Jackson: Monta clearly waited too long

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Jackson: Monta clearly waited too long

OAKLAND Warriors guard Monta Ellis had a chance to winTuesday nights game against the Miami Heat in regulation with the score tied96-96. He ended up dribbling out most of the game clock.He then made a move and pulled up for a jumper. But LeBron Jamescame over to help and all Ellis could do was throw a pass to Dorell Wright.Only the buzzer sounded before Wright could get a shot off. In the previousgame, with the Warriors down one late in regulation, Ellis missed a floater asthe buzzer sounded.RELATED: Did Ellis wait too long again? He says 'No'
After Tuesdays game against Miami, Ellis said he didnt needto shoot the ball or try to shoot the ball sooner. After Wednesdays practice, I talked to Warriors head coachMark Jackson about it.Question: Did Monta wait too longagain?Jackson: The buzzer went off so clearlyhe waited too long. I think the problem was LeBron did a very good job ofdefending Dorell in the corner and also keeping Monta off-balance. But Montaknows it. In that situation, youve got to get a shot up.REWIND: Monta Ellis waits too long -- again
Question: Talk about the differentsituations, being down one against Utah and Saturday and being tied onTuesday.Jackson: Well, its a huge difference.Last night we were satisfied with Monta shooting the ball at the buzzer. He didnot shoot it at the buzzer but we would have been satisfied with that. That wasthe objective coming out of the timeout.The other night, being down, we want to give ourselves achance to get a second shot. Or even if we dont, (have enough time to) foulthem. If you think about it, the other night, as the buzzer goes off, David (Lee)then tips the ball in. So if we had that extra half-second or second, we winthe ballgame.Question: So if I ask Monta Dontyou have to go sooner than that? And he says No, is that just him notwanting to give in?Jackson: He clearly knows hes got to gosooner. The buzzer went off. That cant be argued. See what Imsaying?Question: Does Monta know that?Jackson: To me, thats just basicbasketball. If he doesnt theres no way we can win in regulation, so itscommon sense.Question: But if hes set on taking thelast shot, and he cant squeeze one off, youre not going to get one if he hasto make a pass.Jackson: Right. And he knows that. Mynine-year-old knows that. He knows it.

Durant building 'Thunder Stopper' reputation after 40-point effort

Durant building 'Thunder Stopper' reputation after 40-point effort

OAKLAND -- Kevin Durant, Thunder Stopper? With a second consecutive magnificent performance in decisive wins over his former Oklahoma City teammates, Durant may be adding a nickname.

Durant on Wednesday night posted his first 40-point game as a Warrior, carrying them to a 121-100 win over the Thunder at Oracle Arena.

He has scored 79 points in two games against OKC, taking only 40 shots to ring up such an impressive total. He was 13-of-16 Wednesday night and 15-of-24 in scoring 39 points in a 122-96 win on Nov. 3 at Oracle.

Though Durant downplayed his production, his coach and teammates were not surprised he has been so good against the team with which he spent nine seasons.

“It’s still kind of fresh, but we can’t deny the history of him with OKC,” Stephen Curry said.

“Every player in the NBA wants to play well against his old team,” coach Steve Kerr said. “For most guys, you feel that extra juice when you play against a team that you played on.”

Durant not only finished with a season-high point total but also added a team-best 12 rebounds, along with four assists and three blocks. He practically stamped his signature on the game.

“My teammates are doing a good job of freeing me up,” said Durant, who drilled 5-of-7 from beyond the arc. “I put the work in and prepared myself for every game. I just happened to knock them down.”

It’s not just that Durant was facing his former team, though. He was, once again, on opposite sides from longtime teammate and erstwhile friend Russell Westbrook. The two have not had much to say to each other since Durant’s decision last July to leave OKC and sign with the Warriors.

Little changed Wednesday night, though the two had a brief exchange in the second half, as Durant headed to the line to shoot a pair of free throws.

Asked if the two have talked, Westbrook said, “Nah,” despite the brief dialogue.

Durant carefully avoided saying anything remotely inflammatory about Westbrook or any of his former teammates.

“It’s good to see everybody,” he said. “Once the ball is tipped, you’re just playing. You’re just hooping. It’s as simple as that. But it’s definitely good to see everybody.”

Durant’s lone lowlight came when he blew a dunk with 1:45 left in the first half, taking flight about 10 feet from the basket and slamming the ball off the back of the rim and nearly to halfcourt.

“I thought I made it,” Durant said, “and then I heard the crowd.

“I was kind of upset. I tried to dunk it too hard, I think. I might have jumped from a little too far out. As I was close to the rim, I felt myself coming down a little earlier than usual.

“But, yeah, I should have made that one. That would have brought the crowd to its feet. But, hopefully, I’ll get another opportunity.”

The crowd was on its feet plenty, as was the case during Durant’s previous display against OKC. The Thunder won’t be back to Oakland this season.

Durant will have another chance to go after his former team and burnish his credentials as a Thunder Stopper when the teams meet on Feb. 11 in Oklahoma City.

 

Westbrook on Pachulia's flagrant foul: 'I'm going to get his ass back'

Westbrook on Pachulia's flagrant foul: 'I'm going to get his ass back'

Late in the first half of Wednesday's game between the Warriors and Thunder, Russell Westbrook collided with Zaza Pachulia.

Pachulia appeared to hit Westbrook in the face. The Thunder guard hit the floor and rolled around for a few seconds before bouncing back up.

The officials reviewed the play and assessed a flagrant foul on Pachulia.

After the game, Westbrook was asked about his vantage point on the play and he didn't hold back.

"I don't know. He me kind of hard. But it's alright. I'm going to get his ass back. Straight up," Westbrook said.

He was then asked if he noticed Pachulai standing over him.

"I didn't see that until just now, but I don't play that game. I'm going to get his ass back. Whenever that is, I don't know, but I don't play that game," Westbrook said.

Westbrook's comments were brought to Pachulia after the game and the Warriors center offered this rebuttal.

"I can't worry about that kind of comment. I'm part of an amazing team and we have a great goal of winning a championship. I'm all in with my energy, 100 percent. So we're thinking about this team, staying healthy, moving forward, getting better, getting to the playoffs and playing for the championship. That's what I'm thinking about. I'm not thinking about those kind of comments. That team is not there, so they may be thinking about other stuff like getting me back. Okay, you can get me back. But again, it's my 14th year, we all know what my game is, to play hard, not dirty. If it was a hard foul, it was a hard foul. It wasn't dirty at all. I'm not worried about this," Pachulia told the media.

Westbrook will get that chance on February 11 when the Warriors travel to Oklahoma City.