Not a good time for Warriors to play Bulls

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Not a good time for Warriors to play Bulls

Chicago (1-0) vs. Warriors (0-1)
on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area at 7 p.m.

OAKLAND -- The good news is the Warriors get to immediatelybounce back from their disappointing season-opening loss to the Clippers. Badnews is that its against the Chicago Bulls.Of all the teams the Warriors could play right now, feelslike the Bulls have to be among the worst. Theyre an elite defensive team,they already seem to be playing for something and theyve got goodchemistry.The Warriors are clearly not a finished product and werevery much looking for their way on the offensive end against L.A. Warriors coach Mark Jackson focused onhis team giving up 64 points in the second half, and that was definitely aproblem.

But at least the Warriors played one pretty good defensivehalf against the Clippers in the first. They werent good on offense ineither half. The Bulls could make it very difficult on the Warriors onMonday. They have a way of locking down opponents in the halfcourt, and that's where the Warriors are weak.And dont forget, MVP Derrick Rose might even have somethingto prove. He was less than ordinary when the Warriors beat Chicago last seasonat Oracle, finishing with just 14 points -- on 6-for-15 from the field -- andnine turnovers.-- Stephen Curry ended up playing onSunday after spraining his right ankle in the last preseason game. Curry hadntpracticed since rolling the ankle Tuesday in Sacramento.Curry didnt play well against the Clippers -- 2-for-12 fromthe field, five turnovers -- but it wasnt obvious that the ankle was botheringhim. At least not to me. Currydefinitely didnt blame the ankle afterwards, saying it felt fine.-- One place the Warriors didnt lose thegame was on the interior. David Lee and Andris Biedrins werent the problem asthey held their own against Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.The Warriors resorted to intentionally fouling Jordan in thethird quarter, a strategy that neither failed nor succeeded. Jordan went4-for-12 from the free throw line on the night, but the Warriors didnt go onany kind of run when employing the strategy.Jordan may not have been great from the line, but he made upfor it by blocking eight shots.---Brandon Rush was the Warriors mostproductive player off the bench, scoring 12 points in 28 minutes. There weretimes when he was on the floor at the same time as Dorell Wright, but itscertainly possible Rush could cut into Wrights minutes this season.Wright still seems to be searching for his game a little bitthis season.

Draymond laughs at Jazz coach Quin Snyder: 'Like bro ... just chill'

Draymond laughs at Jazz coach Quin Snyder: 'Like bro ... just chill'

The Warriors left Utah with a 106-99 victory over the Jazz.

With 9.3 seconds remaining and the Warriors up by eight points, Kevin Durant was hit with a technical foul.

Draymond Green walked over to Durant and started laughing. Why?

"We were laughing at Quinn Snyder who kept calling timeouts," Draymond told reporters after the game. "Like bro, you're down 10 with six seconds left, it's kinda over my man."

[POOLE: Warriors fight off fatigue & complacency, win 'weird game' in Utah]

After Zaza Pachulia missed two free throws with the Warriors ahead by 11 and 1:05 remaining, the Jazz got the rebound and immediately called timeout.

After Draymond made one of two free throws with 49.4 seconds left to make it 104-94, Utah called another timeout.

After Steph Curry made a free throw to give the Warriors an eight-point lead with 9.3 seconds left, Quin Snyder used his final timeout.

Warriors play-by-play broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald said: "Utah is gonna use another time out. Quin Snyder is just practicing game-ending situations."

Analyst Jim Barnett responded with: "Absolutely, that's what he's doing."

"Just let us go to the restaurant and have a good dinner; just chill," Draymond added. "That's what we were laughing at. Nothing about the tech ... that was funny. But that's all it was."
 

Warriors fight off fatigue & complacency, win 'weird game' in Utah

Warriors fight off fatigue & complacency, win 'weird game' in Utah

The Warriors smelled trouble from the moment they left Los Angeles for their overnight flight to Salt Lake City, where on Thursday night, precisely 20 hours after they disposed of the Clippers in LA, they would face the Utah Jazz.

The Jazz announced Wednesday that four players – including three starters – would be out with injuries.

Trap Game, eh? It’s not a clich√©, not in today’s NBA, where the schedule is both unforgiving and remorseless.

And then on Thursday morning the Warriors received information that a fourth Utah starter, leading scorer Gordon Hayward, also would not be available.

With one healthy Jazz starter greeting the hottest team in the league, the Warriors caught a slight whiff of Eau de Upset. Acutely aware they were facing a severely shorthanded squad the Warriors swallowed hard and went immediately for the blowout.

They failed. Though they would win their 16th of 17 games and run their record to 20-3 by silencing the Jazz, 106-99, the Warriors also got a reminder that severely patchwork teams tend to bring the fight.

“It wasn’t pretty,” Stephen Curry told reporters at Vivint Smart Home Arena, “but got a win.”

Oh, it was beautiful early. The Warriors running and gunning and smothering Utah, taking a 29-5 lead barely eight minutes into the game and holding a 65-46 advantage at the half. They were achieving their goal of quickly opening this gift of a game to allow their starters to watch most of the second half.

Rarely is it that easy under these circumstances, and this would not be an exception. When patchwork NBA teams accept that winning is not an option, they set about avoiding embarrassment.

With a 12-0 run in the middle of the third quarter, the Jazz cut the deficit to nine (73-64), and when the Warriors steadied themselves to go up 14 (80-66) with 2:45 left in the third, the Jazz fashioned a 13-4 run to narrow it to 84-79.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr blamed it on a “lack of focus,” which is a symptom of presuming victory.

“Our first quarter was great; we pushed the ball. Our defensive intensity was fantastic and then we let down,” Kerr said. “We started turning it over with some careless, purposeless plays. We didn’t really have an idea of what we were trying to accomplish and then some defensive mistakes like not getting out on their shooters, and they took advantage.”

Outscoring the Warriors 53-41 in the second half, the Jazz – playing without Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Rodney Hood and George Hill – made the vastly superior team sweat.

“They obviously played with a lot of energy,” said Curry, who scored a game-high 26 points. “They didn’t fold and we got a little stagnant on offense, it happens, but you just got to be able to finish the game out. The way we started gave us an opportunity to withstand their run and never really have the game out of hand.”

Kevin Durant ensured there would be no upset, performing the closeout with an 11-point fourth quarter. He scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half.

“Just tried to be aggressive,” Durant said. “I didn’t do a good job attacking throughout the game. I thought that was a good opportunity for me to attack. I got to the free throw line and that got me going. I got some dunks, a few cuts and Steph [Curry] helped me out as well.

“It was a weird game. It was a grind out game. We started off so well and then a three-pointer got them back in the game. They played physical later on the game and were able to take us out of our game a little bit, but we kept fighting and we got a good win on a back-to-back.”

In defeating the Jazz, the Warriors also held off two more formidable foes: fatigue and complacency. There are nights, and this was one of them, when the path to victory requires beating all three.