Instant Replay: Warriors 103, Hornets 96

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Instant Replay: Warriors 103, Hornets 96

BOX SCORE

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.

Whether Brown or Kerr coach, Warriors sticking to same blueprint

Whether Brown or Kerr coach, Warriors sticking to same blueprint

OAKLAND -- For the first time since he joined the coaching staff last summer, Mike Brown on Wednesday morning arrived at the Warriors facility a man in charge.

As acting head coach, he would decide when practice started and when it ended, and conduct proceedings in between.

The general activity was not much different for anyone else, though, as it continues to become evident that everything the Warriors do for the foreseeable future will be a Brown-Kerr, or Kerr-Brown, production.

“Steve is going to be a part of this process the whole time,” Brown said after practice. “Almost before I do anything, I’m going to consult with him. The only time I won’t consult with him is probably during a game.”

Since Kerr’s announcement last Sunday that he was taking an indefinite leave to attend to personal health issues, Brown has been wielding the clipboard. He actually coached Game 3 against Portland last Saturday, in Kerr’s absence, before knowing in advance he’d also coach Game 4 Monday night.

Brown is 2-0, with the Game 4 win clinching a Warriors sweep of the Trail Blazers. Yet Brown is quick to remind anyone that he is following the plan laid out by Kerr. The two exchanged texts Tuesday and, according to Brown, “spoke at length” after the game between the Jazz and the Clippers -- one of which will face the Warriors in the next round.

Though the Warriors are operating under a different head coach, all indications are the atmosphere around the team remains stable and relatively unchanged.

“Obviously it’s different personalities, but when you make it about the players, when you make it about winning, all that other stuff really doesn’t matter,” Kevin Durant said. “He coaches us. He coaches the game of basketball and he does it very well. Our whole coaching staff does the same thing.

“When it’s about basketball, it’s not about trying to have authority over us. He’s just coaching us. He’s just coaching us up. He’s just telling us the proper way to do things on the basketball court. It’s pretty simple when you try to do that. Then it’s on us to try to execute.”

Execution has gone well, particularly over the last six quarters of the series against Portland. The Warriors wiped out a 16-point deficit in the second half to win Game 3, and then rolled to a 35-9 start in Game 4 before coasting to the closeout victory.

Brown was on the sideline in Game 4, with Kerr watching the game from the locker room.

It’s fairly apparent, though, that everyone involved feels a heightened sense of accountability and ownership.

“Mike has had a pretty big voice throughout the whole season,” Durant said. “He’s been a head coach before, understands what it takes to be a head coach. And the coaching staff is just so smart, and they empower each other.

“Anybody, if you’re around us on a day-to-day basis, anybody can tell that they work well as a group. Coach Kerr does a great job. He spearheads it all by empowering everybody, from the coaches to the players.”

After sweeping Blazers, Warriors relishing some needed down time

After sweeping Blazers, Warriors relishing some needed down time

OAKLAND -- After arriving in Oakland in the wee hours Tuesday morning, the Warriors took the day off, went through a light practice Wednesday and will take another day off Thursday.

Slackers, eh?

Not really, when the next game is at least four days away.

The semi-lax scheduling isn’t the decision of acting head coach Mike Brown. It’s not even the decision of head coach Steve Kerr, who was not at practice Wednesday and remains out indefinitely. It’s a common sense call that was made between the two men, with players and staffers on board.

“If you can sweep every series,” Kevin Durant said after practice, “then that’ll be perfect.”

This is one of the perks of sweeping a first-round opponent. By eliminating the Trail Blazers in four games and with their next opponent undetermined, the Warriors are able to balance work and rest.

“With this group here,” Brown said, “the continuity that the nucleus has and how intelligent the guys are, with the big-time veterans we’ve brought in, we feel that rest for their bodies and mentally (are) more important than coming in here and having practice on a daily basis.”

They also have a couple guys recovering from injuries. Forward Matt Barnes (right foot/ankle bone bruise) has been out two weeks, and guard Shaun Livingston (right index finger sprain/hand contusion) has missed the past nine days. Both, however, are expected to be available for the next series.

The soonest that would be is Sunday against Utah, which owns a 3-2 series lead over the Clippers and can close it out Friday in Salt Lake City. If the Clippers win and push the series to seven games, the Warriors would then open against the Clippers-Jazz winner on May 2.

Meanwhile, the Warriors have no choice but to prepare for both, with plenty of time to do so.