OAKLAND – The preseason ended Friday night with the kind of offensive fireworks the Warriors expect to carry into the regular season.
Stephen Curry scored 35 points and Kevin Durant poured in 28 points as the Warriors overcame an early 16-point deficit to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 107-96 at Oracle Arena.
Ian Clark added 17 points to bolster the scoring of Curry and Durant.
With the exception of the first five minutes, the Warriors starters sparkled, outscoring Portland 84-50 over the next 31 minutes and leading by as much as 21.
The Warriors finished the preseason with a 6-1 record.
Damian Lillard, playing two miles from his old neighborhood, led Portland with 20 points. CJ McCollum added 16.
Simply put, that would be Curry and Durant.
Curry’s line: 35 points (12-of-21 from the field, including 8-of-13 from beyond the arc, 3-of-3 from the line), four rebounds and two assists. He scored 14 points in each of the first two quarters. He played 28 minutes and finished plus-17.
Durant’s line: 28 points (11-of-21, 5-of-8, 1-of-2), seven rebounds, six assists and one blocked shot. He scored 14 points in the third quarter. Durant played 31 minutes and finished plus-2.
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
Draymond Green didn’t score much, only 4 points, but his put his fingerprints on this game in just about every other way. He hauled in a game-high 11 rebounds, passed for six assists, adding a steal and a blocked shot. He played 26 efficient minutes, finishing plus-15.
Ian Clark still is trying to nail down a spot in the rotation and he made another impressive argument on his behalf. Coming off the bench with 4:09 left in the first quarter, he took two shots and made them both, including a 3-pointer. Playing both guard positions, Clark had 17 points (7-of-11, 3-of-6), two assists, one rebound and one block.
Warriors: C JaVale McGee (L knee strain) was listed as questionable and upgraded to available prior to tipoff. C Damian Jones (R pectoral surgery) was listed as out.
Blazers: C Meyers Leonard (lower back soreness) and G Shabazz Napier (L ankle sprain) were listed as questionable. Leonard entered in the third quarter. Napier did not play. C Festus Ezeli (L knee surgery) was listed as out.
The Warriors open the season Tuesday, Oct. 25, when the San Antonio Spurs visit Oracle Arena.
OAKLAND – A few short hours after Klay Thompson expressed indignation with an unnamed team source quoted referring to the Warriors as “cowards,” his coach stood firmly behind the All-Star shooting guard.
Steve Kerr, in his news conference prior to the Warriors-Trail Blazers game Friday night, said he, too, was not happy to see such a quote attributed to an unnamed team official in an ESPN The Magazine story portraying All-Star forward Draymond Green as someone whose firebrand ways grate on coaches and teammates.
“I talked to Draymond about it; I haven’t talked to the team about it,” Kerr said. “It upset me, too.
“I don’t know who said that. I’d guarantee it wasn’t any of our coaching staff. I would be shocked if it was anybody in basketball management. We don’t do that. Nobody ever said that to me, not even to the press. But nobody ever said that to me, like, ‘those guys played like cowards.’ So I have no idea where that came from.”
Thompson on Friday morning made it clear that he was less bothered by the content of the story than by the idea that someone within the organization, in describing the Warriors’ performance in losing Game 5 of the NBA Finals – with Green grounded by suspension – would refer to the team with such an unflattering term.
Though not as animated as Thompson was, Kerr clearly is concerned with the long-term ramifications of such a comment.
“It’s upsetting because you want to keep things in-house,” he said. “If somebody wants to say something, then they should put their name on it. If you don’t feel like you can put your name on it, you shouldn’t say it.”
Kerr paused ever so briefly before noting how media operates in the second decade of the new millennium.
“But on the other hand I also know how it works these days,” he said. “What is ‘an unnamed source?’ Who are ‘sources with knowledge of the team’s thinking?’ It’s gotten harder and harder to control stuff, to keep things in-house these days because what used to be a credible source is now . . . the standards are a little bit lower . . . I just know that sources with knowledge of the team’s thinking is an extremely vague phrase and who knows who that might be?”