Durant defuses situation with Draymond: 'Wasn’t an argument at all'

Durant defuses situation with Draymond: 'Wasn’t an argument at all'

OAKLAND -- Don’t get it twisted, says Kevin Durant. The reaction on social media far exceeded any actual drama between he and Warriors teammate Draymond Green.

The animated discussion late Friday night between Durant and Green, which began trending late in a 128-119 loss to Memphis, was much less a sign of dissension than a matter of men clearing the air in public.

Green was, according to Durant, spreading truth in his typically demonstrative way.

“He’s an emotional guy,” Durant said Saturday after video review and practice. “It wasn’t an argument at all. It wasn’t a disagreement. I felt like Draymond was emotional and something was bothering him, and he came and talked to me. He always can talk to me. I didn’t take it personally that he was using loud tones. That’s just how he is.

“But it wasn’t a disagreement, or it wasn’t a fight. It was more so he was voicing on how he felt the game should’ve been going. And I agreed with him. I agreed with him, and I had his back and I just told him to move on to the next play.

“It’s a long year, man. That stuff is going to happen.”

The Warriors were leading the Grizzlies 111-109, with 20.6 seconds remaining, when Green confronted Durant after a timeout. The previous possession ended with Durant, isolated against lumbering Memphis big man Zach Randolph, taking and missing a 3-pointer from the top of the key.

That’s not what the situation called for, according to Green and others. The pick-and-roll had been successful most of the night, and it was there between Stephen Curry and Durant.

When Durant went away from it, Green not only explained that he shouldn’t have but also why he shouldn’t have.

“That was on me,” Durant said. “I felt I had a matchup that I liked.

“I should’ve let Steph set the screen for me and go from there. But it’s a learning experience. We’ll get better from it. We move on. No hard feelings, none of that stuff. We move on.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr also downplayed the confrontation that generated a firestorm on social media.

“It’s just good communication from two teammates who are passionate and trying to figure something out together,” he said. “Kevin didn’t take it personally. I thought Draymond handled it really well. We had a good film session, a good meeting today, where guys talked about different things. It’s all part of the process.”

Durant expressed an appreciation for Green’s willingness to deal with things immediately and emphatically, rather than letting them fester and become an actual issue.

“That’s a good thing, especially coming from an All-Star, a guy that is a huge part of the organization and a part of the franchise,” Durant said. “That’s what you need. You need that. You need someone to just be real and just let us know that, ‘Look, we’re still getting better. We’re not where we want to be. We’ve made some mistakes.’

“But at the same time, he’s still encouraging and still positive and still have his teammates’ back. It’s definitely good.”

Spurs beat Grizz, advance to face Rockets in Western Conference semis

Spurs beat Grizz, advance to face Rockets in Western Conference semis

BOX SCORE

MEMPHIS, Tenn -- Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points, and the San Antonio Spurs advanced to the Western Conference semifinals by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 103-96 Thursday night to take the series 4-2.

The Spurs now have beaten Memphis four of the five playoff series between these teams, and this was San Antonio's second straight win over the Grizzlies in the first round.

Tony Parker added 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting, while LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 12 rebounds. Patty Mills had 10 points off the bench for the Spurs. San Antonio outrebounded Memphis 46-28, with 16 of those offensive boards. That led to 17 second-chance points.

Their semifinal with Houston will start Monday night in San Antonio.

Mike Conley scored 26 points, leading the five Memphis starters in double digits. Marc Gasol added 18, Zach Randolph 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Vince Carter had 12 points.

The Grizzlies fell to 3-10 in elimination games, losing six straight.

This was a taut game with 16 ties and nine lead changes, especially with four ties in the fourth quarter.

The Spurs took control after the Grizzlies went up 88-81 on three free throws from Conley with 6:29 left. Then Leonard scored eight straight for San Antonio, starting a 22-8 run to finish the game.

Even with Conley and Gasol a combined 2 of 10 in the first quarter, the Grizzlies trailed only 24-22 after Conley knocked down a 3 at the end of the quarter for his first bucket of the game. Conley hit another 3 for the final shot in the second quarter, putting Memphis up 50-45. The team that led at halftime won each of the first five games.

Parker hit his first six shots before finally missing his seventh with 29 seconds left in the first half.

The Grizzlies took their biggest lead at 57-47 on a 3-pointer by James Ennis III. That gave Memphis as many made 3s (9 of 17) as the Spurs had attempted (3 of 9) at that point. Randolph's layup with 7:19 left matched that 10-point lead at 63-53.

Then the Spurs went on a 13-3 run over a 4-minute span to erase that lead on Aldridge's three-point play at 67-66. Aldridge finished with nine points in helping the Spurs lead 75-74 at the end of the quarter.

TIP-INS

Spurs: They improved to 36-15 with a chance to clinch a series under coach Gregg Popovich, who took over in the 1996-97 season. ... Manu Ginobili converted a four-point play with 1:31 left in the third, putting the Spurs up 73-69. ... The Spurs wound up tying the Grizzlies' reserves with 16 points thanks to Mills.

Grizzlies: The Grizzlies set a franchise record hitting eight 3-pointers in the first half, topping the previous mark of seven in the second half May 1, 2005, against Phoenix. ... Conley has 20 or more points in five straight playoff games, the longest such streak in franchise history.

FREE THROW WATCH

Memphis coach David Fizdale earned a $30,000 fine from the NBA for his "Take that for data" rant about the free throw discrepancy in Game 2. Well, Leonard was 9 of 10 at the free throw line through three quarters compared to the Grizzlies' 7 of 8. The Spurs were 18 of 20 through three quarters. The Spurs finished 22 of 25 compared to 20 of 24 for Memphis.

Warriors GM Myers 'very, very confident' Kerr will return to coaching

Warriors GM Myers 'very, very confident' Kerr will return to coaching

Steve Kerr did not coach in Game 3 or Game 4 against the Blazers and is out indefinitely.

On Thursday, Warriors GM Bob Myers spoke with Jim Rome about Kerr's situation.

“What he’s going through right now is not a product of stress, it’s not a product of coaching, it’s more a physical issue that will be solved," Myers started. "When it will be solved, no one can say. But it is solvable, it’s fixable and like I said, he’s going to coach, but right now he just can’t.

"There’s some things that need to be corrected. But I think he’ll get back. I’m very very confident he will be back coaching, I just can’t say when.”

Kerr was not at practice on Wednesday and is consulting with specialists at Stanford this week.

Kerr is finishing up Year 3 of the five-year deal he signed back in May 2014.

"I think this guy is going to coach for a long time, because he thoroughly enjoys it," Myers said. "He really loves the game, and he is a great teacher. And you’ve had him on, I’m sure you’ve met him and talked to him. It’s one thing to know the game, but he has the ability to communicate it and our players clearly respond.

"So I can see that’s why a question you’d ask I totally get it and other people have asked but no I think he’s going to be in this game for a long time, we just have to get him back healthy now.”

The Warriors' next practice and media availability is on Friday.

The next series against the Jazz or Clippers will start on either Sunday or Tuesday.