Curry's shooting vs Bucks sends calming breeze through Oracle

Curry's shooting vs Bucks sends calming breeze through Oracle

OAKLAND -- The focus of this Warriors resurgence will be on the defense, as it should be, especially after they closed out a perfect week at home Saturday night by limiting the Bucks to 40.4-percent shooting.

But there was palpable relief with seeing Stephen Curry’s shots falling through the rim so cleanly the net barely noticed.

The defense, the Warriors know they can bring at any time. It’s their staple, the one basic element they can rely on times of strife.

But Curry’s offense Saturday night was the eye-opener. If the defense drove this 117-92 victory over Milwaukee, his shooting sent a gentle, relaxing breeze through Oracle Arena that dried those beads of sweat that had been collecting for weeks.

It wasn’t so much Curry’s 28 points but the sheer efficiency of it all: 9-of-13 shooting, including 6-of-8 from beyond the arc, and 4-of-4 from the line. It was the first game in three weeks in which Curry didn’t miss most of his 3-point shots.

With the sight of those shots going down, the team’s swagger, which took a massive tumble when Kevin Durant went down with an injury on Feb. 28, has materialized once again. That’s the magic of Hot Steph.

“Thank God I rested him last week,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr joked, referring to Curry being held out of the March 11 game at San Antonio.

“No, Steph was great. Without any sarcasm, getting through that stretch last week, we know, looking at the schedule it was going to be a tough stretch. We didn’t know Kevin was going to get hurt. But it was the double-whammy.”

Curry surely appeared refreshed. In three games at home this week he was 13-of-28 from beyond the ar.

In the seven games before this three-game homestand, for all practical purposes road games with a gruel travel schedule, Curry was 18-of-76 from deep.

Not that he ever wavered.

“Keep shooting,” Curry said. “That’s it, really. Can’t get discouraged by misses, can’t get too big-headed about good games. Keep pushing, keep your routine up and feed off your teammates’ energy. And keep the confidence.”

Curry made his first 3-ball, a 26-footer with 4:53 left in the first quarter. He missed his second and third attempts, then made his last four in a five in a row, including a buzzer-beater at the end of the first and a 33-footer in the final minute of the half.

“He’s going to make shots,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. “You can be on him. He’s going to make them from halfcourt. He’s going to make some very tough shots . . . that’s just who he is.”

That’s not who he was for the better part of three weeks. Those days appear to have faded into history.

“I haven’t been worried about him at all,” teammate Andre Iguodala said. “I really look at his bounce, more than anything, the way he’s running and the way he’s shooting. The schedule is brutal; 82 games is a long time. That’s to be expected.”

 

Report: Lakers have shown interest in former Warriors guard

Report: Lakers have shown interest in former Warriors guard

Ian Clark is looking for his next basketball home.

And the Lakers have shown interest in the free agent guard, according to The Los Angeles Times' Brad Turner.

Over 77 regular season games with the Warriors last season, Clark averaged 6.8 points while shooting just under 49 percent from the field and over 37 percent from deep.

In 16 playoff games (he did not play in Game 5 of the NBA Finals), he averaged 6.8 points on 50.6 percent shooting overall, and 36 percent from 3-point territory.

Last week, he was asked if he would be back with the Warriors in 2017-18.

"It's not looking like it," Clark said while in Memphis. "Going through that situation right now. As much as I want to stay, it's a business. But we'll see. Anything could happen."

The Warriors do have an open roster spot, but it's quite possible they enter training camp and/or the season with just 14 players under contract.

Golden State can only offer Clark the minimum of $1,577,230.

The Lakers could give Clark up to $4.3 million -- the room mid-level exception.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Lillard: If Blazers get Carmelo and then run into Warriors during playoffs...

Lillard: If Blazers get Carmelo and then run into Warriors during playoffs...

Who will Carmelo Anthony play for next season?

The Knicks? Rockets? Cavs? Blazers?

Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are hoping Carmelo ends up in Portland.

"I spoke to him," Lillard told Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. "Because, obviously, he makes us a better team. Obviously with that being out there and that being a real possibility, I don't see why I wouldn't reach out to him and let him know that the interest is mutual if he's interested in us."

[REWIND: McCollum's message to those who think Warriors are bad for the NBA]

What was his reaction?

"I ain't gonna share all that," Lillard said. "We had a conversation about it because it's something that we need to talk about, so he knew that it wasn't just the team -- but it was myself and C.J. -- would love to have him here. So I reached out to him."

How would he help the Blazers?

"He's Carmelo Anthony," Lillard responded. "You add another guy that can go out there and score 50 ... over the last decade, he's been one of the best players in the league. Playing against him, you know he's a cerebral player. He's smart...

"I can only imagine what it would be like having him iso'ing on one side, and C.J. in a corner, and me on the opposite wing and Nurk (Jusuf Nurkic) ... I can only imagine how hard it would be to guard us when it's already hard to guard us.

"We can compete with anybody in the West, but I think when you get to those teams like Golden State, if we happen to run into them in a playoff situation now -- we getting in the paint, and if they want to help off someone like Melo ... good luck."

The Warriors beat the Blazers in five games in the 2016 Western Conference Semifinals and swept them in the opening round of the 2017 playoffs.

According to McCollum, the Blazers would definitely have homecourt in the first round of the playoffs should Carmelo head to the Pacific Northwest.

"Very talented player. And I think if we get him -- when we get him -- speak it into existence ... I think Top 3 in the West, easy," McCollum declared. "I think he's interested."

Carmelo is reportedly pushing for a trade to the Rockets...

***

Draymond Green responded to Damian Lillard with a not-so-subtle jab on Instagram. 

😂😂😂😂😂 give it a break @damianlillard

A post shared by Draymond Green (@money23green) on

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller