Warriors mount huge comeback, but fall to Lakers 104-101


Warriors mount huge comeback, but fall to Lakers 104-101


OAKLAND The Warriors overcame a 16-point first-half deficit and had a lead against the Lakers with inside of 90 seconds remaining. But Kobe Bryant made a pair of clutch jump shots, and the Lakers wound up with the win.Lakers 104, Warriors 101Player of the game: Matt Barnes came off the Lakers bench and gave them some real nice minutes. Barnes, who played the whole fourth quarter, finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes.Key stretch: After David Lee (23 points, nine rebounds) had put the Warriors up 97-95 with 1:22 remaining, Kobe Bryant went to work. Bryant, who had been struggling from the field, buried a contested jumper from the baseline with 1:05 left to tie the game.Then after a Klay Thompson miss, Bryant hit another contested jumper again over Brandon Rush with 32.3 seconds remaining to give the Lakers a 99-97 lead.My mother and father didnt raise any fools, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. I fully understand were playing against the Los Angeles Lakers with a guy who is an absolute assassin. When you look at the rosters, the starting lineup, if I was a betting man it would have been safe to say the Lakers would drill us.

But Ive got a bunch of guys that compete, get after it, work extremely hard and have tremendous character and pride. We gave ourselves a chance. Im proud of them and I told them that.After Rush missed a tough left-handed drive with 25 seconds left, the Warriors were forced to foul.Bryant finished with 30 points, but shot just 9-for-24 from the field.On that last shot, my hand hit his hand, Rush said. So I thought it was good defense. Hes one of the greatest players to play the game and he managed to make the shot. Thats what he does.Rebounding issues: Defensively, the Warriors did pretty well in the first half, holding the Lakers to 44 percent shooting from the field. But the Warriors had trouble on the glass, and subsequently gave up too many second-chance points.By halftime, the Lakers had a 28-17 edge on the glass, with Gasol grabbing 13 rebounds in 18 first-half minutes.Its just a bunch of bad news bears that find a way to compete, Jackson said of his team.

Bench play: Former Warrior Matt Barnes had a wonderful first half for the Lakers, scoring 10 points, grabbing six rebounds and handing out three assists in just 13 minutes.Barnes, a member of the 2006-07 We Believe Warriors, knocked down two of three 3-pointers and was his usual bothersome self on the defensive end.Meanwhile, the Warriors didnt get much out of their subs. Mickell Gladness, Richard Jefferson, Brandon Rush and Dominic McGuire combined to shoot 2-for-9 in the first half and total just seven points.But boy did things change in the second half particularly for Rush and McGuire. Rush had 21 of his 23 points in the second half, and McGuire defended and even did a nice job at point guard.McGuire ended up with four points, seven rebounds and five assists.No Nate: Point guard Nate Robinson warmed up before the game and was in uniform, but he wound up not playing because of a strained right hamstring.Jenkins started in Robinsons place his 11th start of the season. Jenkins, who was coming off a career-high 27 points against Portland on Sunday, got off to a slow start, missing three of his first four shots as the Warriors fell behind 18-12.Jackson subbed for Jenkins with three-plus minutes in the first quarter, then brought him back midway through the second. Jenkins seemed to get his sea legs under him in his second stint, and he scored eight points in the second quarter.Jenkins finished the first half with 10 points and two assists.

Rewind: Despite 6-1 preseason record, Warriors 'still have a ways to go'

Rewind: Despite 6-1 preseason record, Warriors 'still have a ways to go'

OAKLAND – The Warriors, AKA Super Team, closed the preseason Friday night with the same super look exhibited in two previous games, informing the NBA that they are ready for games that matter.

For the third consecutive game, Warriors starters routed those of their opponent, this time blasting Portland starting five 80-56. Taking an 18-point lead into the fourth quarter, the reserves took over and held on for a 107-96 win at Oracle Arena.

It was a fairly simple formula. After playing some sleepy defense early, and falling behind 22-6 less than five minutes after tipoff, Steph Curry snapped awake and began putting the Blazers to sleep.

“They came out firing and we weren’t ready to play,” coach Steve Kerr said of the opening minutes.

But with back-to-back 14-point quarters, Curry almost single-handedly gave the Warriors a 57-56 halftime lead before handing the scoring baton to Kevin Durant.

Putting together a 14-point third quarter of his own, Durant powered a 22-4 run that netted an 86-65 lead with 2:03 left in the third, ending Portland’s night.

“For the most part of in the first half, it was a really good basketball game,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “An understatement is the game got away from us in the third quarter. They got hot.”

On a night when Klay Thompson (9 points, 3-of-13 shooting) never found his shot, Curry and Durant combined for 63 points on 23-of-42 shooting from the field, including 13-of-21 from beyond the arc.

“We’re continuing to build chemistry and flow of where shots are going to come from and everybody (is learning) the little nuances of our offense,” Curry said. “Like when to cut, when to come off the dribble and when to screen for somebody, just based on where you are on the court. Those aren’t set play calls; it’s just organized chaos.”

That’s precisely the way Kerr wants the Warriors to play. Defend ferociously to trigger transition, run at every opportunity, take every open 3-pointer and keep the ball and the bodies moving at all times.

“I thought what changed the game was Andre (Iguodala),” Kerr said. “His stat line may not look like it, but he changed the game with his defense, started getting deflections and playing the passing lanes. I thought he and Draymond (Green) kind of picked up the intensity and got us back in the game.”

That’s the thing about the new-and-improved Warriors. They’re dangerous in a dazzling variety of ways. They use defense to disrupt and speed up the game to their liking, and they have a seemingly relentless supply of offensive weapons – with the 3-point shot being their nuclear dagger.

They made 17 treys, in 43 attempts, on Friday – while holding the Blazers to 8-of-26. Picking up the slack for Thompson was Ian Clark, who came off the bench for 17 points in 18 minutes, including three bombs from deep.

It’s not midseason, or even regular season, but it’s what Kerr and his staff hopes to see beginning with the opener on Tuesday night.

“Going 6-1 and winning the Pacific Division preseason title is a big deal; I don’t know if we’re going to hang a banner,” Kerr said, tongue in cheek. “All in all, things are coming together.

“But we still have a ways to go. We’re not there yet. But we probably shouldn’t be there yet. We’re only a few weeks into this thing. We’ll keep working.”

The Warriors may not be “there yet,” but it’s hard to imagine more preseason action would get them any closer. Bring on the regular season. They’re nothing more to prove in games that are not official.

Warriors' Durant exhibits entire scoring arsenal vs Blazers

Warriors' Durant exhibits entire scoring arsenal vs Blazers

OAKLAND – In the final preseason game on the schedule, at his new home of Oracle Arena, Kevin Durant entered the highlight zone.

The team’s newest superstar exhibited his entire scoring arsenal, dropping 3-pointers, soaring in for dunks and swishing mid-range post-ups.

The most impressive dunk came with 9:02 left in the quarter, when Durant took a pass from Draymond Green and finished the fast break by taking off from about 10 feet and throwing it down.

[POOLE: Instant Replay: Curry, Durant light it up in win over Blazers]

The most impressive trey came with 5:43 remaining in the third quarter, when Steph Curry came down in transition, slipped a pass to Durant, who threw it in from 32 feet.

Durant scored 14 points in the third quarter, 5-of-7 shooting, including 4-of-5 from deep.

Durant’s line: 28 points (11-of-21, 5-of-8, 1-of-2), seven rebounds, six assists and one block.