Second-quarter flop sinks Warriors against 76ers

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Second-quarter flop sinks Warriors against 76ers

BOX SCORE
The Warriors started strong, but were outscored by Philadelphia by 14 points in the second quarter and 10 points in the third; they could never recover, falling to 2-2 with a New Year's Eve loss to the 76ers.
76ers 107, Warriors 79
Player of the game: Lou Williams helped keep Philly in the game early in the first half, then helped them close out the second period strongly helping give the 76ers a 50-42 lead.Williams had 13 of his 23 points in the first half, going 4-for-4 from the field, all of which were 3-pointers.
Key stretch: After closing out the second quarter strongly, Philadelphia scored the first seven points to open up the second half, taking a commanding 57-42 lead. That lead would jump to 21 midway through the period and there would be no tense moments in the final 12 minutes.Transition defense was an issue all game for the Warriors, and it wasnt lost on coach Mark Jackson.We talked about it, Jackson said. We really felt if we forced them to play halfcourt basketball we were comfortable with our halfcourt defense. This is a team that pushes the ball down your throat. This is a team that leaks out offensively. Youve got to make sure youve got five guys back. We did not and it hurt us. We gave up too many points in transition.
Bench play: Through the first three games of the season, the Warriors bench had been quite good, with a hand in both of the teams wins. On Saturday, the Warriors bench was emphatically outplayed by the 76ers bench.Williams and Thaddeus Young, with a dash of Evan Turner, took control of the game when they were on the floor. Philly's subs outscored Golden State's 58-30."Our bench, we feel, is one of the best in the league, if not the best in the league," 76ers forward Elton Brand said. "With Lou Williams, Thad coming off that bench, scoring, playing defense, creating plays, getting on the break ... it's fun to watch when they're out there playing."Currys ankle: The good news was that Stephen Currys ankle was fine and didnt seem to be an issue at all. His line looked acceptable 9-for-15 from the field for 21 points but he had five turnovers and just four assists.Its getting better, Curry said afterward. I went the whole game without an incident so thats a step in the right direction.
No Ellis: The Warriors were without shooting guard Monta Ellis, who was back in Mississippi, attending the funeral of his grandmother. Mary Cole passed Christmas morning. The Warriors hope to have Ellis back for their game at Phoenix on Jan. 2."He's basically the face of this franchise," Williams said of Ellis. "He's been here for seven years now. I think Coach (Mark) Jackson has put the ball in his hands and told that this is his team and I think he's very valuable to this squad."Lees first-half struggles: David Lee, who had been effective in his first three games, struggled from the field, particularly in the first half. Lee went just 5-for-18 from the field in the half.Lee finished the game shooting 8-for24 from the field and wound up with 19 points.No throws: Compounding the fact that the Warriors shot just 37.3 percent from the field in the first half was the that they didnt take a free throw, either. That had nothing to do with the officiating, however, as the Warriors settled for jumper after jumper, and Lee couldnt get anything to go down on the interior.Its not a stretch to say the Warriors missed Ellis ability to penetrate and put pressure on the defense.Jackson waved off any kind of officiating issue, and said the 76ers were the more aggressive team.Little things: At the end of the first quarter, with 3.6 seconds remaining, the Warriors had the ball under their own bucket. Jackson subbed in Curry, who had sat for most of the first quarter with two fouls.Philly lost Curry on the inbounds and he wound up with an open 3-pointer. He made it to give the Warriors a 25-19 lead after a period.
Hitting the road: After playing their first four games at Oracle, the Warriors now head out to the road for three games against Phoenix, San Antonio and the L.A. Lakers.

Four takeaways from Warriors' first-round sweep of Blazers

Four takeaways from Warriors' first-round sweep of Blazers

PORTLAND -- Four games, four quarters to each and the Warriors are on to the next round of the postseason.

Here are four things we learned about these Warriors in the wake of their four-game sweep of the Trail Blazers in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

IT’S A TEAM THING: The Warriors lost All-Star forward Kevin Durant in Game 1, came back and won Game 2. They lost head coach Steve Kerr before Game 3, went out and fashioned one of the biggest comebacks in franchise postseason history. They are constructed in such a way that the collective is strong enough to overcome the loss of one man. They won this series in a walk despite being shorthanded for the last three games and without their head coach for the last two. This team and this staff are bigger than any individual.

JAVALE McGEE MATTERS: By last Sept. 16 the summer was all but gone and every coveted player NBA player had been accounted for. That’s when the Warriors signed McGee with the hope that he could provide some length and athleticism on the block, if only for a few minutes a night -- and, surely, some nights not at all. McGee was the last man to make the team, and here he was dominating a Trail Blazers team that, to be fair, lacked a healthy center. He was special in this series, and what he provides will be needed as the Warriors move forward.

DRAYMOND’S VALUE IS BEYOND MEASURE: There were so many examples during the regular season that illustrated Draymond Green’s significance to the Warriors. He topped them all in this series. He defended, at some point, every member of the Portland team. He rebounded. He made 3-pointers. He blocked 17 shots. The Blazers tried him early but quickly become discouraged at attacking whenever he was on the court. He disrupted their offense in more ways than they could have imagined. As a bonus, he avoided notable run-ins with officials.

SPLASHING NOT NEEDED: Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were fabulous in the second half of Game 3 and Curry stood out in Game 4. But by the time the Splash Brothers found their offensive groove, the Warriors were up 2-0 in the series and rallying behind their defense en route to taking Game 3. The battle of the backcourts, logically deemed a critical factor in this series, was a virtual statistical standoff. Curry/Thompson combined for 192 points, while Damian Lillard 111 and CJ McCollum totaled 201. If it’s the numbers are that close, the Warriors will win every series, and probably sweep.

 

Instant Replay: Warriors torch Blazers, complete first-round sweep

Instant Replay: Warriors torch Blazers, complete first-round sweep

BOX SCORE

PORTLAND -- Never allowing the Trail Blazers to find an offensive rhythm, the Warriors rolled to a 128-103 Game 4 triumph Monday night, completing a sweep of the first-round Western Conference playoff series.

The Warriors advance to the conference semifinals and will face the winner of the Jazz-Clippers series currently tied at two games apiece.

All five Warriors starters scored in double figures, with Stephen Curry scoring 37 points to lead the way. Draymond Green totaled 21, Klay Thompson 18 and Zaza Pachulia 11. David West scored 12 points off the bench.

Kevin Durant -- making his first appearance since Game 1 -- started and added 10 points, three rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal in 20 minutes of action.

The Warriors rode white-hot shooting from deep, making 17-of-29 (58.6 percent).

The Warriors silenced the Moda Center crowd early, outshooting Portland 62.5 percent to 29.6 percent in the first quarter before going on to finish with a 53.5-percent to 38.8-percent advantage for the game.

Damian Lillard scored 34 points to lead the Trail Blazers, who were ousted from the playoffs by the Warriors for the second consecutive year.

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
Curry, who struggled with his shot for the majority of the series, continued the hot streak he began in the fourth quarter of Game 1.

Curry’s line: 37 points (12-of-20 shooting from the field, including 7-of-11 from beyond the arc, 6-of-7 from the line), eight assists, seven rebounds and two steals. He played 30 minutes and finished plus-29 for the game.

Curry moved into a tie with Robert Horry for ninth place on the all-time list of 3-pointers in the postseason with 261.

TURNING POINT:
The Warriors took control immediately, going up 14-0 with 8:40 left in the first quarter and pushing it to 35-9 with 4:11 left in the quarter. They led by as much as 28 in the first half.

Portland got no closer than 18 in the second quarter, and no closer than 23 after intermission.

INJURY UPDATE:
Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L calf strain) was listed as questionable and upgraded to available prior to tipoff. F Matt Barnes (R foot/ankle bone bruise) and G Shaun Livingston (R index finger sprain, hand contusion) were listed as questionable and downgraded to out prior to tipoff. F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) was listed as out.

Blazers: G Allen Crabbe (L foot soreness) and G CJ McCollum (R ankle sprain) are listed as probable. C Jusuf Nurkic (L leg fracture) C Ed Davis (L shoulder surgery), C Festus Ezeli (L knee surgery) and C Jusuf Nurkic (R leg fracture) are listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT:
The Warriors now await the winner of the Clippers-Jazz first-round series. Game 1 date TBD, either April 30 or May 2.