Instant Replay: Warriors 103, Hornets 96

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Instant Replay: Warriors 103, Hornets 96

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Oracle Arena -- Jarrett Jack isn’t as candid as his teammate Carl Landry.

The tandem that has been so good off the bench for Golden State both had standout games against their former team as the Warriors defeated the New Orleans Hornets 103-96 on Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.

Jack scored 14 points and tallied 10 assists while Landry scored 16 points and added nine rebounds.

When Jack was asked about playing against the team he spent the last two seasons with, he took the political stance:

“It’s just another game,” said Jack, who recorded his first double-double of the season. “I’ve played against former teams and had emotions involved before but not so much now. I’m older, you just look at it as another game.”

But when Landry, who is more animated and forthright in front of a microphone, was asked if he believed Jack’s restrained comments, the forward simply grinned, laughed and spewed his truth:

“Not for me, and I don’t think it was for him,” said Landry, who also played for New Orleans the past two seasons. “No, not at all. Jarrett was extra amped up and I was too. We didn’t need a five-hour, we didn’t need a speech; we didn’t need anything like that. We were ready to play – yesterday.”

Warriors coach Mark Jackson called it before the game. He said in his pregame news conference that, while they might downplay it, both Jack and Landry had a little more “juice” before the game.

“They played big for us,” Jackson said. “Obviously, as a former player, I understand playing against a team you used to be with. You can tell their energy level this morning was different.”

When the game was tied at 92-92 with just more than three minutes remaining, it was Landry who went to the floor for a steal, followed by an aggressive offensive move to the basket by Jack that led to two made free throws. The Warriors never lost the lead from that moment.

The Hornets had come back to tie the game late after the Warriors had held a comfortable lead for most of the night. The Warriors built a double-digit lead in the first quarter and led 59-50 at half on 55 percent shooting.

Of course, it wasn’t just the bench. David Lee continued to shine. The star forward scored 26 points on 10-for-16 shooting and added nine rebounds and four assists. His streak of consecutive games with 20 or more points and 10 or more rebounds did come to an end, just one rebound shy.

Lee spoke after the game about the difficulties of playing at home after a long road trip.

“One of the hardest games to play in the NBA is the first game back home after a road trip and getting back on west coast time,” Lee said. “These aren’t excuses, it’s just the fact of the matter.”

Jackson said that he received a text from former teammate and NBA great Reggie Miller after the game congratulating him on a hard-earned home win after a long, successful road trip.

Stephen Curry shot 5-for-13 from the field for 13 points, adding five rebounds and three assists. Klay Thompson scored 19 points, included 3-for-8 three-pointers.

With the win, Golden State improves to 17-8 for the first time since 1991-92.

Ryan Anderson scored 28 points off the bench and Anthony Davis recorded his third career double-double with 15 points and a career-high 16 rebounds.

Rookie center Festus Ezeli returned after missing Saturday night’s game in Atlanta with a right knee contusion. Ezeli scored two points and grabbed six rebounds in 10 minutes. Andris Biedrins, who would have started in his place if Ezeli could not go, did not play any minutes.

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

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SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the ailing Cleveland Cavaliers 103-74 on Monday night in a showdown that turned into a major letdown for the defending NBA champions.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol added 14 points apiece for the Spurs, who won their fifth straight.

Cleveland (47-26) dropped its second in a row, set a season low for points and fell a half-game behind Boston (48-26) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Cavaliers star LeBron James was injured late in the third quarter after taking an elbow to the base of his neck. He remained on the bench for a while receiving medical attention, then headed toward the locker room and didn't return to the game.

His status was not immediately known.

Cleveland has been out of sync recently, losing three of five, and those struggles only got worse against San Antonio. The Spurs led by as many as 33 points to the delight of the sold-out crowd.

San Antonio (57-16) is two games behind Golden State (59-14) for the league's best record entering a home showdown with the Warriors on Wednesday.

Cleveland opted to play its stars rather than sit them for rest, but the trio of James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love sat out the fourth quarter of its second rout in the past two weeks.

James exited with 25 seconds remaining in the third after taking an elbow to his neck from David Lee on a rebound. James continually rubbed the area before collapsing after he crossed midcourt and remained on the floor for about a minute before walking unassisted to the bench. He left for the locker room early in the fourth quarter during a timeout.

James finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 29 minutes.

The Spurs held the Cavaliers scoreless for three minutes after San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was issued a technical foul during a timeout with 6:38 remaining in the first half.

Leonard hit a right-handed runner as the second quarter closed to give the Spurs a 64-40 lead.

TIP-INS:
Cavaliers: Cleveland completed its schedule against the West, finishing 16-14. In addition to losing to the Spurs by 29 points, the Cavaliers lost by 35 to Golden State and 30 to the Los Angeles Clippers. . Cleveland F Kyle Korver missed his third straight game with a sore left foot, and the team plans to sit him for several games to see if rest and treatment helps. Korver will sit out Thursday in Chicago and Friday at home against Philadelphia before being re-evaluated, a team spokesman said. The shooting specialist missed seven games earlier this month with an inflamed tendon in his foot. . G Iman Shumpert missed his second consecutive game with a sore right knee. . James needs 24 points to pass Shaquille O'Neal for seventh overall in career scoring. O'Neal has 28,596 career points. . The Cavaliers averaged 116.3 points in their previous four games.

Spurs: San Antonio is holding its opponents to an average of less than 100 points for the 22nd straight season. . Danny Green tied his season high with four blocked shots. . Leonard has scored in double figures in 100 straight games.

UP NEXT:
Cavaliers: At the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.

Spurs: Host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.

Iguodala making loud free agency case to Warriors in Durant's absence

Iguodala making loud free agency case to Warriors in Durant's absence

OAKLAND -- It was with impeccable timing, for the Warriors and for Andre Iguodala, that he has spent recent weeks summoning all the best parts of his game.

He has been a disruptive force on defense, as usual, but at a time when the Warriors needed something extra at both ends of the court, he is providing an abundance of offensive electricity.

Iguodala came through once more on Sunday as the Warriors suffocated Memphis in the fourth quarter to take a 106-94 win at Oracle Arena. Though the team’s Sixth Man again scored at an efficient clip -- 20 points on eight shot attempts -- his ability to energize teammates from Stephen Curry to Draymond Green to Klay Thompson and beyond is no less significant.

“We feed off his energy when we see him get a rebound or get a steal, push up the court, make a crazy inside-out dribble and finish at the rim, knock down threes or play-make for other guys,” Curry said. “It’s fun to watch.”

Iguodala’s rise has coincided with the loss of Kevin Durant, the team’s leading scorer and someone who plays the same position. With Durant out, Iguodala has taken on additional playing time, which can be risky for someone in his 13th season.

“He’s been fantastic,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He looks incredibly athletic, bouncy and fresh. He’s a pro. The guy just knows how to take care of his body. He’s done a great job of stepping up in KD’s absence and recognizing what we need from him.”

The Warriors have played 13 games since Durant went down with a knee injury, and Iguodala has played in 11 of them, shooting 44 percent from deep and 61.8 percent overall. The man who shot 62.3 percent from the line in his first three seasons as a Warrior is at 70.1 percent this season. Leadership also is part of the package.

“I try to read (what’s needed) when I get into the game,” Iguodala said. “Try to bring that energy. And, more than anything, lead by example. Not say too much. Just show it.”

When Iguodala is sprinting up and down the court, rising and dunking on one end, stripping balls away on the other, the Warriors are appreciably better team. If the Curry-Durant-Green-Thompson foursome is the engine, Iguodala is the turbo boost.

“We’re a completely different team when he’s as aggressive as he’s been of late,” Green said. “When he’s moving the way he’s been moving -- he’s beating everybody down the floor -- it makes us a completely different team. “

Igoudala’s minutes have spiked, from 23 per game in November, to 26 in December, to 27 in January and February, to almost 29 in March.

“I don’t want to run his minutes up too much,” Kerr said. “But if he has to play a couple extra minutes while KD is out, then that’s fine.”

It’s fine with Iguodala and it’s paying off for the Warriors.

Iguodala hopes it pays off, literally, when he becomes a free agent in July.

Though free agents entering their 14th season don’t often command big money, he is making a very impressive audition for the Warriors or any team that might be interested in his services.

Iguodala has made it clear he’d prefer to stay in the Bay Area, and at this rate the Warriors may have to find the necessary coins to bring him back.