, but Thompson scored 12 points in the first 5 minutes of the fourth to rally Golden State.

RECORD STREAK

The Warriors lost three straight games to Cleveland in the NBA Finals in June, but remain proud of surviving the gauntlet of the regular season the way they have. The streak is 16 games longer than the second-place Utah Jazz, who went 95 straight from 1997-99.

“It’s one of the most impressive streaks that I can think of in my experience in the NBA,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said before the game.

TIP-INS

Warriors: Curry passed Steve Nash for 17th on the career list for 3-pointers. … Durant started the game 3 for 17, but was 3 for 5 in the fourth. … C Zaza Pachulia was out again with sprained right wrist. … Kevon Looney started at center despite being listed as questionable with a sprained right ankle.

Timberwolves: Minnesota outrebounded Golden State 51-37. … F Nemanja Bjelica missed his second straight game with a sore right ankle.

REUNITED

Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau has been friends with Warriors assistant Ron Adams for more than two decades. Adams worked under Thibodeau in Chicago, and the Wolves coach said that when he got the job in Minnesota this summer he called Adams and “begged him” to leave Golden State and join him.

“They have such a great organization that I knew it was kind of tongue-in-cheek,” Thibodeau said. “I know how happy he is with the situation that he’s in.”

 

Warriors’ Kevon Looney on schedule to return by training camp

Leave a comment

During the Warriors’ 73-win season, rookie Kevon Looney appeared in just five games. Since last summer, he has undergone surgeries on both of his hips, causing him to miss the postseason as well as Summer League. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Looney is expected to be ready to go in time for training camp.

Less than five months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum on his left hip, Looney is on track to return for the start of training camp Sept. 27. The preseason will be his audition to crack the rotation.

I’m really eager,” Looney said. “I’ve been watching, running and doing drills now for what feels like two years. To be able to get on the court and actually be healthy, I’m really excited for that.”

Looney won’t get a ton of minutes, but the Warriors lost several depth pieces (including Marreese Speights, Leandro Barbosa and Brandon Rush) as part of the tradeoff for signing Kevin Durant, so if they can get something out of their young players like Looney, that would be helpful.

Report: Warriors renouncing Festus Ezeli to clear room for Kevin Durant

Kyle Terada/Pool/Getty Images
5 Comments

The Warriors need enough cap space to sign Kevin Durantthis summer and next.

That likely means trading Andrew Bogut. Clearing his salary and renouncing all its free agents would give Golden State room for Durant’s max contract.

But the Warriors needn’t necessarily drop all their own free agents. They could trade Shaun Livingston instead of renouncing Festus Ezeli, whose low cap hold and Bird Rights give Golden State plenty of flexibility. Ezeli could then step in for Bogut as starting center.

But the Warriors aren’t going that route.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

Does this mean Golden State will trade Andre Iguodala instead of Bogut? I doubt it. Shedding Iguodala’s salary won’t quite create max cap room for Durant like dropping Bogut’s would, so Kevon Looney or Damian Jones would also have to be moved. Plus, Iguodala just seems to be on more favorable terms with the team than Bogut.

So, the Warriors will need to find a starting center on the cheap, the $2,898,000 room exception their primary weapon.

There are more decent centers on the market than teams that need one, so perhaps someone takes a one-year deal to boost his value and re-enter the market in 2017. Anyone would look good with Durant, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson playing behind him.

Zaza Pachulia? Nene? Roy Hibbert?

That might be aiming too high, but here’s an even bigger name available: Pau Gasol. He’d have to take a big discount, but the Warriors reportedly like him, and he’d start for the championship favorite. That might appeal to him more than a big payday.

Golden State will probably settle for a lesser player, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is already lined up. Otherwise, why commit to Livingston over Ezeli so quickly? A starting center is more important than a backup point guard.

Warriors GM Bob Myers has little time to ponder finals loss

Getty Images
Leave a comment

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — After the heartbreak of a Game 7 defeat and a championship that somehow got away, Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers went home late Sunday and had a rare glass of whiskey with his wife and ate a grilled cheese sandwich.

He knew there wouldn’t be any more quiet moments in the near future after the grind of another extended NBA season. The Warriors lost in the deciding game of the NBA Finals to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, becoming the first team to squander a 3-1 finals lead. But Myers has to get right back to work. The draft is Thursday night and then the start of free agency July 1.

“One marathon ended, got a drink of water and now we’re moving on,” Myers said Tuesday, later noting, “Even if we were sitting here right now with a parade, it doesn’t change who we draft and it actually shouldn’t change a ton of other things either, but it’s hard not to get swept up in that current. Because in this society, you win or you’re everybody else, and right now we’re everybody else. So you have to be strong enough and disciplined enough to not overreact to making decisions.”

Myers made one thing clear Tuesday: Amid all the speculation about their futures, free agents-to-be Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli will be evaluated by more than just their poor performances in the postseason and finals.

“At this point it’s about what do you do to make sure that it doesn’t happen again?” forward Draymond Green said of the finals collapse. “I’m not the GM of this team, so I don’t make any decisions or make any changes to our roster. That’s not up to me. I do what I do, that’s play the game. Everything else will take care of itself, whether that’s the same 15 guys, whether that’s 10 of the 15 guys, whether that’s 12 of the 15 guys.”

With eight free agents in all, Myers insists he is in no position to start guessing who could return at this early stage. A year ago after capturing the first championship for the franchise in 40 years, Golden State kept its roster together for another special season that included a record 73 wins to break the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ mark after a record 24-0 start.

“A lot of decisions that have to made,” MVP Stephen Curry said. “We’ve got a great roster that’s accomplished a lot.”

These days, Myers said the Warriors have built a desirable culture that players want to be a part of under the leadership of NBA Coach of the Year Steve Kerr. Owner Joe Lacob “is aggressive when he wakes up in the morning, he’s aggressive when he goes to bed,” Myers said of continuing to build and improve.

As Golden State looks to build the roster for next season, Myers said he would measure the value of continuity against the players available on the market. The status of rookie forward Kevon Looney is still a question mark. Golden State’s top draft pick last year out of UCLA is recovering from left hip surgery and won’t participate in summer league. The hope is he will be healthy for training camp or at the latest near the start of the regular season.

“We’re always going to try and be better, but sometimes like last summer we won a championship I didn’t do anything really,” Myers said. “We brought back the same team. Some people have said that was something we shouldn’t have done. … The team actually in some ways was better. Didn’t win a championship so maybe we weren’t. But as far as making the right decisions in the offseason, we made sound decisions without being what some people would call aggressive. They probably would have called it passive. It doesn’t mean you’re not looking aggressively.”

Myers completed exit interviews with the players Monday before everyone went their separate ways for the summer.

For most, the sting of being oh so close was still fresh and difficult to comprehend, one day after a 93-89 defeat to the Cavs decided in the final minute on the Warriors’ home floor in Oracle Arena.

“I was wondering how our players would react or process losing in Game 7 after the season we had, but what I saw and what I heard was really encouraging, from a maturity standpoint, from a learning capacity, from a processing,” Myers said. “Shaun Livingston, it was really poignant, he said, `How am I supposed to feel?’ And I said, `Not good.’ It’s not supposed to feel good to lose like we did. It’s supposed hurt, and that’s what drives you.”