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.

Warriors as healthy as ever while playing waiting game for next opponent

Warriors as healthy as ever while playing waiting game for next opponent

OAKLAND -- Now that the Warriors have gone through a full-squad scrimmage for the first time in three weeks, there is only one issue to be resolved before they get back to the business of the playoffs.

Whom to play? And when?

As of Friday afternoon, the Warriors had no idea of either.

They will face the winner of the Clippers-Jazz first-round series, in which Utah took a 3-2 lead into Game 6 Friday night in Salt Lake City.

“Why are we talking about Utah like the Clippers are done?” Draymond Green wondered after fielding several Jazz-related questions after scrimmaging.

Well, because the Jazz won Games 4 and 5 and is favored to win Game 6 at home. If they win, they’ll come into Oracle Arena Sunday afternoon to meet the Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

If the Clippers win Game 6 to even the series, those teams will meet for Game 7 Sunday in Los Angeles, with the winner advancing to face the Warriors in Game 1 of the conference semifinals next Tuesday night in Oakland.

In any case, the Warriors appear about as healthy has they have been at any time since February.

Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, out with a finger/hand injury since Game 1 (April 16) of the first-round series against Portland, participated in the scrimmage, as did veteran forward Matt Barnes, who last played on April 8, when he sustained a bone bruise atop his right foot.

“They practiced today and they even went through the scrimmage,” acting head coach Mike Brown said. “But we’ll wait for our training staff to clear them, after they see how they feel today and (Saturday).”

In short, if swelling is minimal, both will be available for Game 1, regardless of when.

So, too, will Kevin Durant. After a strained left calf kept him out of Games 2 and 3 against the Trail Blazers, he started and played 20 minutes in decisive Game 4 without any ill effects.

Nothing changed during the scrimmage Friday.

“It felt great out there,” he said. “Nothing bothered me. It was definitely good. I’m just trying to hopefully put that injury stuff behind.”

Durant conceded that he continues to receive treatment and ice, but mostly to minimize potential swelling.

Durant makes plea to NBA officials: 'S--- talking is part of the game'

Durant makes plea to NBA officials: 'S--- talking is part of the game'

OAKLAND -- Kevin Durant wishes more NBA officials had a better grasp of the language of the game.

They don’t seem to understand that “trash talk” almost always is little more than an act in which healthy emotions are released. It’s as much of the game on the court as pointing out a bad haircut or a fashion error in the locker room.

“I was raised that if you weren’t talking on the court, then something (bad) is going on,” Durant said after Warriors practice on Friday.

Durant caught a glimpse of the chatter earlier this week between former Oklahoma City teammate Russell Westbrook and Houston guard Patrick Beverley in decisive Game 5 of the Thunder-Rockets series and was disappointed when the officials slapped each with a technical foul.

“I was like, ‘Man, just play on. It’s a part of the game,’” Durant said.

Though Durant himself is not a premier trash-talker, he plays alongside one in fellow forward Draymond Green.

“That’s why we started playing, to talk a little s--- here and there,” said Durant, who grew up in the Washington D.C. area. “Draymond is really good at it. There are a lot of guys in the league that are good. More guys are quiet now than before.

“But s--- talking is a part of the game. I love it. It’s fun when you’re on the same team as a guy that does it. And then, when you’re playing against it, it’s even better because it brings the best out of you.”

For Durant, there always will be a place for trash talk on the court. Not only did he experience it while growing up but he also was indoctrinated in the practice from the moment he arrived in the NBA in 2007.

He recalls, with fondness, being targeted as a rookie by Kevin Garnett and a few other Celtics.

“When I came into the league, that’s when the Celtics had just got together,” Durant said. “Paul Pierce and KG and those guys talked bad to me as a rookie. I was 19. And they talked so bad to me. And I was talking right back. It was just a fun exchange. That’s what basketball is about.”

Now if only he could get officials to realize this.