OAKLAND The Warriors held their annual open practice and scrimmageon Saturday at Oracle Arena, and it was mostly fun and games. Coach Mark Jackson,micd up for approximately 5,000 to hear, played the animated role of master ofceremonies, there was plenty of crowd participation, and the rookies all had tosing and dance like in years past.But there was the more serious business of the scrimmage andit was during that time that two players showed a little something: BrandonRush and Jeremy Tyler.Rush, who was mostly a spot-up shooter a year ago, hit acouple of jumpers off the dribble and also found a way to knock down a shot ortwo on his own, when he elevated over Klay Thompson.That wasnt Rushs game last season, but Jackson said fanswill see more of that this year.He came with the reputation of not being able to put it onthe floor and make plays, Jackson said. And we knew right away that wasntthe case. Actually, last year we put him in position. There were times when wewere a cold-shooting team from the perimeter and wed say Somebodys got toput the ball on the floor and make a play.He was the one guy who did it and did it well. So theresno surprise with him doing that. One thing I challenged him with in theoffseason was being able to put the ball on the floor better and being able toplay in pick-and-roll situations. Hes very good at it and hes going to haveplenty of opportunity to do that quite a bit this year.Tyler has kind of been the forgotten man on the Warriors. Hedidnt play much as a rookie in 2011-12, and this season seems to be behindDavid Lee, Carl Landry, Andrew Bogut (when he gets healthy) and Festus Ezeli.But Tyler played well at times during the Blue-Whitescrimmage. He was on the White team, which was made up what appeared to be thesubstitutes.Tyler had effective stretches on the interior against a teammade up of mostly first-team players.He is developing, Jackson said of Tyler, in his secondseason. Hes a much better basketball player now than when we first got him. Ithink this summer has been big for him as far as working with our young guys,being in the summer league. Battling against Festus Ezeli every day. It makesyou better. Hes got a more professional attitude and hes improving. Hesstronger and he has a better understanding of the game.The scrimmage: The Blue team was leadingthe White after three quarters, when Jackson called off the fourth quarter.Jackson said he didnt want to overwork his players and felt like theyd had agood enough workout. The Blue team was up by approximately six points.The Blue team consisted of: Harrison Barnes, Kent Bazemore,Andrew Bogut, Carlon Brown, Stephen Curry, Festus Ezeli, Draymond Green,Charles Jenkins, David Lee and Klay Thompson.The White team consisted of: Andris Biedrins, LanceGoulbourne, Stefhon Hannah, Jarrett Jack, Rick Jackson, Richard Jefferson,Tarence Kinsey, Carl Landry, Brandon Rush and Jeremy Tyler.
In case you missed it, the Warriors' season opener did not go well.
Final score: San Antonio 129, Golden State 100.
"That was a rough one," Warriors GM Bob Myers said on 95.7 The Game on Wednesday afternoon. "It's hard to evaluate. And I don't want to be critical of the players -- we're all part of it -- but I think effort stands out. I think we were out-competed a little bit. I don't think anybody is gonna run from that statement.
"As you watch any sports event, there are plays that shift the momentum of a game, where it seemed like we were trying to get back in it. And every time we would, they would hit a shot to kind of break our back again, or we would turn it over or there would be a rebound we didn't grab. Some of it is effort, some of it's being ready to play, and then some of it's the Spurs.
"They're good. They don't beat themselves. They never have. You have to beat them ... they earned it, we didn't. And if you wanted a wakeup call, that is about as good of a one as you can get."
The Spurs won the rebounding battle 55-35. They turned 21 offensive rebounds into 26 second-chance points.
San Antonio won the turnover battle (13 to 16), scored more fast break points (24 to 20) and shot eight more free throws (26 to 18) than the Warriors.
Golden State certainly did not look like the overwhelming favorite to win the title, but Myers understands that the team is a work in progress.
"This is the analogy that I think fits the best for me -- may not fit for you guys or the players -- you spend the last 9-10 months trying to climb a mountain, and you're there. You can see it. And you're at the summit, and you can actually see the pole; you can see the flag. And then someone tells you you gotta go back down. And you say, 'Come on, man. It's right there. Can't I just take these last few steps?' And they say it's closed, you gotta go home.
"So we walk down, you spend the whole offseason and you're off that mountain. And now somebody says, 'All right. Let's go.' Those first few steps, sometimes you're not looking at the feet in front of you. You're looking at the top of the mountain and you're thinking, 'Man. I gotta get all the way back up there.' You can't do it that way. You can't look at the top. You have to look at one foot in front of the other.
"And I think some of that will have to be overcome by us -- a team that went to the Finals two years in a row -- recognizing that this is the NBA; you have to play hard; every game does matter; you have to get better. But I think that game last night -- I hope, I think -- reminded our players of that. You can't talk about the playoffs right now. You gotta talk about the regular season. You gotta talk about Friday night in New Orleans."
LOS ANGELES -- Jordan Clarkson scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Lakers won coach Luke Walton's debut, holding off the Houston Rockets 120-114 on Wednesday night.
D'Angelo Russell scored 20 points and Julius Randle added 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the young Lakers, who got off to an exciting start in the franchise's first season without Kobe Bryant since 1995.
With a revamped roster coming off the worst season in the 16-time champion team's history, Los Angeles surged in the fourth quarter of an auspicious opener under Walton, the 36-year-old former Lakers forward.
James Harden had 34 points, a career-high 17 assists and eight rebounds for the Rockets, who lost in former Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni's debut on the Houston bench.
The Lakers played an up-tempo, aggressive offensive game under Walton, and nobody seized the moment better than Clarkson, who came off the bench in his first game since signing a $50 million contract. His 3-pointer put the Lakers up 116-112 with 1:48 left, and the Lakers hung on while the Rockets missed a long series of open shots in the final minute.
After matching the franchise record with 14 first-half assists, Harden tied his career high with his 16th early in the third quarter. The Los Angeles native managed only six points in the fourth quarter, going 1 for 5, and his teammates were a combined 5 for 16.
Hall of Famer Bill Walton proudly wore a purple Lakers T-shirt to his son's official coaching debut. Walton's mother and three brothers also attended the game. "The Walton force will be strong tonight," Luke said with a grin. "There's definitely nerves and excitement right now, but mostly there's no time to think about how incredible this is, and the opportunity. It's more focused on watching film and getting the prep work in for tonight's game."
The Lakers fired D'Antoni after he went 27-55 in 2013-14, the first of a franchise-record three straight non-playoff seasons. When D'Antoni was asked before the game about reflecting on his time in LA, the coach quickly quipped: "I try not to. ... No, I loved it. I actually did. Manhattan Beach is probably the greatest place to stay. Great friends. They treated me nice, (Lakers owner) Jim (Buss) and (general manager) Mitch (Kupchak). It just didn't fit. It just didn't work."
Lakers: Metta World Peace began his 17th NBA season, picking up three fouls in his first two minutes while guarding Harden. ... Before the game, they solidified their young core by picking up their 2017-18 contract options on Russell, Randle and Larry Nance Jr. ... Jack Nicholson, Denzel Washington, director Peter Berg, YG, Kendall Jenner, Karlie Kloss, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver attended the game.
Rockets: At Dallas on Friday in the opener of a home-and-home series.
Lakers: Open a four-game road trip at Utah on Friday.