Barnes to start opener for Warriors. Will Bogut?

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Barnes to start opener for Warriors. Will Bogut?

OAKLAND -- It wasnt a big deal to Warriors head coach MarkJackson, but that doesnt mean it wasnt a big deal to Harrison Barnes.Jackson had said all along in preseason that not only did henot know who was going to start at small forward this season for the Warriorsbut that it didnt really matter who did.Either Barnes, a rookie, or Brandon Rush was going to start,according to Jackson, and the guy who didnt was going to play plenty anyway.Well, two days before the Warriors open their 2012-13 regular season againstthe Suns in Phoenix, Jackson said Barnes would start.Harrison Barnes will be my starting small forward, Jacksonsaid after Mondays practice. Its well-deserved. I could have gone eitherway. Brandon Rush had a very good preseason. I just think its a better rolefor Rush coming off the bench either coming in for (shooting guard) Klay(Thompson) or Harrison.And I think Harrison earned it. He played very well, and Ithought his last game was his best performance. With that group, well be ableto utilize some of his strengths athletic ability, slashing ability. Hes aguy that has shown I can trust him defensively. He competes. Its a greataccomplishment for him, but were not done individually orcollectively.Barnes, 6-foot-8, 210 pounds, averaged 10.4 points, on 49percent shooting, and 3.3 rebounds in 25 minutes per game in eight preseasongames. He started the last six preseason games, including last Tuesday: a107-92 victory over the Suns at Oracle. In that game he had 16 points (on5-for-8 from the field, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range) and sevenrebounds in 24 minutes.It means a lot, said Barnes, whom the Warriors selected outof North Carolina with the No. 7 pick in the June draft. Obviously, to play inthe NBA and start as a rookie thats a huge accomplishment. But my mindsetisnt going to change just to go out and provide all the little things that Ican to help the team win.With Barnes now named the starting small forward, fourGolden State starters are known: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Barnes and DavidLee. The only remaining question is whether Andrew Bogut or Festus Ezeli willstart at center.RELATED: Bogut goes through entire Warriors practice
Bogut hasnt played since he fractured his left ankle whileplaying for the Milwaukee Bucks in January. But in his first full-contact, five-on-fivepractice with the Warriors on Monday, Bogut ran with the starting unit. Bogutwas cleared for all basketball-related activities a week ago. The original planhad Bogut playing a preseason game or two before the opener.But Bogut missed all eight preseason games, and its unknownwhether hell play in the first regular-season game. He went contact, he went through all the drills, Jacksonsaid of Bogut. Live offensively and defensively. He showed what type of aweapon hes going to be for us.If Bogut isnt ready to start by Wednesday, Ezeli will getthe start. Andris Biedrins, who missed a good chunk of the preseason with agroin injury, participated in all of practice on Monday.

Warriors All-Stars combine for 56 points, West wins

Warriors All-Stars combine for 56 points, West wins

BOX SCORE

NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis had an All-Star Game for the record books.

And on a night when Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant provided a glimpse of the past, Giannis Antetokounmpo showed he's clearly part of the future and a midcourt lob attempt from James Harden even went in, Davis absolutely stole the show.

He scored 52 points, 10 more than Wilt Chamberlain's All-Star record that had stood for 55 years, and the Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference 192-182 on Sunday night — the highest-scoring game in league history.

Davis made 26 shots and took 39, both of those also All-Star records. He even outdid Westbrook, who had 41 points in just 20 minutes — which ordinarily would have been enough to merit him what would have been a third straight MVP award.

Not this time. It was Davis hoisting the trophy, to the delight of his New Orleans fans.

"It was a lot of fun," Davis said. "My teammates did a great job of looking for me."

Durant had a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Stephen Curry added 21 points for the West — where a subplot emerged as DeMarcus Cousins played only two minutes, prompting some speculation that a trade sending him out of Sacramento might be looming.

Antetokounmpo had 30 points for the East, with 12 dunks in his night. LeBron James scored 23 points to become the first All-Star to eclipse 300 in a career, Kyrie Irving had 22 points and 14 assists, and Isaiah Thomas scored 20 for the East.

Davis became the story that overshadowed The Story coming into this game, that being the Durant-Westbrook whatever.

And if there is any animus remaining between Durant and Westbrook, it was hidden. They passed each other the ball and slapped hands in the pregame layup line, and not long after Westbrook checked into the game the former Oklahoma City teammates provided one of the game's top highlights — a give-and-go, capped by Durant lobbing the ball to set Westbrook up for a dunk.

"OH MY GOD! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?" Curry shouted on the West bench, which moments later broke into celebration. Players jumped and threw hands skyward, Curry tossing a cupful of water onto a smiling Durant amid it all.

Draymond Green called the play "cute," and Westbrook and Durant seemed happy with it as well.

"It was a nice give-and-go, man," Westbrook said. "Good give-and-go. Made a good pass. I barely got over the rim, but it was a nice give-and-go."

Added Durant: "It was a great basketball play. He was open so I threw him the lob. He can jump really high so yeah, good play."

Some fans were shouting "De-Fense!" in the fourth quarter. West center DeAndre Jordan heard them, rising from his seat on the West bench to yell "No, no, no" back in their direction.

If those fans were serious, they were disappointed.

Westbrook scored 12 points — all on 3s — in a 63-second span late in the third quarter, coming off the bench and firing over and over and over again. And then he opened the fourth quarter with another 3, giving him 34 points in just under 14 minutes played to that point.

It looked like he was a cinch for MVP honors, until Davis scored 20 points in the fourth.

TIP-INS

East: Irving also led the East in rebounds with seven. ... Kyle Lowry scored 19 points and DeMar DeRozan added 16. ... No East player logged more than 24 minutes.

West: Curry took cover in the third quarter, comically hitting the deck face-first as Antetokounmpo went in for yet another dunk. So later in the quarter, Antetokounmpo went over Curry for a rebound slam — one that left Curry staring at the scoreboard for a replay. ... Kawhi Leonard had a steal and dunk in the opening minute, a defensive display that left West coach Steve Kerr in hysterics.

EMBIID CLOSE

Joel Embiid wanted to be in the All-Star Game, and he was close — literally and figuratively.

The Philadelphia star sat on the edge of the baseline next to the West bench, meaning he got to greet players throughout the night and share a few words with some at halftime.

CELEB WATCH

A huge roar greeted Jon Batiste, who performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" pregame, when he started the song.

It wasn't for him.

That happened to be the moment when John Legend — the halftime performer — and Chrissy Teigen were shown at their sideline seats on the video screens around the arena. And a louder cheer came not long afterward when Beyonce and Jay Z got on-screen.

Among the other celebs in the seats: Guy Fieri, Dave Chappelle, Julius Erving, Alonzo Mourning, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson and The Roots.

UP NEXT

The next All-Star Game is Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles, which will host for a record sixth time.

Thompson eliminated in first round of All-Star 3-point contest

Thompson eliminated in first round of All-Star 3-point contest

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson will not repeat as the NBA All-Star Game's 3-point shootout champion. 

In need of 19 points, Thompson managed only 18 -- that allowed Kemba Walker to advance into the semifinals. 

Houston's Eric Gordon had the high score of the first round. He went on to win the championship -- besting Kyrie Irving.

Thompson has made 182 3-pointers this season which ranks him fifth in the league.