W's defense spearheads win in Atlanta

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W's defense spearheads win in Atlanta

BOX SCORE

Warriors 85, Hawks 82Players of the game: Monta Ellis didnt shoot the ball particularly well, but he made enough shots to help the Warriors win the game. Ellis finished with a team-high 24 points on 10-for-27 shooting.David Lee may have hit the biggest shot of his Warriors career, knocking down an inside shot with 30 seconds remaining to give the Warriors a two-point lead.Lee finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds.Said Lee: The play out of the timeout was the play we tried to run against Memphis (earlier loss) where they took the charge. This time I pulled up short and shot a floater to make the shot. You make the adjustments as you go along.We talk about losing some games down the stretch and learning from it. And I learned from it. We ran the same play tonight and I was able to complete it.Dominic McGuire got the start and set a defensive tone. He helped limit Joe Johnson throughout the game and he grabbed a team-high 15 rebounds.One thing about him, Jackson said of McGuire, is he embodies everything we preach from Day 1. Putting him in the lineup I knew exactly what I was going to get from him. Great defense, goes after every rebound. Just great energy and effort.Defense doesnt rest: The Warriors rebounded from a clunker with a nice defensive effort. The Warriors held the Hawks to just 34 percent shooting from the field, with the tone being set by McGuire and Ekpe Udoh.It was great all-around, Jackson said of his teams defense. We got after it. We made some mistakes but at the end of the day we competed, paid attention to the game plan, made them work and made them make shots on our terms. Overall I couldnt be more pleased about this victory.
3-point struggles: For the second consecutive game, the Warriors struggled from beyond the 3-point line. The Warriors missed nine of their first 10 3-point shots against the Hawks, and finished just 1-for-12 from beyond the arc.In Tuesdays 102-78 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, the Warriors made just 3-of-22 from 3-point range. The Warriors entered Wednesdays game shooting 36.8 percent from deep, tied for second in the league.McGuire gets nod: Warriors coach Mark Jackson went in a different direction with the starting lineup on Wednesday. When point guard Stephen Curry has missed games with injury, Jacksons M.O. has been to start rookie Charles Jenkins.But Jackson started defensive specialist Dominic McGuire for Curry, and matched him up against Joe Johnson. McGuire did his job at the start, playing nine first quarter minutes, grabbing seven rebounds and holding Johnson to just a field goal.Short stint for Curry: The Warriors played on Wednesday night without starting point guard Stephen Curry, the second consecutive game hes missed because of a strained tendon in his right foot.Well, that's not exactly true, in reality. Curry wound up playing three seconds, when Jackson put him in late to serve as a decoy. Jackson used Curry on the play where Lee ended up hitting the game-winning shot.Curry sustained the injury in the first quarter of last Wednesdays game against the Phoenix Suns. The Warriors are calling Currys injury day-to-day, which would make a return Friday against Philadelphia a possibility. Curry has missed 11 games this season because of injury.

NBA Gameday: Warriors must summon intensity for early start vs Magic

NBA Gameday: Warriors must summon intensity for early start vs Magic

Having destroyed three highly regarded opponents in their toughest week of the season, the Warriors on Sunday face an altogether different kind of challenge.

This time, it’s simply waking up.

The Warriors will pursue their seventh consecutive win, facing the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 a.m Pacific., the earliest game of the season for the Warriors.

The last time the Warriors (37-6) played such an early game in the Eastern Time Zone was March 26, 1995, also in Orlando.

The Magic (18-27) will want to be on alert for Warriors star Stephen Curry, who torched Orlando for 51 points last Feb. 25, his last visit to Amway Center.

BETTING LINE:
Warriors by 12.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Kevin Durant vs. Aaron Gordon: It’s the most efficient high-producer on offense (Durant) vs. one of the top five athletes in the league (Gordon). Durant is taking apart all defenders, and Gordon isn’t known for his D. No, the South Bay native is most known for his ability to fly. Durant’s task will be to minimize lob attempts while keeping him off the offensive glass for easy put backs.

INJURY REPORT:
Warriors: F/C David West (L thumb fracture) is listed as out. G Shaun Livingston (rest) is listed as out.

Magic: G Evan Fournier (R foot soreness) is listed as questionable. G Jodie Meeks (R thumb sprain) and G C. J. Wilcox (L Achilles tendinitis) are listed as out.

LAST 10:
Warriors: 9-1. Magic: 3-7.

SERIES HISTORY:
The Warriors have swept the Magic in each of the past three seasons, compiling a six-game win streak during which they’ve won by an average of 10.8 points per game.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
EARLY FOCUS: After such astonishing success in a grueling week, with three emotional games, the Warriors may be susceptible to a letdown against inferior competition. Will they be able to summon the intensity from the start?

THE BIG MEN: Zaza Pachulia will have his hands full with Nikola Vucevic, the USC product who is one of the league’s more skilled scorers in the paint. Vucevic is not much of a defender, though, so Pachulia may find a few opportunities via the back cut or the pick-and-roll.

INSIDE D: If ever there were an offensive team begging to be defended by a zone, it is the Magic, who are 25th in field-goal percentage and, even worse, 28th in 3-point shooting percentage. The Warriors should be in good shape if they limit penetration.

Ex-Warrior rips Thunder for not defending Westbrook after Pachulia incident

Ex-Warrior rips Thunder for not defending Westbrook after Pachulia incident

Late in the first half of Wednesday night's game against the Thunder, Warriors center Zaza Pachulia made hard contact with Russell Westbrook, sending the Oklahoma City star sprawling to the ground.

The referees reviewed the play and gave Pachulia a flagrant foul.

Replays show Pachulia appearing to stand over Westbrook and none of his Thunder teammates coming to his defense.

Raja Bell, a 12-year NBA veteran who was briefly a Warrior during the 2009-10 season, was not happy with the reaction of the Thunder players.

"You are supposed to come flying across the court. You don't have to punch him, because that's a lot of money. But he should catch a forearm across his shoulder, a shove in the back, you ain't gonna knock down Russell Westbrook, the everything to the team I'm playing on, who feeds me, who makes me better, you ain't gonna do that and just stand over him and ice grill him. Not a chance," Bell said on Thursday during the NBA Crossover show on CBS Sports.

The incident started a war of words between Westbrook a Pachulia following the game.

"I don't know. He hit me kind of hard. But it's alright. I'm going to get his ass back. Straight up," Westbrook said when asked about what happened on the play.

He was then asked if he noticed Pachulia standing over him.

"I didn't see that until just now, but I don't play that game. I'm going to get his ass back. Whenever that is, I don't know, but I don't play that game," Westbrook said.

Pachulia responded to Westbrook's comments moments later.

"I can't worry about that kind of comment. I'm part of an amazing team and we have a great goal of winning a championship. I'm all in with my energy, 100 percent. So we're thinking about this team, staying healthy, moving forward, getting better, getting to the playoffs and playing for the championship. That's what I'm thinking about. I'm not thinking about those kind of comments.

"That team is not there, so they may be thinking about other stuff like getting me back. Okay, you can get me back. But again, it's my 14th year, we all know what my game is, to play hard, not dirty. If it was a hard foul, it was a hard foul. It wasn't dirty at all. I'm not worried about this," Pachulia told the media.