Monta misses buzzer beater in Warriors' 88-87 loss to Jazz


Monta misses buzzer beater in Warriors' 88-87 loss to Jazz


OAKLAND The Warriors lost their fifth straight game on Saturday night, as twice Monta Ellis couldnt make a big play or big shot with the game on the line. It only gets more difficult with the Miami Heat coming into Oracle on Tuesday.Jazz 88, Warriors 87

Key sequence: With the game tied at 87-87 and 15 seconds remaining, Monta Ellis got caught in the air and turned the ball over. Utahs Gordon Hayward got fouled on the ensuing fastbreak and knocked down one of two foul shots with 11 seconds remaining.On the games final possession, Ellis who had been one of the few bright spots on the night for Golden State wound the clock down, then missed on a little runner on the right side as time expired. He was defended well on the play by Raja Bell, and Ellis didnt shoot it early enough to allow for the Warriors to get an offensive rebound.Any day (Ill take that shot), Ellis said. It was a tough one. We did everything we could. Ill take this one (the blame). I turned the ball over at the end, then come down and didnt make the shot. It was a great shot. Like I said, Ill take it any day. I just didnt knock it down.Said coach Mark Jackson: No need to hold our heads down. Were going to be fine. But we need to make it happen. Nobody is going to hand-deliver us a win. Weve got to go get it.Ellis evolution: Ellis really played a smart third quarter for the Warriors and he did it despite going 0-for-4 from the field. With his jumper not falling, Ellis went down to the low post and went to work on a variety of Jazz defenders.The result was that Ellis got to the line nine times in the period and he made eight. He also handed out three assists in the period and helped the Warriors overcome a 57-50 deficit.The guy is doing everything I ask him to do on both sides of the basketball, Jackson said.Ellis wound up going 16-for-17 from the foul line, a career high for him in free throws made.

Clawing back: After getting down 18-6 and 21-10, the Warriors slowly but surely got back into it and led 46-45 at halftime. They did it by limiting their turnovers and defending better. The Warriors committed six turnovers in the first quarter, which led to nine Jazz points. They had only two turnovers in the second quarter.As for the defense, after giving up 50 percent shooting in the first quarter, they held the Jazz to 5-for-13 from the floor in the second quarter. The only issue in that period was fouls. Utah was in the bonus halfway through the period and took 11 free throws in that quarter.Yet foul trouble might have been a blessing in disguise for Golden State because it prompted Warriors coach Mark Jackson to finish out the half by playing zone defense.The Warriors played plenty of zone in the second half, too, and it was effective. The Jazz shot only 39.5 percent for the game.Still, Warriors forward David Lee wasnt having any of it."Its frustrating, said Lee, who finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds. While were sitting here at 2-6 we could easily be 4-4 or 5-3. Im going to be very frustrated until we get that next win. Youre on a losing streak and nothing seems positive at this point. In my opinion you cant take anything positive away from todays game.

Wright tries to build: After Dorell Wright made a few shots and finished with 10 points against the Lakers on Friday after two scoreless games the hope was that he was on his way.It was encouraging, Jackson said before the game. I thought he did a good job of stepping up to the challenge and defending Kobe (Bryant). Offensively, he made some shots and was aggressive. We need him and it was refreshing to see him play like the Dorell from last year. Hopefully this is the start of a great roll for him.

Not so fast, my friend.Wright wasnt much of a factor, playing only 20 minutes and sitting out most of the second half. He went just 1-for-3 from the floor on the night. Wright entered Saturdays game averaging 6.1 points per game, while shooting 32.7 percent from the floor and 19.2 percent from beyond the arc.

Jackson ended up going with rookie Klay Thompson down the stretch instead of Dorell Wright. When asked why he went with Thompson, Jackson replied: "To get shooting on the floor. He battles on the defensive end. And I thought in spite of the numbers he played well. I thought he made a mistake on transition on a two-on-one with Monta, but other than that I thought he played very well.Those Warriors are history: Utah coach Tyrone Corbin was asked before the game about the danger of playing the Warriors.Said Corbin: Their speed allows them to get into the open court and if you play an uptempo game with them and their making shots and youre not, it can be a tough night for you. Youve got to make sure you control the tempo of the game. Youve got to slow them down and make them play against your halfcourt sets. Run on your opportunities but make sure you play in a tempo that is favorable to you and not to them.Reality is the Warriors arent an uptempo team anymore. Through seven games the Warriors were averaging just 90 points per game and hadnt cracked the 100-point mark.

Steph Curry, Kevin Durant named starters in 2017 All-Star Game

Steph Curry, Kevin Durant named starters in 2017 All-Star Game

Warriors guard Stephen Curry has been voted to start the NBA All-Star Game for the fourth consecutive season, and this time there was a measure of suspense.

Curry will join Rockets guard James Harden in the backcourt for the Western Conference squad, as voters snubbed MVP candidate and triple-double specialist Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City.

Joining Curry and Harden in the starting lineup for the West will be Warriors forward Kevin Durant, Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard and Pelicans forward/center Anthony Davis.

A combination of fan balloting (50 percent), player balloting (25 percent) and media balloting (25 percent) comprises the overall vote.

Curry’s selection is sure to generate considerable debate, as Westbrook leads the league in scoring (30.6 points per game), is second in assists and 11th (10.4) in rebounding (10.6). Westbrook also leads the league in PER at 29.56.

Moreover, he is bidding to become the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 to average a triple-double over the course of a full season.

Coming off back-to-back MVP seasons, Curry ranks 12th in scoring (24.6 points per game), 15th in assists (6.1), second in 3-pointers made (158) and eighth in steals (1.81). His 92.6-percent shooting from the line ranks second in the NBA.

He is the first Warrior since Wilt Chamberlain to start four straight All-Star games.

Durant, in his first season with the Warriors, leads the team in scoring (26.2) and blocks (1.71) and double-doubles (16). He’s second in rebounding (8.6) and third in assists (4.7). His 54.4-percent shooting from the field is 10th in the league and tops among perimeter players.

Durant will be making his eighth appearance, and his fifth as a starter.

The Eastern Conference starters are as follows: guards Kyrie Irving of the Cavaliers and DeMar DeRozan of the Raptors, with frontcourt players LeBron James of the Cavs, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks and Jimmy Butler of the Bulls.

All-Star reserves, which are chosen by NBA coaches, will be announced on Jan. 26.

Durant's future with the Warriors: 'I’m just in it for the long haul'

Durant's future with the Warriors: 'I’m just in it for the long haul'

With the salary cap rising , Kevin Durant is expected to opt out of the second-year of his two-year contract with Golden State and become a free agent again this summer.

But don't plan on him signing with another team.

“I’m liking it here,” Durant told Sam Amick of USA Today Sports at the Warriors' groundbreaking ceremony. “I’m liking everything that’s going on. I know what my contract says, but I didn’t plan on coming here for just a year. I’m in it right now, and I’m also just focusing on day by day.

“I know it’s cliché, and you hear that all the time, but I’m seriously just not thinking about it because I’m like – I’m just in it for the long haul.”

[RELATED: Durant on Chase Center: 'It'll be fun playing in there']

Warriors owner and CEO Joe Lacob is not concerned about losing Durant.

He also fully anticipates re-signing free-agent-to-be Stephen Curry.

“I have no angst whatsoever," Lacob told Amick. "I totally am positive (that) I think those guys are going to sign. They’re both free agents. They have a right to do whatever they want. They’ve earned it, and I respect that.

"If they don’t sign with us for some reason, then shame on me and us. I take responsibility for that. But I don’t see that happening.”