Good signs for Warriors in first preseason game

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Good signs for Warriors in first preseason game

FRESNO Yes, it was just the first preseason game, and, no,the Lakers didnt play their starters at all in the second half. Still, theWarriors looked pretty good against the Lakers substitutes and ended up with a110-83 blowout victory at the Save Mart Center.At one point in the second half, the Warriors scored 35consecutive points. Yes, thats right: 35 consecutive points, turning adouble-digit deficit into a 93-66 lead.Andrew Bogut, Stephen Curry and rookie Draymond Green allsat out for the Warriors. Lakers center Dwight Howard didnt play at all forthe Lakers, and starters Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace and PauGasol didnt play the final 24 minutes.Here are some takeaways from the win:--Harrison Barnes didnt seem to show any first-game nerves.He was aggressive at the offensive end and got some things done. Barnes,considered more of a shooter than a driver, had three buckets in the first half and all came after putting the ball on the floor and getting into the lane.Barnes wound up with 13 points in 24 minutes.It feels good, Barnes said. Obviously, the biggest thing,for me, that I realized is to slow down. I had so many emotions going on withit being my first NBA experience. It moves really fast out there, so it waslike slow down, breathe and it will be all right.--It didnt take long for Klay Thompson to unveil a littlemore of his game. Thompson, primarily an outside shooter in his rookie season,went to the bucket three straight times early in the game on Bryant, andfinished on two of them.Thompson was the Warriors best offensive player on Sundaynight, finishing with 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting.I was taking what the defense was giving me, Thompsonsaid. If they were playing up on my shot, drive. Kobe cant move his feet asmuch as he used to so I got into the paint and made some plays.Would Thompson have done that a year ago?Not as effectively, no, he answered. But Ive gottenstronger, worked on my quickness. I would have tried but I wouldnt have gottenthose results.--With Bogut not playing, the center duties fell to rookieFestus Ezeli and Andris Biedrins though neither of them stood out in thefirst half. Biedrins went scoreless and rebound-less in six first-half minutes,and Ezeli had just two points and one rebound in 10-plus first halfminutes.Ezeli looked like a different player in the second half,however. He had a couple of scores inside one on a nice reverse layup and theother on a nice post-up half-hook.He also made more of an impact at the defensive end,contesting shots and rebounding better.Thats who he is, Jackson said. Understand its his firstgame. Its a whole new experience. Were not asking him to do anything he cantdo. Be physical, protect the paint, rebound the basketball, finish at the rim.In the second half he was true to himself

No sweep here: Without Isaiah Thomas, Celtics stun Cavs in Game 3

No sweep here: Without Isaiah Thomas, Celtics stun Cavs in Game 3

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CLEVELAND — Avery Bradley's 3-pointer dropped in with less than a second left and the Boston Celtics, blown out in the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals and playing without star Isaiah Thomas, stunned the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-108 on Sunday night in Game 3 to end the champions' 13-game postseason winning streak.

Bradley's shot from the left wing bounced on the rim four times before going down. It capped a furious comeback by the Celtics, who trailed by 21 in the third quarter before rallying to tighten up a series that appeared to be over.

Marcus Smart scored 27 points, and Bradley had 20 for the Celtics. They were given little chance after losing by 44 in Game 2 and then losing Thomas for the rest of the postseason because of a hip injury.

Kyrie Irving scored 29 points, and Kevin Love 28 for Cleveland. The Cavaliers dropped to 10-1 in the postseason with their first loss since Game 4 of last year's Finals.

Zaza Pachulia: Popovich's words 'very big part' of threats to family

Zaza Pachulia: Popovich's words 'very big part' of threats to family

Zaza Pachulia can take being the villain in the opposing fans' eyes. But when it turns to his family, the situation becomes much different. 

Pachulia revealed Sunday to USA Today that security guards were sent to his childrens' school in San Francisco recently as a precaution after his family received threats. Spurs star forward Kawhi Leonard injured his ankle in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals after landing on Pachulia's foot and many questioned Pachulia's actions in the play. 

One person who made his feelings on Pachulia's actions loud and clear is Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, even using the word "manslaughter" in a rant that deemed the big man a dirty player. 

“I don’t blame everything on Pop, but what he said had a lot of influence (and) you had a lot of people where, unfortunately, you can’t control what everybody’s intelligence is,” Pachulia said. “(Fans) just hear the message, and it’s, ‘Ok, Pop said so and now let’s do this.’ It’s just wrong. You’ve got to think, and realize. Threaten me, but don’t threaten my wife or say something about my kids. It’s just wrong.

“Me as a person, as a man, I don’t mind dealing with it. But I hate to see my family deal with it. My wife and my kids who have nothing to do with it, who are very innocent. ... I just hate my family going through that. They don’t deserve that. … I’m not blaming everything on (Popovich), but he was a very big part of it.”

Pachulia then went into more detail with what happened at his childrens' school. 

“Look at what happened at the school. It was unfortunate. They had to get extra security because we are living in a world today where social media is so active, you can find any news you want to, hear any news you want to, and obviously it’s a hot topic lately. They just had hired extra security for the entrance, and make sure nobody goes in the school," Pachulia said. "It’s just not fair. It does upset me."

The 33-year-old Pachulia showed his respects for Popovich as a person and a coach. What he wishes most is that Popovich would have chosen his words better. 

"I have a lot of respect for him," Pachulia said. "In today’s basketball world, he’s a very, very respected person. So when Pop says something like that, calling me out ... it's understanding that (your words) will have an effect.

"I’m going to do defend my team, but I’m not going to send a message saying this guy killed (a player), is a murderer or whatever, manslaughter, because people take it differently. We live in a society where not everybody has intelligence, or understanding or is thinking of what’s right and what’s wrong. We’re going to move on. Hopefully (the fans) can let it go. But you know, I’m sure that a year later, 10 years later, (his family is) still going to remember this moment – and not in a good way. It’s something where your heart breaks, and even though life goes on you still feel it in a bad way. I think that’s going to be the case.”

The Warriors lead the Spurs 3-0 in the Western Conference Finals. Pachulia was ruled out of Game 3 with a right heel contusion he sustained in Game 3. He is listed as questionable for Game 4.