Instant Replay: Warriors' streak ends in Orlando


Instant Replay: Warriors' streak ends in Orlando


Mama said there would be nights like this.

The undefeated road trip of the Golden State Warriors came to a clanking halt on Friday night with a 99-85 loss to the Orlando Magic.

The Warriors, who began their seven-game road trip with five consecutive wins, started sluggish with 14 first-quarter points and finished the night shooting just 37 percent from the field.

“We didn’t expect to go undefeated the rest of the way,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “We’ve had a great run. This team beat us tonight. … But the key is for us not to allow the loss to take us back to where we once were.”

The expectations aren’t lowered; they’re just set to realistic.

As the Warriors continue to mature, road losses and poor shooting nights are destined to occur. Golden State still has plenty areas of growth. Jackson said in his postgame interview that his team was a step slow but he still has plenty of confidence in his group.
“We’re not frontrunners,” Jackson said. “We are not going to start pointing fingers and making excuses. Hey we lost, it happens. The teams that are the top teams in this league, they bounce back.”

David Lee shined once again despite the loss, scoring 24 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Lee continued his streak of six consecutive games with at least 20 points or 10 rebounds.

Stephen Curry led the Warriors in scoring with 25 points but tallied just three assists. The tandem of Curry and Lee combined to score 49 of the team’s 83 points.

The Magic, who also delivered the Warriors’ last loss, on Dec. 3 in Oakland, was led by 8-for-11 three-point shooting and 46 points off their bench. J.J. Redick led all Orlando scorers with 16 points off the bench.

Orlando’s bench outscored the Warriors’ bench 49-22.

Road legs

The battery doesn’t always recharge, even after a win against the defending champs. Traveling legs ultimately become weary, especially in the Warriors’ sixth consecutive road game. The tired legs were exposed as the Warriors fell behind early on.

After dropping behind 29-16 early in the second quarter, the Warriors responded with a 15-5 run to close the gap to three points with 5:34 remaining in the half. But Orlando responded with a 17-4 run of its own to end the half up 51-35.

Call it early-game fatigue or just poor shooting, either way the Warriors lost the game when they shot just 28 percent from the field and 12.5 percent (1-for-8) from three-point range in the first half. The Warriors finished the night 7-for-20 from three-point range.

Trend proves true
The Warriors entered the night with a record of 14-1 when they outrebound their opponent. The loss to Orlando was no exception, and Golden State lost the rebounding battle 53-49. 

Social media demands answers
@hippiemd tweeted: “@CSNWarriors How can the Warriors look great for five games but pathetic tonight? #warriorstalk”

The reasonable answer: The Warriors are still a young team, and learning to win on the road is supposed to be the final part of the growth process. Despite sudden results, the team will likely show ups and downs throughout the season.

In other words, it doesn’t always come all at once. Not every game is a measuring stick.

Optimism goes empty tweet of the game
@phiLMLwrote: “big leads are nothing in the #NBA. Pick it up #DUBS. #warriorstalk”

Nonetheless, the #webelong movement continues.

That one hurt
The knees of Festus Ezeli and Orlando's Moe Harkless collided with some emphasis early in the third quarter. Ezeli had played 12 minutes to that point and never returned. He finished with zero points and two rebounds.

Leave us alone, we’re tired
At one point in the third quarter, Jameer Nelson dribbled between two defenders and sliced unguarded through the lane for an open layup. The Magic scored 42 points in the paint and shot 47.7 percent from the field.

Wait a second … oh, nevermind
The Warriors rallied back to single-digits to 63-54 late in the third quarter before Orlando hit three consecutive open three-pointers to push the lead to 72-54.

The Warriors had one last gasp with an 11-3 run in the final moments to pull within 93-83 before Orlando pushed back to the finish.

Follow @jimmypspencer on Twitter for Warriors news and analysis.

Livingston: After final year of contract, 'we all want to get paid'

Livingston: After final year of contract, 'we all want to get paid'

OAKLAND – Stephen Curry, back-to-back MVP and reigning NBA scoring champ, will be a free agent in July and so will Andre Iguodala, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP.

Another charter member of the Warriors’ championship core, Shaun Livingston, also will be on the market.

“There’s always going to be speculation and it’s easy to start looking ahead,” Livingston told on Tuesday. “But that never does the player any good.”

Iguodala and Livingston love being Warriors, but it’s likely at least one of them may be sacrificed next summer for Patrick McCaw, who cracked the rotation as a rookie and in many ways is a composite of the two veterans.

Iguodala doesn’t hide from the fact that thoughts of the future will creep into his mind, and neither does Livingston, who is in the final year of a three-year deal worth $16.6 million.

“It’s human nature; we all want to get paid,” Livingston said. “We all want to perform well, to get numbers.

"But basketball sometimes in this league can get tricky,” he added. “You start worrying about that stuff, and you end up hurting yourself in the long run. But if you stay with it, stay on course, you may not have the same numbers but the team wins and you get paid more.”

LeBron's triple-double leads Cavs to win over Knicks


LeBron's triple-double leads Cavs to win over Knicks

CLEVELAND — LeBron James took time to reflect as the Cleveland Cavaliers raised their championship banner.

Then it was business as usual.

James had his 43rd career triple-double, Kyrie Irving scored 29 points and the Cavaliers beat the New York Knicks 117-88 on Tuesday night in the NBA season opener.

James scored 19 points and added 11 rebounds and 14 assists in front of a raucous home crowd that was on its feet from the pregame ceremony until late in the game, celebrating the city's first championship in 52 years.

"It was great to have a moment like that," he said. "It was difficult to focus on the game but we did a great job, especially in the second half."

James, who got choked up while speaking to the crowd before the game, continued his perfect record on ring nights. He was 2-0 when the Miami Heat players were presented with their championship rings.

"There were so many emotions," he said. "To see us win the finals and tonight being that last exclamation point to receive your ring in front of your fans was a great moment."

Irving scored 19 points in the third quarter, when Cleveland used a 20-4 run to take a 74-53 lead. Kevin Love scored 23 for the Cavaliers.

Carmelo Anthony led New York with 19 points and Derrick Rose had 17.

Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert was taken to the locker room late in the third quarter with concussion-like symptoms after colliding with Kristaps Porzingis. Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said Shumpert was undergoing tests to determine the extent of the injury.

Cleveland's players, coaching staff and front office personnel also received their championship rings in the pregame ceremony, and the sellout crowd chanted Lue's last name.

"That was a really good feeling," he said. "It was great to be a part of it."

The basketball game was only part of a big night in town. The Cleveland Indians played Game 1 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs across the street at Progressive Field.

The Knicks, who missed the playoffs the last three seasons, are expecting major improvement after acquiring Rose from Chicago to run the offense and signing center Joakim Noah, who was scoreless in 21 minutes.

"We will improve, I guarantee it," Anthony said. "There are just so many moving parts right now. We need to get better, but we're not running from that fact."

New York, playing its first game under new coach Jeff Hornacek, trailed by 13 in the second quarter but rallied to cut the lead to 45-43 at halftime. A pair of dunks by James and 3-pointers from Irving and Love pushed the lead to 61-49.

Cleveland's spurt continued as Irving hit three 3-pointers for a 74-53 lead.

Porzingis scored 16 points for New York.


Knicks: Anthony scored 11 of New York's 18 first-quarter points. .... PG Brandon Jennings, signed in the offseason, scored seven points in 22 minutes.

Cavaliers: F Tristan Thompson was scoreless and had six rebounds in 21 minutes. ... Rookie G Kay Felder is going through concussion protocol after being injured in practice last week.


James and Dwyane Wade, a Chicago native, finalized their bet on the World Series between the Indians and Cubs.

"If the Indians win the World Series, he has to wear an Indians uniform when he comes here and if the Cubs win it, I have wear a Cubs uniform when we play in the United Center," James said.


The Knicks spoiled James' return to Cleveland on opening night two years ago with a 95-90 win. Anthony was the game's high scorer with 25 points. Irving led Cleveland with 22 while James scored 17.


Noah, who has never been a favorite of Quicken Loans Arena fans, had a few kind words for the city Tuesday.

"Congratulations to Cleveland," he said. "Even though it's not a vacation spot you guys got a championship. It's well-deserved."


Knicks: They host Memphis on Saturday in their home opener in what will mark Rose's first game in a New York uniform at Madison Square Garden.

Cavaliers: They travel to Toronto on Friday in a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference finals, which Cleveland won in six games.