Kurt Helin

Steve Kerr
Associated Press

Warriors coach Steve Kerr hopes to return in 2-3 weeks


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr is feeling better as he deals with complications from back surgery, and hopes to be back on the bench in the coming weeks.

Kerr attended practice Monday and Tuesday and was at the team’s shootaround Wednesday ahead of Golden State’s home game against Phoenix.

He says: “What I’ve learned is that I miss it. I’m still hoping in the next two to three weeks to be back on the bench.”

Golden State has given no formal timeline for the coach’s return, reiterating Kerr will tell the team when he is ready.

Kerr has been dealing with headaches following two back surgeries. He took a leave of absence the first week of training camp and watched the Warriors’ record 24-0 start behind the scenes. Golden State (24-1) is coming off its first defeat Saturday at Milwaukee.

PBT Podcast: Talking Boston playoffs, trades, Rondo with A. Sherrod Blakely

Associated Press

The Boston Celtics are a good team (14-2 as of this writing). Credit to Brad Stevens, the first thing everyone around the league says about them is they are well coached. They are deep with talent — especially along the front line — and that versatility allows Stevens to put out lineups that are about matchups. They are a lock playoff team in the East.

And they may be pushing up against their ceiling without a true No. 1 option, a true star on the roster to anchor it.

That’s what A. Sherrod Blakely, who covers the Celtics for Comcast Sportsnet New England, and ProBasketballTalk’s Kurt Helin discuss in this latest NBCSports.com PBT podcast.

That includes discussing the DeMarcus Cousins trade rumors (don’t bet on it) and what other trades and moves the Celtics would be willing to make to get that true alpha player. The pair also discusses whether it was a surprise to see what happened to Rajon Rondo, the team most likely to break out of the pack in the East, and more around the Eastern Conference.

As always, you can listen to the podcast below, or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.

Five Takeaways from NBA Wednesday: About that Warriors’ let down…

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson

I completely understand if you were prepping for “The Force Awakens” opening by watching (or re-watching) the Family Guy Star Wars episodes. I think we all are. If that means you missed the slate of a dozen NBA games on Wednesday night, we’ve got you covered. Here’s what you need to know about a busy Wednesday around the NBA.

1) About that Warriors’ let down after their first loss… The Warriors lost to the Bucks because they were tired — seventh game of a road trip, the second night of a back-to-back after playing a double-overtime thriller. Wednesday they were rested, and the Phoenix Suns paid the price — 128-103, and it wasn’t that close. Starting at the end of the first half the Warriors went on a 58-19 run and by the end of the third were up 40. Klay Thompson had 27 in the third shooting Stephen Curry-like threes, and he finished with a career-high 43. Draymond Green had 16 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, and five steals. It wasn’t a perfect night for Golden State — Curry actually missed two free throws in a row — but the Suns lack any of the tools to properly combat what the Warriors do. Golden State is going to be rested — just five games the next two weeks, all at home — and they showed again that when focused there is not another team in the Association playing as well right now. I can’t wait until the Christmas Day showdown with Cleveland (who should finally be healthy for this matchup).

2) Don’t look now, but the Thunder have won six in a row. It doesn’t always have to be the Kevin Durant/Russell Westbrook show. Sure, they combined for 37 points, but four other OKC players were in double figures scoring also as the Thunder rolled the Trail Blazers 106-90. That’s 10 wins in the last 12 games for OKC. In their last 10 games the Thunder have the NBA’s fourth-best offense and fifth-best defense — those are the signs of a team playing like a contender. In those last 10 OKC is outscoring opponents by an impressive 9.9 points per 100 possessions — the problem is that’s still third behind the Spurs and Warriors. There are still questions in OKC, but they are playing like a team that wants to be in the title contender conversation.

3) The Kristaps Porzingis vs. Karl-Anthony Towns showdown goes to Towns. And Ricky Rubio. And the Knicks. Let’s be honest, we tuned into this game to see the top two rookies in the NBA — Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis — go head-to-head. If we go to the judges’ cards to score that matchup, Towns gets the decision — he had 25 points on 21 shots, plus 10 rebounds (Porzingis had 11 points on 14 shots). But Porzingis did land some blows.

The other winners on the night were the Knicks, who needed a “W” and got one thanks to 29 from Arron Afflalo. Also getting a win was Ricky Rubio, whose line of 9 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds, and eight steals was as close to a quadruple-double as anyone has come in a long time.

4) Paul Pierce reaches 26,000 career points, only 15 others have done that. Paul Pierce has become almost a forgotten man with the Clippers, averaging just 4.2 points a game, not playing in crunch time, and just getting a quiet 15-20 minutes a night. But the man has had a long career of scoring and with that keeps racking up milestones — like reaching 26,000 career points when he hit this jumper at the first quarter buzzer. Pierce is 16th on the NBA All-Time scoring list (19th if you count the ABA numbers). He’s a lock Hall of Famer, and we won’t remember him as the guy coming off the Clippers’ bench.

5) Enes Kanter had the worst length-of-the-court shot you may ever see. Words cannot do this justice.

Klay Thompson’s 27-point third quarter leads Warriors past Suns

Klay Thompson

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Klay Thompson scored 27 of his season-high 43 points in the third quarter and the Golden State Warriors responded after their first loss following a record 24-0 start by beating the Phoenix Suns 128-103 on Wednesday night.

Stephen Curry added 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting and seven assists as Golden State returned home from its two-week road trip that ended with its lone defeat, 108-95 on Saturday at Milwaukee. That also ended a 28-game overall winning streak by the Warriors, second-longest in NBA history.

Draymond Green had 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his fourth triple-double this season, while Thompson hit 15-of-22 shots and 8-of-13 3-pointers in his first 40-point game this season.

Mirza Teletovic scored 24 points off the bench for the Suns, whose poor showing sent the sellout crowd to the exits midway through the fourth.

Thompson’s big quarter was reminiscent of his NBA-record, 37-point outburst in the third quarter of a career-high, 52-point performance on Jan. 23. He helped the Warriors turn the game into a rout with a remarkable 67-23 run, making 9 of 11 shots in the third and 4 of 6 3s.

Golden State’s 46-point third quarter is the largest in any quarter in the NBA this season. With the starters resting down the stretch, the Warriors just missed a new largest win ever against the Suns – Golden State had a 133-103 victory on March 18, 1975.

In the team’s first game at Oracle Arena in 18 days, Golden State warmed up with a big run stretching from the second quarter to the third. The Warriors used a 58-19 run over 14:01 to turn a 42-38 deficit with 5 minutes left in the first half into a 96-61 advantage.

Golden State won its eighth in a row at home against Phoenix, fifth straight overall and 13th in 16. The Suns sit in third place in the Pacific Division behind Golden State and the Clippers.

The Warriors now will get a shot at Milwaukee again when the Bucks visit Oracle Arena on Friday. The Warriors ran their regular-season home winning streak to 29 dating to Golden State winning its final 18 here last season.


During Golden State’s long flight home from Wisconsin late Saturday, interim coach Luke Walton could finally take a breath and reflected on the remarkable start his team had before the Warriors’ unbeaten run ended.

“Obviously it doesn’t feel great to lose but it was a good time to reflect on what our guys had just done and what they accomplished,” Walton said.

Now, Walton and his staff will make sure the Warriors get some much-needed days off while continuing to work on areas that need attention.

They began a stretch with just five games in two weeks and all at home, which includes a highly anticipated Christmas Day home game and NBA Finals rematch with LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

“It’s a fine line because of what our schedule’s been like and our belief in resting players and keeping them fresh,” Walton said.



Suns: Phoenix surrendered 15 3-pointers this time after giving up a Golden State franchise-best 22 from long range – and NBA-record 15 in the first half – in the first meeting with the Warriors on Nov. 27. … Brandon Knight with 17 points was the lone Suns starter in double figures.

Warriors: Green shares the NBA lead for triple-doubles with Sacramento’s Rajon Rondo. … Harrison Barnes missed his sixth straight game with a sprained left ankle. … Curry hit a 3-pointer in his 99th straight regular-season game and 49th consecutive at home. … Golden State is 11-0 at Oracle for its best home start since a franchise-best 12-0 to begin the 1975-76 season. … Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis and rapper Drake were among the celebrities in attendance.


AP Report: Timberwolves looking to trade Kevin Martin

Kevin Martin
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the Minnesota Timberwolves are making veteran scorer Kevin Martin available in trade talks.

With second-year guard Zach LaVine showing promise as a scorer and Andrew Wiggins playing more at the shooting guard position, the Wolves are looking to move Martin to free up more playing time for their youngsters. The person requested anonymity because the team does not publicly discuss trade discussions.

The Wolves have had conversations with two teams about Martin early this season.

Martin is averaging 12.7 points in 26 minutes this season. He has struggled with his shot while recovering from a wrist injury that kept him out of the game against the Knicks, but has earned a reputation in 12 seasons in the league as one of the league’s most efficient scorers.