Second-half surge lifts Warriors over Knicks

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Second-half surge lifts Warriors over Knicks

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The Warriors -- without injured point guard Stephen Curry -- trailed the Knicks at halftime, but scored 55 points compared to New York's 35 in the second half to win 92-78 and improve to 2-1 on the young season.
Player of the game: Brandon Rush crammed a lot of activity into 26 minutes of playing time, scoring 19 points, grabbing six rebounds and playing tremendous defense on Carmelo Anthony.Key stretch: The Warriors held the Knicks to just six points through the first seven-plus minutes of the fourth quarter, one in which started with the teams even at 64-64. With the Knicks struggling to score, the Warriors took complete control of the game, bumping the lead to 16 points by the 4:20 mark of the period.This is going to be strange to hear, but we are a defensive team, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. Yeah, its a shocker. Great players are going to come in and have great nights. But our job is to make it tough and not hold our heads down.
Curry sits: Warriors point guard Stephen Curry missed Wednesdays game because of a sprained right ankle. Curry has tweaked the ankle twice this season once in the final exhibition game on Dec. 20 and the other time on Monday against the Bulls.Said Warriors coach Mark Jackson before the game: Bottom line is he got hurt landing on somebody and we are going to give it some time to heal. We are a no-excuses basketball team so we look forward to executing our mission which is to play to our identity and take care of our homecourt.Ish Smith, who started for Curry, finished with 11 points, six rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes.Rushs role: Were only three games into the season but it looks as though Brandon Rush is ahead of rookie Klay Thompson in the rotation. Jackson said during the preseason that Thompson was going to get plenty of playing time and would likely be the first guard off the bench.But Rush already has carved out a consistent role in large part because of his defense and ability to spot-up from 3-point range. Most figured Thompson would struggle at the defensive end, but he also hasnt shot the ball well at all.Everybody is buying into what Coach Jackson is talking about, Rush said. Just giving maximum effort on the defensive end getting stops and getting out and running.
Containing Anthony and Amare: The Warriors did a nice job defending Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, keeping both guys under control at all times.Anthony finished with 13 points on 3-for-13 from the field and Stoudemire had 16 points on 5-for-14 from the field.

Ty Lue: Celtics 'harder to defend' than Warriors

Ty Lue: Celtics 'harder to defend' than Warriors

The Warriors possess four 2017 All-Stars, three 2017 All-NBA team members and had the highest-scoring offense during the offense. They are 12-0 this postseason and have won those 12 games by an average of 16.3 points.

The Celtics lost All-NBA point guard Isaiah Thomas for the rest of the postseason and don't have another All-Star on the roster.

But for Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, it sounds like he has an easier time scheming to defend the Warriors.

"The stuff (the Celtics are) running, it's harder to defend than Golden State's (offense) for me, as far as the actions and all the running around and all the guys who are making all the plays, so it's a totally different thing. Like, they hit the post, Golden State runs splits and all that stuff but these guys are running all kinds of (stuff). And Brad's (Stevens) got them moving and cutting and playing with pace and everybody is a threat," Lue said Wednesday, according to Cleveland.com.

The Cavs rallied to beat the Celtics in Game 4 on Tuesday night to take a 3-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Despite the commanding series lead, Lue isn't looking ahead of a potential NBA Finals matchup with the Warriors.

"You can't. As much as you want to, it's not over," Lue told reporters.

The Cavs have a chance to wrap up the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday when they face the Celtics in Boston.

The NBA Finals begin June 1 in Oakland.

 

More Curry-Durant pick-and-roll? Mike Brown: 'I love Steve, but...'

More Curry-Durant pick-and-roll? Mike Brown: 'I love Steve, but...'

The Warriors led the NBA in offensive rating (113.2) during the regular season.

The Warriors are second in the league in offensive rating (115.8) in the playoffs.

Scoring is not an issue.

But will we see the Warriors run more pick-and-roll in the NBA Finals, specifically the Steph Curry-Kevin Durant combination?

"Steve (Kerr) isn't really into this much," interim head coach Mike Brown told ESPN's Zach Lowe. "He's more about spacing and movement -- and that's fantastic. I love Steve, and wherever I might go, I'm going to incorporate a lot of stuff he does.

"But in the playoffs, sometimes you have to attack a mismatch. When I need a bucket, that's what I'm going to do."

Mr. Kerr -- your response?

"Mike is right about me, but I also recognize the need to do it more as defenses get tougher," Kerr told ESPN. "It's about finding the right balance between isolating when we need to, and keeping the flow that makes us who we are."

During the regular season, the Warriors ranked last in pick-and-roll possessions per game -- both when the ball-handler ended the possession, or when the roll/pop man ended the possession.

Steph Curry averaged 6.1 pick-and-roll possessions per game -- 28th in the NBA.

That number is up to 7.5 per game in the playoffs.

“I think we’re still at our best when we’re simple about what we’re doing,” Curry recently told Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group. “Whether it’s pick-and-roll and you’ve got everybody spaced. You’ve got shooters where they need to be. You’ve got the dive man where he needs to be with space to put pressure on the rim. 

"You’ve got a ball-handler playmaker with it that can come off and shoot it, get a bucket. Sometimes it doesn’t need to be more complex than that. We’ve got the awareness that, that needs to happen.”