Author: Kurt Helin

Curry leads Warriors to 14-0 start as they hold off Bulls


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 27 points and the defending champion Golden State Warriors moved within one victory of matching the best start in NBA history, holding off the Chicago Bulls 106-94 on Friday night to improve to 14-0.

The league’s last undefeated team ran its franchise-record home winning streak to 26 games by beating a Chicago team that is the last to win at Oracle Arena during the regular season, way back in late January.

Golden State equaled the 1957-58 Celtics as the only defending champions to win their initial 14 games. The Warriors are one of five teams in NBA history to begin 14-0, and will travel to Denver looking to keep it going Sunday.

Harrison Barnes added 20 points and nine rebounds for the Warriors in a game featuring 18 lead changes and 17 ties.

Jimmy Butler had 28 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Bulls in the second game of a four-game road trip.

Kirk Hinrich‘s open 3-pointer from the right wing with 8:52 left pulled Chicago within 81-79. Nikola Mirotic converted three free throws the next time down for an 82-81 Bulls lead.

Hinrich hit a tying 3 with 5:44 to go only to see Curry knock one down moments later to put his team back up 92-89.

A day after rallying from a 23-point deficit to beat the rival Clippers in Los Angeles 124-117 – the biggest comeback in the NBA this season – Golden State overcame another slow start.

The Bulls led by 10 in the first before the Warriors roared back and got the sellout crowd at Oracle Arena rocking on Curry’s over-the-head lob pass to Andre Iguodala for a dunk.

The Bulls’ 113-111 overtime win on Jan. 27 snapped Golden State’s then-franchise record 19-game home winning streak. It was one of only two regular-season home losses last season.

Interim coach Luke Walton planned to remind his players of that loss – not that they necessarily needed it.

“I hope they remember it,” Walton said.

If Golden State gets by Denver to get to 15-0, then it will have a chance to break the record Tuesday night back home against the Lakers.

The Washington Capitols in 1948-49 and Houston Rockets in `93-94 are the other teams to start 15-0.


Golden State stressed during the preseason starting fast and shutting down on defense early to set the tone.

Yet the Warriors were allowing 34 points in the first quarter their previous three games, including 41 to the Clippers on Thursday night.

“It’s two things. It’s people wanting to be the first team to give us a loss and they’re coming out and playing like it’s a playoff game. This is the biggest game of the season for them so far,” Walton said. “And, two, we’re not matching their intensity early on. We were thrilled with the effort we had earlier in the season as far as the way we were starting games. That was one of our focal points in training camp this year.”


Gregg Popovich was in mid-season interview form Friday

Gregg Popovich
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Gregg Popovich in-game interviews are the stuff of legend. Some nights he just doesn’t want to play along with the rather inane patter that is all you’re going to get in that setting (do you think a coach is going to tell everyone how he plans to adjust his pick-and-roll coverage?).

Friday night was one of those nights.

I think the interviewer handled this fairly well.

If you were not watching the game, LaMarcus Aldridge tweaked his left ankle in the first quarter and left the game, but as Popovich said he did return to the contest.

Wizards’ Webster expected to miss season after hip surgery

Martell Webster
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Wizards forward Martell Webster is expected to miss the entire NBA season after having surgery on his right hip.

The team says Webster’s operation, in Tennessee on Friday, repaired the labrum and damaged cartilage in his hip.

He has not appeared in a game this season because of the injury.

Webster, who signed a four-year contract with the Wizards in 2013, had surgery to repair a herniated disc in his lower back in June 2014 and appeared in only 32 games last season.

A first-round draft pick in 2005, Webster has averaged 8.7 points and 3.1 rebounds for his career. He turns 29 next month.

Pelicans could get Tyreke Evans back next week; Davis back Friday

Tyreke Evans

There’s a long list of reasons the Pelicans have started the season 1-11, and at the top of it is they have the very worst defense in all the land. Which if you have Anthony Davis protecting the rim speaks to some serious issues.

But another one is a lack of shot creation. Jrue Holiday is not 100 percent healthy, and that’s not always been his strongest suit anyway. The preseason injury to Tyreke Evans was a big setback on this front — which is why what Alvin Gentry said on Friday. Via Brett Dawson of the New Orleans Advocate:

Gentry also said that he expects Davis and Omer Asik to be healthy and ready to go against the Spurs this week.

The Pelicans need this, even if Evans is not 100 percent yet. His ability to get his own shot and opening things up for others — including Davis — is huge.

With this horrific a start, Evan’s return will not be near enough to pull the Pelicans back up to being a playoff team this season. However, it can begin to make them dangerous and respectable again.

Then next summer GM Dell Demps and the Pelicans front office have a lot of work to do to put a better team around Davis.

Kevin Durant talks about “family” relationship with Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Andre Roberson
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You can be sure that as we move through this season another of these reports will come up:

That Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook don’t like each other.

For the seemingly millionth time, Durant scoffed at the idea that there is any rift between the former NBA and the fearless scorer that Russell Westbrook has become. KD did so in a fantastic Q&A with Anthony Slater of the Oklahoman, and here’s what he said about people who say he and Westbrook don’t get along.

How can you tell? That’s my whole question. What are you basing that off of? Because he shoots more than I do one game? That don’t make no sense. We don’t like each other because he shot more? That don’t make no sense. And it’s really disrespectful to me or to us because you think I’m that selfish of a person. I don’t like this guy because he shoots more than me? That’s disrespectful to me. Because if I’m a friend, I’m genuine. I’m there. No matter what. Good days, bad days, more shots. I’m a real friend. If I like somebody, I like them. I may not agree with everything they do on the court. That’s a part of it. But don’t say we both changing as men when your questions are changing. Don’t come to me and ask what’s going on with Russell and expect me to be alright with it.

Durant said he and Westbrook always had a relationship based on hard work and mutual respect — they both would show up hours before practice and work out, if not together than side-by-side. There was an understanding.
But there was also a moment when their relationship deepened, KD said.
Yeah, I remember when I had some problems with my family, (Kendrick Perkins) and him were the guys I’d call and just vent to and talk to. I say this because me and my family are great now. We’re in a good spot. But there’s times where this life is real. We make a lot of money to take care of our family, but that doesn’t mask all our problems. It may mask some, but it doesn’t take them away. I was having problems with my family and I needed someone I could relate to and Russell and Perk were there. They were guys I leaned on. They told me to just keep my head up, words of encouragement. Me and Russ had talked about that stuff, but it wasn’t as in depth. Then when I was vulnerable to him, it was like, yeah, this is someone I can lean on. It showed me a different side of him. Since then, we’ve been really tight. There’s times where we go at it. There’s times I don’t like what he’s doing out on the court, there’s times where he hates what I’m doing out on the court. There’s times where it’s Russ, you gotta control your attitude or KD, you gotta stop, you gotta speak up, whatever. There’s times we cuss each other out, but that’s a part of being brothers. Because I know if I need something, he’ll be there and if I need to talk to someone outside of basketball, he’ll be there. It’s a real brotherhood type relationship. We’re like family.
Next time you read about how Durant is going to bolt OKC because of Westbrook, think back to this article. It’s certainly possible Durant leaves the Thunder as a free agent (although I’d bet on him staying), but if it happens it will not be because of his “broth