No Klay, no problem for Warriors after several key adjustments

No Klay, no problem for Warriors after several key adjustments

OAKLAND -- No Klay, no problem.

The Warriors eventually put away the pesky Miami Heat, 107-95, Tuesday night. But it took some time Tuesday to adjust to the absence of All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson, and that was particularly true of Kevin Durant.

“I was rushing early on,” said Durant, who took 10 shots in the first quarter. “I rushed five shots. My first five shots were terrible looks. I was just throwing the ball up there. It was bad to watch, I’m sure.

“But I settled in and told myself I don’t have to make up for Klay being out. Just play my game. We’re going to do it as a group, and it started to come to me a bit.”

Durant missed his first five shots before roaring in for a dunk with 3:49 left in the first quarter. He made his next three shots before missing a layup inside the final minute.

“They were keying in on Kevin a little bit,” Andre Iguodala said. “When Klay is out there, they’re not able to. KD started (0-for-5) and on a lot of those drives, they were collapsing on him a little bit and he had to take tough shots.”

Durant made 10 of his final 16 shots, finishing with a team-high 28 points.

With Thompson sitting out to rest, and rookie Pat McCaw starting in his place, Warriors coach Steve Kerr made several unusual moves. Most notably, he kept Stephen Curry and Durant on the floor for the entire first quarter.

The two combined for 52 points, carrying the offense on a night when the floor spacing was very different without Thompson’s constant movement and long-range shooting threat.

“We just got settled in,” Curry said. “We didn’t have to really force anything. It was a little different with certain possessions when we had Klay coming off screens and you keep the ball moving. He can obviously finish a lot of possessions shooting the ball.”

The Warriors trailed 54-53 at the half, but outscored the Heat 54-41 after intermission.

“We just made small adjustments and figured it out,” Iguodala said. “That’s the good thing about our team and our depth. We can adjust to any style and make it work.”

Thompson is expected back Thursday night, when the Warriors face Detroit at Oracle Arena.

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

OAKLAND -- Even though Draymond Green still would like to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, winning a championship with the Warriors has quenched much of thirst for the honor.

“I don’t really care that much anymore,” Green said after participating in the JaVale McGee Celebrity softball game Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum benefitting the Jug Life Foundation, promoting a healthy lifestyle around water consumption.

“I cared before,” Green added. “But we won the NBA championship now. I don’t care about what happened in the regular season any more at this point. I think I would have cared if I found out in Round 1 or Round 2 (of the playoffs).

“But at this point . . . I don’t even care any more.”

This is in marked contrast to what Green expressed early in the regular season, when he acknowledged the DPOY award is the only individual award he actively cared to win.

As recently as two months ago, in discussing his defensive performance in a season during which he made numerous memorable plays, including some game-saving defensive stands, Green let his words speak on his behalf.

“It is the best defensive season I’ve had, because I’ve continued to grow,” he said at the end of the regular season. “When I look at the last couple years, I think each year I got better defensively. And I think this year I’ve gotten better. So I do think it’s my best season, defensively -- but just not numbers-wise. The numbers are up a little bit more. But I actually feel better about what I’ve done on the defensive end than I have in any other year.”

Winning a championship apparently has an impact on the significance of individual awards.

A finalist for the award for which he finished second in each of the past two seasons, Green said Saturday that his plan is to leave for New York on Sunday and be in attendance when the awards are presented Monday night.

The other finalists for the award are Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who won it the last two seasons.

All three players will be among those at Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York for the inaugural telecast of the NBA Awards on TNT.

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Kevin Durant didn't forget about the taunts.

In February, when Durant returned to Oklahoma City for the first time as a member of the Warriors, Thunder fans heckled him with t-shirts featuring cupcakes, a reference to Durant being soft for joining the 73-win Warriors.

On Saturday, the cupcake graphic made a return with one slight change.

Durant, playing in JaVale McGee's JugLife Celebrity Softball game at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday, showed up to the stadium wearing a cupcake hat. But instead of a cheery on top, a championship ring was superimposed on top of the cupcake.

So Durant, an NBA champion, got the last laugh.