Warriors

Curry named Western Conference Player of the Month

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Curry named Western Conference Player of the Month

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry has been named the Kia NBA Western Conference Player of the Month for games played in February, the league announced today. The reigning MVP led the Warriors to a 9-1 month (7-1 on the road) with averages of 36.7 points, 7.3 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 1.90 steals while hitting 54.9 percent from the field and 53.6 percent from three-point range, becoming the first player to average at least 36 points in a single month (min. 10 games) since Kobe Bryant in March 2007 (40.3 points) and the first Warrior to do so since Rick Barry in February 1967 (39.7). Curry, who also won the award in October/November, is the first player in franchise history to be named Player of the Month twice in one season, earning his fifth career monthly honor.

Curry’s month was highlighted by a pair of 51-point performances (Feb. 3 at Washington & Feb. 25 at Orlando), making him the first player since LeBron James in February 2009 to tally multiple 50-point games in a single month. The 6’3” guard earned Western Conference Player of the Week honors for games played from Feb. 22-28, a stretch that saw him tie the single-game NBA record for three-point field goals with 12 on Feb. 27 at Oklahoma City—equaling the record on a 37-foot game-winner with 0.6 seconds remaining in overtime—and break his own single-season three-point record (currently at 288 threes) in addition to setting a new NBA-mark for consecutive regular-season games with a three-pointer, which now stands at 129-straight games. Curry closed the month by becoming the first Warrior since Barry in 1967 to score at least 40 points in three-straight games and led all players with four 40-point performances in February.

The Warriors earned their franchise-record 29th road win on Feb. 27 at Oklahoma City, eclipsing the previous mark of 28 set last season, and have won 43-straight regular-season home games, one shy of the NBA record. Golden State currently owns a 54-5 record, the best mark in NBA history through 59 games, and clinched a playoff berth on Feb. 27, becoming the first team to clinch a spot in the postseason in February since the 1987-88 Lakers.

Curry is on pace to become the first Warrior to lead the league in scoring since Barry in 1966-67, averaging an NBA-best 30.7 points to go with 6.6 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 2.11 steals. After averaging 23.8 points ­during his MVP campaign in 2014-15, the seventh-year guard has increased his scoring average by 6.9 points this season, seeing the highest year-over-year scoring average of any reigning MVP in league history. Curry is on pace to hit better than 50 percent from the field (.515), 40 percent from three-point range (.468, third in the NBA) and 90 percent from the free throw line (.908, second).

In addition to Curry, only Chris Mullin (January 1989 & November 1990) and Bernard King (January 1981) have earned Player of the Month honors for the Warriors since the NBA began giving out the award in 1979.

Cleveland’s LeBron James earned the accolade in the Eastern Conference.  

Golden State Warriors media services

Teams will continue to call about Klay Thompson and Warriors will keep laughing

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AP

Teams will continue to call about Klay Thompson and Warriors will keep laughing

There is a single reason teams keep sniffing out the availability of Klay Thompson, and it’s far more easily understood than the myriad reasons the Warriors keep telling them no.

No fewer than four teams have either reached out or considered reaching out, the latest being revealed as the detested Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Warriors, of course, declined them, perhaps after general manager Bob Myers put Cavs GM Koby Altman on speakerphone so everybody at Warriors HQ could double over with team-building laughter.

The Cavs got the same answer as was previously heard by the Pacers and the Timberwolves, and maybe even the Celtics, whose interest was rumored though never actually substantiated.

All four teams, though, along with maybe few others, all reached the same conclusion. They looked at the Warriors, studied their prime core, and concluded that Thompson was the most available member.

Clearly more available than Stephen Curry, who is the face of the franchise.

Likely more available than Draymond Green, whose two-way versatility and temperament are vital to the grand ambitions of the Warriors.

And infinitely more available than Kevin Durant, who arrived two years after Minnesota shot its shot -- by dangling Kevin Love -- and evolved into their most impressive overall player.

So it’s Thompson who gets his tires kicked. He’s 27 years old, has two years remaining on his contract and, most germane, seems to be the least emotionally invested star in the organization. That is may not be true, but it’s an easy conclusion based on appearances and the misguided thought that the Warriors don’t value him as much as they do the others.

Wrong.

“It's really cool,” Thompson said Wednesday, referring to being pursued and prized. “It shows the Warriors believe in me and these other teams want me to be a part of their success. So I appreciate it. I've been in trade rumors forever. Everyone has. Except for maybe LeBron James, Steph — well, even Steph early in his career.”

Any team that asks about Thompson is aware that the Thompson-Love deal gained considerable traction in 2014 before it was vetoed by then-adviser Jerry West and newly hired head coach Steve Kerr.

If the Warriors were thinking about it then, why not later?

They have their reasons, beginning with the fact they’ve experienced more success over the past three seasons than at any time in franchise history, winning two championships in three seasons and becoming a regular in the NBA Finals. Why even consider breaking the squad that so clearly is the cream of the NBA?

Another reason is that the Warriors have come to fully understand Thompson’s role in their competitive prosperity. He’s a gunslinger that manages to be highly productive without spending much time with the ball, and his fabulous defense makes that end of the court so much easier for Curry. The Thompson-Curry backcourt is the best in the league and already in the discussion for the best ever.

There is another component that is rather understated. Thompson is the ultimate zero-maintenance All-Star. In a locker room of varied personalities, some loud, nearly all opinionated, he’s like a breeze that is cool enough be felt yet never so much it feels imposing.

The Warriors have come to appreciate Thompson being the closest thing to a wind-up All-Star in a league where that is exceedingly rare. Give him a jersey, a ball and some shoes and let him go.

So, no, he’s not leaving anytime soon. The only way he goes before he becomes a free agent in 2019 -- at which time he’s likely to take a peep around the NBA -- is if the Warriors somehow take a tumble in the standings or try to low-ball him.

Until then, teams may continue to ask. They have to as a strategy to improve themselves while diminishing the league’s powerhouse. Understanding this, the Warriors will take the calls and appreciate the humor of it all.

Former Warriors forward wins BIG3’s Best Trash Talker

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USATSI

Former Warriors forward wins BIG3’s Best Trash Talker

Stephen Jackson is known as one of the biggest characters in Warriors history. 

The 14-year NBA veteran always let you know what he was thinking. Some things never change. 

Jackson, now playing for the Killer 3s in the BIG3, was awarded the league's Best Trash Talker award on Wednesday. 

Serving as the Killer 3s co-captain with Chauncey Billups, Jackson is currently leading the league in scoring. At 39 years old, Jackson is averaging 21.6 points per game over 31.7 minutes per game. 

In four seasons with the Warriors, Jackson poured in 19.4 points and 5.0 assists per game. Over 14 years in the NBA, he averaged 15.1 points per game. 

Former Warriors big man Al Harrington was voted Too Hard to Guard with his 15.3 points per game.