Without Stephen Curry, Warriors top Hawks to stay perfect at home

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Draymond Green hit an off-balance 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 40.2 seconds remaining in overtime, and the Golden State Warriors escaped with a 109-105 win against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night while Stephen Curry watched in street clothes with an injured ankle.

Andrew Bogut saved the ball from going out of bounds, and then Green got the shot off just in time with his legs splitting in the air while avoiding Kent Bazemore‘s diving steal attempt.

Klay Thompson made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:54 remaining and another big basket at the 11.4-second mark on the way to 26 points. The Warriors won their second straight overtime game to earn a franchise-best 43rd straight regular-season home victory and 25th in a row this season.

Golden State (54-5) can tie the Bulls’ 44-game unbeaten mark at home from March 30, 1995, to April 4, 1996, when the Warriors host Oklahoma City on Thursday. They are also chasing the `95-96 Chicago team’s record 72-win season.

The Warriors won their sixth straight overall, improved to 5-0 in OT and haven’t lost at Oracle Arena since a 113-111 defeat to the Bulls on Jan. 27, 2015.

Atlanta’s Paul Millsap missed a wide open 3-pointer with 24 seconds left in regulation, and then Thompson and Bogut each missed potential winning shots in the closing seconds.

Millsap scored 19 points for Atlanta, which rallied from a 14-point deficit to force overtime before dropping to 0-4 in OT.

Reigning NBA MVP Curry sat out with a tender left ankle he injured at Oklahoma City on Saturday night before hitting the long, winning 3-pointer in overtime. Curry, with three straight 40-point games, was named Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 43.8 points over four games.

No Curry equaled some no-shows as many prime seats were vacant.

Shaun Livingston started in Curry’s place and had six points, seven rebounds and three assists in his 600th career game. Leandro Barbosa came off the bench to score nine of his 11 points in his first 5 minutes on the floor, while Bogut wound up with 19 points.

The Warriors kicked off March by the playing the first of 17 games over the final 24 at Oracle Arena after just two at home in February.

Green added 15 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists and four steals in Golden State’s first home game since Feb. 9 after the Warriors completed an impressive 6-1 trip in which they won the last five following a 137-105 loss at Portland on Feb. 19 – and sealed their playoff berth, too, in the quest for another championship.

“It was a great trip especially to rebound after that blowout in Portland,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Now we’re really in the home stretch with 17 of our last 24 at home. The trip set us up to go for that 1 seed in the West, which is our goal.”

Atlanta had won two in a row leading into its four-game road swing out West.

Golden State played back-to-back overtime games for the first time since Dec. 13-14, 2005, a win at Seattle and a loss against Houston.

TIP-INS

Hawks: Atlanta signed veteran forward Kris Humphries, adding experienced depth to the Hawks’ front line. Humphries was waived by Phoenix on Sunday after averaging 7.3 points in four games. He was 0 for 9 from the field in his last game against the Nets on Thursday. … The Hawks lost their third straight overall to Golden State and fourth in a row in Oakland.

Warriors: Mo Speights hit a pair of 3s in the fourth and had a highlight-reel worthy block of Al Horford in the first. … Curry missed his third game after sitting out Dec. 30-31 with a bruised lower left leg. … Swingman Andre Iguodala did not dress, sidelined while dealing with tightness in his left hamstring. … Golden State last won four straight at home vs. Atlanta from Feb. 23, 2003, to Nov. 2, 2005. … The Warriors became the fastest team to 50 wins in NBA history when they won 102-92 at Atlanta on Feb. 22. … The Warriors’ three first-half turnovers matched their fewest in the opening half this season.

 

Steven Adams inks two-year, $25.2 million extension with Grizzlies

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Steven Adams signed a two-year, $25.2 million contract extension with Memphis, which will keep him tied to the team through the 2024-25 season. ESPN’s Adrian Wojanrowski broke the news on Saturday.

Adams has been crucial to the Grizzlies’ recent success. He’s coming off his first season with the team, where he averaged career-highs in rebounds (10.0) and assists (3.4). He also helped them lock up the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference and make it to the Conference Semifinals, where they lost to the eventual-champion Warriors 4-2. Despite the improved numbers, a lot of his value is from intangibles that don’t show up in the box score.

Adams spent the first seven years of his career with the Thunder before being traded to New Orleans in the four-team deal that sent Jrue Holiday to Milwaukee. Adams was moved again to Memphis in a package for Jonas Valanciunas.

Adams has found a new home with a young Grizzlies team that is looking to win a championship. The team is built around Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane, but Jackson Jr. is expected to miss time after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left foot. Memphis will rely on Adams more than ever to begin the season.

Watch Curry, Klay in 3-point shooting contest in Japan. Yeah, they’re good at this.

NBA Japan Games Saturday Night
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The NBA went to Japan to promote the brand, play a few games in a huge market — Japan specifically but Asia as a whole — and put on a show.

Is there a better show than Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson draining 3s? Here they are in a 3-point contest during a basketball exhibition (there were some pro dunkers) in Tokyo on Saturday.

Stephen Curry, was there any other possible outcome?

It’s preseason and they are the defending champs — they should be having fun, playing with some joy.

Thompson took part in the shooting contest but is not playing in either of the exhibition games in Japan as the Warriors ease him back into play this season. It’s a marathon of a season and the Warriors need the best version of Klay starting in April, not October.

Report: Pelicans, Nance agree to two-year, $21.6 million extension

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Larry Nance has been a stabilizing influence in New Orleans since coming over mid-season as part of the trade for CJ McCollum. Nance is a versatile player who can play the four or the five, knocks down his threes, is very strong on the glass, can be a disruptive defender in passing lanes, and fits in — and he has the veteran attitude of work this team needs.

So the Pelicans have reached an extension to keep the 29-year-old around for two years past this coming season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

This is a signing that should make Pelicans fans happy. Importantly, it makes CJ McCollum happy — they are tight and this is something McCollum wanted to see. The money on this deal seems fair, about the league average for a solid rotation player.

Nance is the kind of veteran this team needs considering its young core of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram (just turned 25), Herb Jones, and guys like Trey Murphy III, Jose Alvarado, and others. Nance compared it to the young Lakers teams he was on, but noted that team lacked the same level of veteran leadership this Pelicans team has.

We may see more Nance at the five lineups — small ball with Zion at the four — to close games this season in New Orleans, that could be their best lineup because Nance can defend but also spaces the floor for Zion on offense. Coach Willie Green has a lot of different players and matchups to experiment with.

And now he has the stability of Nance for a few more years.

Durant tired of talking Nets dramatic offseason: ‘I didn’t miss any games’

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No team had an offseason quite like the Brooklyn Nets. First, they would not give a long-term extension to Kyrie Irving, which sent the star guard looking for a new team (but there were no offers that worked for everyone, so he opted in with Brooklyn). Then Kevin Durant asked for a trade, and to gain a little leverage reportedly threw down an ultimatum of him or the coach and GM. No trade could be found — how much the Nets wanted one is up for debate — so he is back in Brooklyn. And all that is not even getting into the return of Ben Simmons, a trade for Royce O’Neal, or anything else.

The Nets drama and how they move past it has been the talk of training camp. The only talk at training camp, it feels like.

When asked Friday if there were any inaccuracies in the reporting of the Nets summer he would like to clear up, Durant sounded weary of rehashing the summer.

The only thing that will start to move the conversation in a new direction is the Nets playing and winning games (they open the preseason Monday against the 76ers). And even those wins will have the shadow of the offseason cast over them. Durant and Irving made this bed.

Part of the fascination is the Nets remain the team hardest to predict in the league. They arguably have the most talented roster in the league and, if everything comes together just right, they can contend for a title. It’s also possible the wheels fall off early and by Christmas the Nets are looking to trade Durant again. Both things feel possible (even if reality most likely lands somewhere in the middle).

That uncertainty about the Nets’ future is the drama that will keep eyeballs on them — which also means more questions about this past offseason. Durant can choose not to answer them, but the questions aren’t going away.