Warriors turn in dud, fall flat to Hawks

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Warriors turn in dud, fall flat to Hawks

Feb. 25, 2011BOXSCORE WARRIORSVIDEONBAPAGE NBASCOREBOARD

OAKLAND (AP) Atlanta coach Larry Drew has been harping on his players to play better defense in order to get the transition game going.After nearly four months, the message seems to be sinking in.Josh Smith scored 26 points, Al Horford had 22 points and 12 rebounds and the Hawks smothered the Golden State Warriors with a dominant effort on both ends of the court in a 95-79 win Friday night.It's the second time in seven games that Atlanta has held the opposition to 79 points. Both times, the Hawks won."The minute we get the basketball, we have to race the lanes and get down the floor," Drew said. "We've got enough offense in the half-court but what we've been lacking is stops so that we can run. Tonight we did that."Joe Johnson added 12 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Hawks (35-23), who snapped a three-game losing streak and won for the first time since the All-Star break.Atlanta was mired in one of its biggest slumps of the season and had fallen eight games behind Miami in the Southeast Division. Drew criticized his team's shot selection during the slump but it wasn't an issue against Golden State.Neither was the defense.The Hawks shot nearly 48 percent from the floor (40 of 84), outrebounded the Warriors 49-34 and led by as much as 29 while winning for the first time since Feb. 14."It's a little frustrating to me because I wish that we played like this all the time," said Horford, who was 10 of 14 from the floor. "I hope there's no looking back now."David Lee had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Monta Ellis scored 16 for Golden State (26-31).Three days after scoring just 33 points in the second half against Boston, Golden State shot poorly, committed 16 turnovers and looked out of sync all night in its final home game before a seven-game road trip.
REWIND: Warriors falter in 2nd half, lose 115-93 to Celtics
"We were a flat team," coach Keith Smart said. "We didn't have the kind of energy to play against a team that was going to be energetic, lost a couple of games and was desperate. We just have to find our rhythm coming back from the break."Atlanta built a 29-point lead in the third quarter then cruised the rest of the way while handing Golden State its second straight lopsided loss at home. Fans poured out of the arena with more than 8 minutes left and the Warriors trailing 85-62.The Hawks remained 1 12 games back of Orlando for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Magic beat Oklahoma City 111-88 on Friday night.The Warriors still cling to their own postseason hopes but they definitely didn't play like it.The Hawks nearly turned the game into a blowout before halftime, building a 19-point lead early in the second quarter. But Ellis, held to 15 points in a 115-93 loss to Boston on Tuesday, kept Golden State afloat with 10 straight points, including a pair of free throws that helped the Warriors close to 40-31.Not much went right for Golden State after that."The first half we were just about as good as we've been all season," Drew said. "We were relentless defensively. We got out and got some easy transition baskets. We controlled the tempo, we got stops and we limited them in the half-court."Johnson scored on an up-and-under move, then fed Marvin Williams down low for an easy bucket. He also picked the ball from Stephen Curry in the final seconds and raced downcourt for a layup just before the buzzer to give the Hawks a 55-35 halftime lead.Things were going so well for Atlanta that newcomer Kirk Hinrich made a 3-pointer in the second quarter less than five seconds after checking into his first game for the Hawks. Hinrich arrived as part of a five-player trade with Washington on Wednesday.NOTES: The Warriors re-signed F Jeff Adrien to a 10-day contract. Adrien, who appeared in 15 games for Golden State earlier this season, had been in the NBA Development League. The move comes after the Warriors traded F Brandan Wright and C Dan Gadzuric to New Jersey earlier this week for Troy Murphy and a second-round pick. ... The Hawks have won three straight overall against Golden State. ... The Warriors honored members of their 1974-75 NBA championship team during halftime.
RELATED: Warriors bring back Adrien from D-League

Rewind: Klay drops 60, finds a zone most never experience

Rewind: Klay drops 60, finds a zone most never experience

OAKLAND – The shots kept falling, splashing through the net from all over the court, jumpers from 20 feet, from 25, from 30, layups from one side of the bucket, then the other. Klay Thompson was tap-dancing all over the Indiana Pacers.

It didn’t seem logical that a self-respecting NBA team like the Pacers would allow one man to put on a personal showcase, with them as the victims.

That’s precisely what Thompson did Monday night, before the 200th consecutive sellout crowd at Oracle Arena, pouring in 60 points – more than he has ever scored in a game, more than anyone in the NBA his scored this season – in a 142-106 crushing of Indiana.

“Klay did do a good job of moving without the ball,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “Tonight, he was moving and they were finding him.

“We needed to get more help, and we didn’t. He lit us up.”

In scoring 60 points in only 29 minutes – he exited with 1:22 left in the third quarter and did not return – Thompson found a zone above even the most ethereal zones. He happened upon a place even the most hallowed most NBA players never get the privilege of experiencing.

“That’s a feat I would put money on to probably never be touched ever again in the history of basketball,” said Stephen Curry, the reigning scoring champion as well as back-to-back MVP.

“I don’t even know what to say,” said Kevin Durant, the four-time scoring champ who also has an MVP trophy to his name. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

With Thompson raining shots, his teammates standing and clapping and boogieing to the roar of the crowd, the Pacers were helpless witnesses to their own dismantling. As Thompson sizzled, and their defense fizzled, one thing became clear: There would be no double-teaming of the hottest shooter in the NBA this season.

How do you double-team Thompson, who plays mostly without the ball, when he’s sharing the court with Curry and Durant? You don’t. You take your chances and hope. And if Thompson is stroking it, you’re in trouble.

The Pacers tried numerous defenders on Thompson and none was up to the challenge. The Warriors, smelling the Pacers’ futility, went after them with a vengeance.

“You could see that once he got hot, Steph was looking for him and Draymond (Green) and KD and Andre (Iguodala) and Zaza (Pachulia), they were all looking for him,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

“I’ve said this before, but I really believe the strength of our team the last few years offensive is the number of guys that can pass and make plays. What’s really gratifying as a coach is when you see that type of unselfishness.”

By the time Indiana’s superstar, Paul George, took the assignment, trying to cool Thompson, it was well into the third quarter, much too late. Thompson had made 21 of his 33 shots, including eight of his 14 launches from beyond the arc. He had become the first player in the shot-clock era (beginning in 1954-55) to score 60 points in fewer than 30 minutes.

He had hung the Pacers on a wall.

“I will celebrate this tonight,” said Thompson, whose previous career-high was 52 points. “It’s a feat I never really thought I would be able to do growing up.”

Asked if could have scored 80 points, Thompson barely skipped a beat.

“Maybe. I think I could have,” he said. “And maybe one day I will have the opportunity. 60 points in 29 minutes is not bad. I’m satisfied with that.”

His teammates were beyond satisfied. They were delighted. Enchanted. Durant scored 20 points and was agape at Thompson’s performance. Curry had 13 points, 11 assists and zero turnovers and was unusually demonstrative in recapping Thompson’s night.

“We just kept feeding him and feeding him, and he was knocking down some unbelievable shots,” Durant said.

“It was just so much fun to watch,” Curry said. “We appreciate that entertainment value as his teammates to see what he was able to do tonight. It was crazy.”

This was Thompson, taking full and extravagant advantage of both his own shooting skill as well as the benefit of teammates too lethal for any defense to ignore.

All of which left the other 29 teams around the NBA watching and wondering where on earth do they turn if any Thompson or Curry or Durant enters a zone.

This is quite the quandary, and it’s precisely what the Warriors had in mind when they hired Durant.

Instant Replay: Klay erupts for career-high 60, Warriors destroy Pacers

Instant Replay: Klay erupts for career-high 60, Warriors destroy Pacers

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – As the Warriors on Monday night celebrated their 200th consecutive sellout crowd at Oracle Arena, All-Star guard Klay Thompson gave 19,596 fans an evening they’ll never forget.

Thompson scored 60 points, a career-high for him and the most any player has scored in the NBA this season, to carry the Warriors to a 142-106 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Thompson scored 17 points in the opening period, 23 in the second – for 40, representing a career-high for points in a half – and closed out his night with 20 in the third quarter.

So hot was Thompson that only no other teammate exceeded 20 points. Kevin Durant totaled 20, Stephen Curry had 13 and Ian Clark finished with 11.

Curry posted a season-high 11 assists, and Draymond Green recorded 10 as the Warriors were credited with 45 helpers overall.

With a 116-83 lead after three quarters, Warriors coach Steve Kerr went to his reserves for the entire fourth quarter.

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
Thompson, who took possession in the first half and locked it up in third quarter.

Thompson’s line: 60 points (21-of-33 from the field, 8-of-14 from deep, 10-of-11 from the free throw line). He played 29 minutes and finished plus-37 for the night.

TURNING POINT:
When a Monta Ellis layup pulled the Pacers within seven (46-39) with 8:14 left in the second quarter, the Warriors went on a 24-3 run to go up 70-42 with 2:34 remaining in the half.

They went into intermission with an 80-50 lead, and Indiana got no closer than xx for the rest of the game.

The Warriors trailed for all of 12 seconds (in the first five minutes) in the game.

INJURY UPDATE:
Warriors: No injuries were listed and none was reported.

Pacers: No injuries were listed and none was reported.

ROSTER NOTE:
Rookie C Damian Jones is on assignment with D-League Santa Cruz.

WHAT’S NEXT:
The Warriors travel to Los Angeles, where on Wednesday night they face the Clippers at Staples Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30.