Barnes, Thompson catch fire in Vegas; Warriors destroy Lakers


Barnes, Thompson catch fire in Vegas; Warriors destroy Lakers

The Warriors dismantled the Lakers, 90-50, in both teams' Las Vegas Summer League opener Friday night.

Klay Thompson, who is slated to be the team's starting shooting guard next season, led all scoreres with 24 points. He was 9-for-13 from the field, including 6-for-8 from 3-point range, and contributed six rebounds and five assists in just 22 minutes and 35 seconds of game action.

Harrison Barnes, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and possibly the Warriors' starting small forward next season, had a tremendous debut in a Warriors uniform. He notched 23 points on 8-for-13 shooting, and was a perfect 4-for-4 from deep.

Barnes did his damage in just 25 minutes and 26 seconds on the court.

Both players started.

Festus Ezili, whom the Warriors selected with the 30th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, started at center and registered three points, five rebounds, and three steals in a little over 18 minutes.

Starting point guard Charles Jenkins scored four points and dished out four assists.

Jeremy Tyler started at power forward and scored six points, went 2-for-6 from the field, and collected just one rebound in 16 minutes of play.

Oddly, Tyler was part of a five-man line change who entered the game in "garbage time" with 5:40 remaining and the Warriors holding a 77-38 lead.

A wake-up call from the coaching staff perhaps?

Draymond Green, the 35th pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, did a little bit of everything for the Warriors. He scored nine points, pulled down a game-high nine rebounds, had two assists, nailed a three-pointer, and his left-handed baby hook shot in the lane was a thing of beauty.

The Warriors are back in action on Saturday as they take on on the Denver Nuggets at 3:00 p.m.

Livingston on Kerr: 'He’s our leader ... somebody that we count on'

Livingston on Kerr: 'He’s our leader ... somebody that we count on'

OAKLAND -- Though much has been said about the agonies and challenges facing Steve Kerr, including speculation about when, or if, he’ll return as head coach of the Warriors, little has been put into words that capture the significance of his absence.

This is perhaps because it can be difficult to explain how one man is able to influence a roster of supremely talented athletes, at the wealthiest point of life, with wildly divergent personalities, at different career stages.

Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, a man who knows perspective as well as anyone in the NBA, took a moment Saturday to cut through the palaver and pity to offer a clear and vivid illustration of Kerr’s value as a man and as a coach.

“It’s just his presence, his personality,” Livingston began. “His character, the way he fits in with us. He’s kind of the battery pack, in the sense that he makes everybody go. He keeps us all (in harmony), everybody from staff, training staff, coaching staff to the players.

“He bridges the gaps, in the sense of communication, and he makes it light.”

In short, Kerr’s value to the franchise is far greater than his duties as a coach. He has an easy, breezy charisma insofar as he’s so comfortable submerging his own ego while being remarkably good at making everyone matter.

Moreover, Kerr is decidedly inclusive, explicitly emphatically open to ideas. He’s an outreach specialist whose sensibilities are contagious.

All of which helps create a sprightly and genial workplace, something the Warriors sought when they hired Kerr to replace the swaggering and dogmatic Mark Jackson in May 2014.

“Every day it’s something new, in a sense, and that’s hard to do,” Livingston said. “We’re here for six to nine months for the past couple years, seeing the same faces. So it is kind of like a job. But (Kerr) makes it more like a game and tries to make sure we’re enjoying ourselves out there.”

Kerr wants to live his life and coach basketball around four basic tenets: joy, mindfulness, compassion and competition. Maintaining a balance of the four can be difficult, especially when Kerr is dealing with the searing pain that has him on the sideline for an indefinite period.

But Kerr never strays far. His players seem to see and, more important, feel that.

Draymond Green and Kerr, each volatile in his own way, don’t always see eye-to-eye. Yet Green on several occasions has noted that Kerr “always seems to find the right thing to say, at the right time.”

Veteran David West points out that anyone who spends any time around Kerr can sense his basic humanity. Veteran Andre Iguodala, one of the team’s co-captains, speaks of Kerr’s curiosity and desire to broaden his horizons.

Stephen Curry, the other co-captain, kept the ball from the Warriors’ Game 4 win over Portland last Monday night, punctuating a series sweep, and gave it to Kerr, who missed Games 3 and 4 while coping with this prolonged post-surgery pain.

Lead assistant Mike Brown, the acting head coach in Kerr’s absence, concedes he has benefited from being around Kerr and this team.

“The tone he sets is the best I’ve been around,” said Brown, who has been involved in the NBA since 1992. “This is a special, special situation, and he’s big reason why.”

So it’s not just Livingston who throwing rose petals at the boss. He just happened to convey in a few words the effect Kerr has on the team and within the building.

“He’s our leader,” Livingston said. “He’s somebody that we count on.”

Warriors update health status of Livingston, Barnes

Warriors update health status of Livingston, Barnes

OAKLAND -- One day after every member of the Warriors participated in a full scrimmage, the official health updates were released.

Veteran forward Matt Barnes, out since April 8, is listed as probable for Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals that begin Tuesday at Oracle Arena.

Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, out since sustaining a finger/hand injury in Game 1 of the first-round series against Portland on April 16, is listed as questionable -- but with an asterisk.

“Hopefully, we’ll be ready for Tuesday,” Livingston said after a light workout Saturday.

Livingston informed earlier this week that he would have been available, hypothetically, if the Warriors were facing a Game 7.

As for Kevin Durant, who missed five weeks with a knee injury before returning April 8, only to sustain a calf strain in Game 1 against the Trail Blazers, he’s fully available.