Warriors overpowered by Howard, Magic, fall 117-109


Warriors overpowered by Howard, Magic, fall 117-109

OAKLAND The Warriors scored the first nine points of the game. but the Orlando Magic scored the final eight, giving them a comeback win at Oracle Arena. The Warriors, who were coming off an overtime win against Miami, now head out onto the road for a four-game road trip beginning Saturday in Charlotte.Magic 117, Warriors 109Star of the game:Dwight Howard finished the game with 45 points and 23 rebounds as the Warriors spent a portion of the game fouling him intentionally.
When the Warriors werent fouling him on purpose, they were fouling him because they had to. Howard set an NBA record for free throw attempts in a game against the Warriors with 39. His final line looked like this: 12-for-21 from the field, 21-for-29 from the foul line.I think he was in a pretty good rhythm all night, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. The guy missed 18 free throws. I can understand people thinking: Why? But dont get caught up in the free throws. Think about when we didnt foul him. Dunks, hooks at the rim. Hes a great player and hes a bad free throw shooter. We were giving ourselves the best chance possible. We tried to mess up their rhythm, take their 3-point shooters out of it. Which we did.Key stretch: The Warriors and Magic were tied 109-109 with 1:23 remaining in the fourth quarter, but Howard followed up a Hedo Turkoglu miss and turned it into a 3-point play. Then Monta Ellis, who finished with 30 points and 11 assists, missed a 3-pointer and Von Wafer knocked down a triple at the other end. That made it a six-point game with half-a-minute remaining and that was that.Record-setting night: At various points the Warriors intentionally fouled Orlando Dwight Howard. At other times, they simply fouled him hard to stop inside moves. Then other times, he was fouled normally.All this fouling resulted in Howard going to the line 39 times, which set an NBA record for free throw attempts in a game. Wilt Chamberlain, playing for Philadelphia, took 34 free throws in a game against St. Louis on Feb. 22, 1962.Jackson said afterward he wouldnt have fouled Howard as much if Kwame Brown were healthy. Brown suffered a tear in his chest muscle against Miami on Tuesday and will miss approximately three months.Intentional fouling: Warriors coach Mark Jackson intentionally fouled Dwight Howard on several possessions in the second quarter. While the Warriors lead dwindled over that period, it wasnt because Howard was knocking down his free throws.It was because the Warriors didnt use the strategy consistently and got caught twice not fouling when they had been instructed to do so. Howard finished the first half with 19 points and 13 rebounds, but he was just 9-for-18 from the foul line.Curry update: : Warriors general manager Larry Riley talked to point guard Stephen Curry on Thursday and said Curry was working out back in Charlotte.He was actually able to do some shooting, Riley said. We wont know for sure how far he responded. Were probably another day away from putting some kind of timeline from when we expect him back. I think well have a better feel (Friday).Curry has missed the past four games with a sprained right ankle. He sustained the injury on Jan. 4 against the Spurs.

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.