Instant Replay: Warriors beat Hawks, finish road trip 6-1


Instant Replay: Warriors beat Hawks, finish road trip 6-1


There’s no precise definition of the term for real.

So the Golden State Warriors have to write their own meaning.

The Warriors capped a historic road trip with a 115-93 blowout victory against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.

Despite falling to the Orlando Magic on Friday, the Warriors win in Atlanta concluded an unprecedented 6-1 road trip, the best in the franchise’s history.

“We bounced back and I think it’s important for us to do that, to show that we’re for real and we’re going to be here for the long haul,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said.

Golden State is clinging to for real, having propelled itself even more into the conversation as one of the league’s authentic winners, after the impressive road trip.

The Warriors (16-8) hold the fifth best record in the Western Conference approaching the one-third mark of the season.

The Warriors season-long, seven-game road trip included wins against the Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets and now the Hawks, who are no slouch. Atlanta had lost just twice at home all season and entered the night winners of 11 of their last 13 games.

“This is definitely a playoff-caliber team and this win speaks volumes for us as well,” Warriors guard Jarrett Jack said.

The mental character is changing for Golden State. Once, built-in excuses like fatigue offered an easy way out. Now, the team seems to rally behind the challenge, a characteristic of a motivated team.

“It makes us battle-tested, none of these teams gave us any of these games,” Jack said. “We had to come out here and work for each and every game as soon as we stepped inside the lines. There were some games we were down and could have folded, and came back and played hard.”

Curry finds his way as one of the league’s elite
So much of Golden State’s success relies on the vulnerable ankles of Stephen Curry, who nearly had a triple-double with 18 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds.

Curry is having a breakout season in his fourth year with the Warriors, displaying a quickness and strength on cuts that only comes with health. He’s also realizing a greater offensive awareness, although it may not have been on full display in Saturday night’s less-than-efficient 6-for-20 shooting performance.

The streak continues
David Lee finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds. He tallied 20-plus points and 10-plus rebounds in each of the seven road games.  

Balanced win
Saturday night was more than just the Curry-Lee show as the Warriors displayed a balanced attack. The Warriors tallied a season-high 32 assists and received 19 points on 8-for-14 shooting from rookie Harrison Barnes.

Off the bench, Jack added 13 points and eight assists and Carl Landry scored 19 points on efficient 8-for-10 shooting. The Hawks entered the night allowing just 93.1 points per game, fifth best in the league.

On a play emblematic of the Warriors bench on Saturday night, Jack drove the lane mid-second quarter, missed short off the front rim, only to have Landry grab the putback with his left mitt and power back an emphatic slam.

Of course, beating Atlanta is much easier when Josh Smith shoots 1-for-12 for just three points, a credit to the Warriors defense that also added 10 steals.

This social media conversation will only heat up
@B_Trail707 wrote: “@csnwarriors #warriorstalk another huge win for GSW. What a great start to the season. How are @StephenCurry30 and @Dlee042 not all-stars?”

Truth be told
@wildBlue82 wrote: “Jarrett Jack is possibly the best offseason pick-up by the Warriors. He and Landry are a big part of the 15-8 start. #WarriorsTalk”

Finishing with legs
Fatigue wasn’t a factor on the seventh and final game of the road trip. The Warriors burst out of the gates on the second day of a back-to-back, shooting 54.3 percent from the floor and 8-for-12 three-point shooting to score a season-high 62 points in a half.  The team finished the game at 49.5 percent from the field.

Outrebounding the opposition
The Warriors won the rebounding battle 54-45 against Atlanta and are now 15-1 when they outrebound their opponent.

Ezeli stays out
Festus Ezeli sat out the remainder of the game in Orlando on Friday night when he suffered a right knee contusion after colliding knees in the third quarter with Moe Harkless. The Warriors thought he would play in Atlanta, but he was scratched just prior to the game. Andris Biedrins started in his place and logged 14 minutes, scoring no points but grabbing seven rebounds.

The Korver factor
Kyle Korver is a great shooter for Atlanta, but Hawks coach Larry Drew had to limit his minutes and hide him defensively. First it was Klay Thompson, and then it was Barnes, who took advantage of Korver’s limited defensive abilities. Korver, who averages 28.3 minutes per game and 10.8 points, played just 21 minutes and had three points. Drew also pulled most of his regulars early in the night.

Follow @jimmypspencer for more Warriors news and analysis

Refocused McGee 'blessed' to earn Warriors' final roster spot

Refocused McGee 'blessed' to earn Warriors' final roster spot

OAKLAND – After eight years as one of the NBA’s most intriguing projects, JaVale McGee was extended an opportunity to join the Warriors, the league’s successful franchise over the past two seasons.

Informed early Friday that he had made the roster, the 7-foot center celebrated by never leaving the bench in the preseason finale Friday night at Oracle Arena.

Though he had recovered well enough from a left knee strain to play, coach Steve Kerr opted to keep McGee off the court against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Which was fine by McGee, who after the game sat in front of his locker with ice bags wrapped from just above his knee to the bottom of his calf.

“I’m just happy, blessed, to have this chance,” he told

McGee earned the 15th and final roster spot by doing what the Warriors had hoped. He ran the floor well, blocked a few shots and sent a few lob passes powering through the bottom of the net.

“He had a good camp and he gives us something that we don’t have with our other centers, with that length and that ability to catch a lob and finish,” Kerr said. “He has the potential to help us. We’ll see how it all goes.”

McGee, 28, will join 34-year-old Anderson Varejao in sharing spot minutes behind starter Zaza Pachulia and top backup David West.

“I'm starting to figure out what the coaches want from me, and I’m starting to execute it,” he said. “Everything is going well.”

Selected by the Washington Wizards in the first round (18th overall) of the 2008 draft, McGee is now on his fifth NBA team.

Noting that he has no control over his playing time but will do his part to influence the coaching staff, McGee said he is here primarily to achieve has one goal:

“Win an NBA championship,” he said. “That’s it.”

Kerr sees shades of Iguodala, Livingston in rookie McCaw

Kerr sees shades of Iguodala, Livingston in rookie McCaw

While Kevin Durant is understandably the talk of the Warriors after shaking up the NBA landscape in his free agency decision, the player garnering the closest amount of hype going in the regular season was bought with the No. 38 pick in this year's draft. 

"The young kid Patrick McCaw, who's a second-round pick from Vegas, he's picked up everything so easy," head coach Steve Kerr said on KNBR's Tolbert & Lund on Friday. "He reminds me a lot of Andre (Iguodala) and Shaun Livingston, and not only with his build, but with his feel for the game." 

The Warriors used $2.4 million to buy the Milwaukee Bucks' second-round pick and make McCaw their new diamond in the rough, just three picks later than Draymond Green in the 2012 draft.

For McCaw, there can't be a much higher compliment from Kerr with himeself being such a big fan of Livingston. 

"Definitely I watch a lot of Shaun Livingston too, a big point guard who can make plays with the ball, can defend, and that's just where I see my game going," McCaw said at his introductory press conference for the Warriors in June.

From summer league through the preseason, McCaw only continues to impress. 

Shining in the Las Vegas Summer League, the versatile McCaw averaged 15.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.0 steals over 33.8 minutes per game. Playing in all seven of the Warriors' preseason games, the 20-year-old guard poured in 8.4 points, 2.1 assists and 1.7 rebounds per game while averaging 20.1 minutes.