Warriors

Draymond digs deep, wills his way to Warriors' win over 76ers

Draymond digs deep, wills his way to Warriors' win over 76ers

OAKLAND -- Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was throwing most everything he had at the 76ers, man after man after man, every available body except Kevon Looney.

And no one worked the necessary miracles except Draymond Green, who spent Tuesday night throwing every bit of himself at the Sixers. He kept coming and coming, minute after relentless minute, until Philly finally folded.

The Warriors prevailed 106-104 because Green made them. The Saginaw, Mich. native found his offense scoring 20 points -- his highest total in three months -- but, moreover, was downright “Sagnasty” in terrorizing the 76ers with his defense.

“He led the charge,” Kerr said. “We really didn’t get after it defensively for most of the game, and then the fourth quarter was fantastic.”

The Warriors, with Green setting the tone, limited Philadelphia to 14 points on 30-percent (6-of-20) shooting in the fourth.

The Warriors had been atrocious on defense, and Green was trying to plug the leaks. After Philly shot 56 percent in the first quarter, Green, during a timeout early in the second, grabbed his teammates by their collective collar, stared into their long faces and dropped a few words on them.

“The realization is, obviously, it’s going to be a dogfight,” Stephen Curry said. “We still get everybody’s best shot. When we’re not making shots, we still need to find a way to do other things to get wins. It’s not always pretty. That was the message.”

The Warriors briefly responded, holding the Sixers to 37.5 percent in the second quarter, but they bounced back to shoot 52.6 percent in third, taking a 12-point lead into the fourth.

That got the full attention of the Warriors. It was in those desperate moments, with the Oracle crowd voicing muted disappointment in the proceedings, that every member of the team responded to Green’s call.

“The fourth quarter, the way Draymond impacted the game . . . he just kind of willed himself to another level,” Curry said. “He was a huge catalyst for us.”

Said Kerr: “Draymond is always the emotional leader, but everybody defensively stepped it up in that fourth.”

Asked about his sermon, Green said he felt it necessary to remind guys that they’ve been “in a little bit of a rut,” and that the only way to get out was to fight through it.

That meant, for the most part, defending as he did. In addition to 20 points and eight assists, Green also posted eight rebounds, six blocks and four steals. The last player to post his stat line was Hakeem Olajuwon on March 3, 1990, against the Warriors.

“You don’t go into a rut and then come out of it and hit 20 threes,” Green said. “It just don’t work like that. You have to grind yourself out, grind your way out of it. Tonight, we did that.

“The end of the third quarter and the fourth quarter, we realized, hey, it’s not going our way. But just put our heads down and go defend and the offense will come. Once we started to defend, everything else started to go our way.”

It was enough to send the 76ers, who led by as much as 16, out of Oakland with a defeat that had Green’s signature.

“He’s just elite defensively,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said. “And he’s highly competitive.”

Rookie class gives Warriors big man Jordan Bell a lot of respect

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USATI

Rookie class gives Warriors big man Jordan Bell a lot of respect

Remember when Jordan Bell was considered a good bet to go in the first round of the NBA Draft, but fell to No. 38?

Yeah. That happened.

And according to the 39 rookies who took part in NBA.com's annual survey, the Warriors got a good one.

"Which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was selected?"

1) Donovan Mitchell, 13th pick, Jazz -- 18.9 percent
2) Dennis Smith Jr, 9th pick, Mavericks -- 13.5 percent
3) John Collins, 19th pick, Hawks -- 12.2 percent
4) Jordan Bell, 38th pick, Warriors -- 10.8 percent
5) Kyle Kuzma, 27th pick, Lakers -- 9.5 percent

"Which rookie is the best defender?"

1) Josh Jackson, Suns -- 26.3 percent
2) Jordan Bell, Warriors -- 23.7 percent
3) Donovan Mitchell, Jazz -- 21.1 percent
4) De'Aaron Fox, Kings -- 10.5 percent

During NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Bell averaged 5.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.6 blocks.

Against Minnesota on July 11, he racked up five points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals and 6 blocks.

He was the 2016-17 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and blocked 8 shots against Kansas in the Elite 8.

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

Jerry West 'will never go into' Warriors' new arena in San Francisco

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AP

Jerry West 'will never go into' Warriors' new arena in San Francisco

The Chase Center -- the Warriors' new arena in San Francisco -- is scheduled to open in time for the start of the 2019-20 season.

Don't expect Jerry West to attend a game there.

"I will never go into that arena. I shouldn’t go into it," West told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami on Monday. "But I think it’s going to be ... I’ve seen the plans, and it’s spectacular. A lot of creative thinking has gone on with that organization.

"I think for the people who want the best, they’re going to get it. It’ll be filled with a hopefully a great team for a few years."

West, who spent the past six seasons as an executive board member with the Warriors, is now an advisor for the Clippers.

He attended Game 5 of the 2017 NBA Finals and believes Oracle Arena is a special venue.

"There’s an aura, there’s an excitement about that place," West explained. "To think that they’re going to leave that environment, I’m hopeful they can capture that same environment.

"The fans, in my time up there, saw some real special things happen. The fans saw some things that I never dreamed possible that they could do. I remember we were playing Sacramento, real close game at halftime. One of those games that was like, hopefully we can win this game. And Klay Thompson comes out and scores 37 points in the third quarter. That may not happen again in the NBA. That was special."

Although West says he did not want to leave Golden State and never thought he'd work anywhere else again, he doesn't sound like a man who has hard feelings.

"Trust me, I’ll be rooting for them. It’s hard not to root for something real special, OK?"

His job is to help assemble a team that can beat the Warriors, but according to The Logo, everybody else is playing for second place in 2017-18.

"I just don’t see anyone being able to beat them, period ... I hope I don’t put a jinx on them. I’d like to see Kevin (Durant) in particular win more championships."