Curry leads W's to victory in Charlotte homecoming

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Curry leads W's to victory in Charlotte homecoming

BOX SCORE

Player of the game: Warriors power forward David Lee was the picture of efficiency, making 10 of 14 shots, and scoring 25 points in 36 minutes. Lee also had 11 rebounds.
The win makes the Warriors 4-0 on their current seven-game road trip, ensuring a winning trip.

“That’s big,” guard Stephen Curry said. “It seems like every win we break a record from a Warriors team past. We have three tough games coming up (Miami, Orlando, Atlanta) – top tier teams -- and we have to keep that energy level and consistency. We’d like to go 7-0. You never know what can happen.”

Key stretch: Midway through the third quarter, Charlotte made a modest run and cut the Warriors’ lead to 65-54. But the Warriors, bettering their shot selection and once again tightening their defense, gradually pulled away and took a 93-74 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

In complete control: The Warriors led 58-40 at halftime, and you couldn’t ask them to play much better. Golden State held the Bobcats to 31.7 percent from the field in the first half and forced 10 turnovers.

The Warriors, on the other hand, shot 53.4 percent from the field in the first half and turned the ball over just five times. Lee was the most efficient Warrior in the first 24 minutes, scoring 17 points on just nine shots (7-for-9 from field).

“That first half was a thing of beauty,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “We defended, we paid attention to detail and we executed. … That first half was outstanding. We had multiple-effort plays and rebounded the basketball -- everything we talked about.”

Curry’s homecoming: Warriors point guard Stephen Curry was back in his hometown for Monday’s game. Curry grew up in Charlotte and went to nearby Davidson College.

Curry, who purchased 73 tickets for friends and family, finished with 27 points and seven assists. It was Curry’s eighth consecutive game with 20 points or more.

Curry did not play last season in Charlotte when the Bobcats beat the Warriors 112-100 on Jan. 14. That win was the only win for the Bobcats last year during a 23-game span which went from early January to mid-February.

Curry missed the game last year because of a sprained right ankle.

“You still keep it a business trip once the game starts,” Curry said. “Thankfully we played well and now I can enjoy them till we leave for Miami (on Wednesday).”

Great start: To say the Warriors were clicking early would be an understatement. The Warriors jumped on the Bobcats to the tune of an 18-7 lead early, and by the six-minute mark of the first quarter they already had rolled up 22 points.

Golden State knocked down 13 of their first 16 shots and were up 38-23 at the end of one period. It was the most points the Warriors have scored in a first quarter this season.

Lee was up to his old – or should we say recent – tricks, scoring 13 points on 5-of-6 from the field.

Kevin Durant will be re-evaluated again in 7-10 days

Kevin Durant will be re-evaluated again in 7-10 days

Though Kevin Durant will miss at least five more games, there remains a possibility he could return to the Warriors lineup before the end of the regular season, according to an update provided by the team on Wednesday.

The team’s leading scorer, Durant has missed the last 15 games after sustaining a sprained medial collateral ligament and bone bruise to his left knee on Feb. 28 at Washington. After several days with the knee immobilized, he has spent the past two weeks participating in individual workouts.

“Kevin has made very good progress since suffering the injury four weeks ago in Washington,” began a statement issued by the team. “He has not experienced any setbacks to date and has progressed as well as could be expected. At this point, he is being incorporated into non-contact basketball drills – shooting, running and jumping – and the plan is to intensify his level of movement over the next several days, which will include more explosive cutting and lateral maneuvers.”

Durant has been engaging in shooting and dribbling drills, full-sprint activity and is dunking with ease. The 6-foot-9 forward traveled with the Warriors last week to Oklahoma City and Dallas and is with the team on its current trip to Houston and San Antonio.

“His eventual return to contact drills and practice will be predicated upon his progress to the increased intensity of his workouts, and a return to game action prior to the end of the regular season remains a possibility,” according to the statement. “He will be re-evaluated again in the next 7-10 days.”

The Warriors have eight games remaining on their regular-season schedule, with the last three at home, beginning with the New Orleans Pelicans on April 8.

The playoffs begin on April 15.

 

Resume comparison: Popovich the teacher vs Kerr the student

Resume comparison: Popovich the teacher vs Kerr the student

Programming note: Warriors-Spurs coverage starts tonight at 5:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

While the San Antonio Spurs are chasing the Warriors this season, as was the case in each of the past two seasons, it’s quite the opposite for the coaches.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr is trying to reach the same level as his primary coaching mentor, Gregg Popovich of the Spurs, whom Kerr admires to no end.

Eight games shy of three seasons into his career, Kerr is off to a start far more impressive than Popovich or anyone else ever to preside over an NBA sideline.

When the Warriors and Spurs tip off Wednesday night at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Kerr will have 200 victories on his resume. Popovich owns 1,146 wins, all with the Spurs. It’s inconceivable that Kerr would coach long enough to achieve 1,000 wins, much less 1,146 and counting.

Kerr, 51, likely won’t compile 20 consecutive winning seasons, as Popovich has. And Popovich’s ongoing record of wins with one franchise may never be surpassed.

But much of what Popovich, 68, has done is reachable, if not already accomplished, by Kerr.

Kerr’s 67-15 record in his first season (2014-15) is the best ever for a rookie coach.

Kerr reached 200 in 238 games, faster than any coach in any of the four major sports in the United States. Popovich didn’t win No. 200 until his 304th game.

Popovich won an NBA championship in his second full season; Kerr did it in his first.

Pop won four titles in his first 10 seasons; Kerr has eight seasons to add three more.

Pop has reached the 60-win mark five times in 20 full seasons; Kerr has hit that level in each of his first three.

Under Kerr, albeit with considerable help from interim head coach Luke Walton, the Warriors in 2015-16 set a league record with 73 wins. The high for the Spurs under Pop is 67, reached last season.

Kerr’s win percentage: .840 (200-38). Pop’s win percentage: .696 (1,146-501).

Both coaches have, of course, benefitted from supremely talented rosters.

The Spurs under Popovich have had as core players one player, David Robinson, in the Hall of Fame and three more (Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker) certain to get the call. LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard are on that path.

Kerr came to a roster with Stephen Curry, who has since polished his Hall of Fame credentials. Draymond Green and Klay Thompson have the goods for the honor. Kevin Durant punched his ticket in Oklahoma City, and now he’s a Warrior.

“I’m lucky,” Kerr said after win No. 200 Tuesday night. “Coaching is all about the guys you coach; Are they coachable? Are they talented? And the answer to that is an emphatic yes. These guys are amazing and I’m really lucky to be able to coach them.”

In short, Kerr’s reaction is precisely as Popovich’s is whenever he wins a game or an award or a championship.

The student has learned well from the teacher, even if he fails to match the old man’s enduring excellence.