Instant Replay: Klay scores 27 in first half, Warriors mash Magic

klay-tongue-white.jpg
AP

Instant Replay: Klay scores 27 in first half, Warriors mash Magic

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Klay Thompson and the Warriors made this one look easy. They also got plenty of help from the hapless Orlando Magic.

Riding Thompson’s hot shooting and turning 21 Magic turnovers into 36 points, the Warriors coasted to a 122-92 victory before a satisfied sellout crowd at Oracle Arena Thursday night.

The win gave the Warriors (54-14) a third consecutive Pacific Division title for the first time in franchise history and also increased to 1.5 games their lead over San Antonio in the Western Conference playoff race.

Thompson led all scorers with 29 points, Stephen Curry put in 25, Andre Iguodala 14, Ian Clark 13 and Zaza Pachulia 10 as the Warriors shot 68.4 percent in the first quarter and 57.5 percent for the game.

With a 103-71 lead after three quarters, Warriors coach Steve Kerr emptied his bench in the fourth quarter.

Jeff Green and Elfrid Payton scored 13 points apiece to lead Orlando (24-45), which lost for the sixth time in seven games and 13th over the last 17.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Thompson ignited the rout and his teammates soon followed.

Thompson’s line: 29 points (12-of-20 shooting from the field, including 5-of-9 from beyond the arc), five assists, four rebounds and one block. He played 29 minutes and finished plus-19.

Thompson scored 21 points in the first quarter on 8-of-11 shooting, including 5-of-7 from deep. It was the third time this season he has scored at least 20 in a quarter.

TURNING POINT

The Warriors didn’t need much time to take command. They were up 10 (12-2) in less than four minutes and up 21 (31-10) with 3:24 left in the first quarter.

The Magic got no closer than 17 points in the second half.

INJURY UPDATE

Warriors: Curry left in the first quarter after sustaining a slight tweak to his right ankle, but returned shortly thereafter and played 28 minutes. F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, bone bruise) was listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Magic: G Jodie Meeks (R thumb surgery recovery) was listed as questionable and declared out prior to tipoff.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors return to action Saturday night, when they play host to the Milwaukee Bucks at Oracle Arena.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr out indefinitely with chronic pain

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr out indefinitely with chronic pain

PORTLAND -- Still suffering with chronic pain after multiple back surgeries nearly two years ago, Warriors coach Steve Kerr will step away from his duties for an indefinite period.

Kerr made the announcement Sunday afternoon, one day after he was unable to attend Game 3 of the first-round playoff series against the Trail Blazers at Moda Center. He conceded the possibility he could miss the rest of the postseason.

“This past week for whatever reason, things got worse,” Kerr said from the team hotel. “My symptoms got worse. And I was not able to coach. The last few days have been difficult.

“With things getting worse, I just made the decision I couldn’t coach. As of now, I’m consulting with my doctors. I’m hoping for some improvement. If I can get some improvement, I’ll get back on the sidelines. But I’m not going to do that unless I know I can help the team.”

Assistant coach Mike Brown, a three-time NBA head coach who guided the Warriors to a 119-113 comeback win in Game 3, will serve as acting head coach during Kerr’s absence and will be on the sideline for Game 4 Monday night.

No matter what happens, Kerr said, he plans to assist in game preparation and remain involved with players and staff for the duration of the postseason.

“At this point in the season, we all have a feel for our team,” Kerr said. “Early in the season, it probably wouldn’t have been that way. It’s great that we’ve had the year together. It’s great that Mike has coached in this league 10 years and has coached in The Finals. He knows what he’s doing. The team is in great hands regardless.”

While spending Game 3 at the team hotel Saturday watching the game with his son, Nick, Kerr pointed out that some of the substitutions he thought should be made were, in fact, made seconds after crossing his mind.

Kerr said he did feel somewhat better Sunday than he did on Friday and Saturday.

Kerr has been coping with severe side effects since the summer of 2015. Though he has said his back was improved by the surgeries, a spinal leak has resulted in frequent headaches and neck pain.

Two days into training camp in September, barely a month after his second surgery in seven weeks, he took an indefinite leave of absence, returning Jan. 22, 2016 and coaching the final 39 regular-season games as well as the postseason.

But after laboring through 2016 training camp and the regular season -- often wearing a pain patch on the back of his neck -- the chronic anguish never went away, being by turns uncomfortable and excruciating. Kerr made it through only the first two games of the postseason.

He clearly was in discomfort during Game 2 Wednesday night at Oracle Arena and felt no better after an off-day Thursday. During his post-practice news conference Friday, before the team flight from Oakland to Portland, Kerr constantly shifted his body and grabbed his head.

Kerr was unable join the team for shootaround Saturday morning, and four hours later the Warriors announced Kerr would not attend Game 3.

“This is not going to be a case where I’m coaching one night and not coaching the next,” Kerr said. “I’m not going to do that to our team, to our staff.

“We’re hoping that over the next week or two, whatever it is, I can sort of make a definitive realization or deduction, or just feel it, that I’m going to do this or not.”

Kerr has tried various pain-killing drugs, as well as medicinal marijuana, in hopes of alleviating his chronic pain. Nothing so far has provided consistent relief, and some medications that have helped were offset by nausea and other side effects.

Kerr is in the third year of a five-year contract signed in May 2014. His 207-39 regular-season record is the best in NBA history by any coach over a three-year span.

Blazers big man Nurkic ruled out for Game 4 vs Warriors

Blazers big man Nurkic ruled out for Game 4 vs Warriors

Programming note: Warriors-Blazers Game 4 coverage starts Monday night at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

The Warriors hold a 3-0 lead in their first-round playoff series with the Blazers after Saturday's 119-113 win. 

For the first time this series, the Warriors went up against Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, who returned from a leg fracture. Nurkic started and played a total of 16:40 in Game 3. 

In his return, the "Bosnian Beast" was a non-factor on offense. He only scored two points, but did grab 11 rebounds. And his return was even shorter than expected. 

Blazers head coach Terry Stotts ruled Nurkic out for Game 4. 

Nurkic averaged 15.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game in 20 games for the Blazers after Portland acquired him in a trade with the Nuggets.