Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Magic 102, Warriors 94


Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Magic 102, Warriors 94


Player of the game: Glen Big Baby Davis had his way with the Warriors on the interior, scoring 24 points and leading the Magic to a win over Golden State.It was the Magics second straight win after defeating the L.A. Lakers in Los Angeles on Sunday night.The Warriors had their three-game winning streak snapped and are now 10-7.Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 25 points and 11 assists, but many of those points came in the final six minutes as the Warriors were trying to make up a double-digit deficit.Key stretch: The Magic went on a 17-6 run in the fourth quarter to break from a 72-72 tie and take control of the game. During the stretch, the Warriors had no answer for J.J. Redick, who hit three jumpers, including two from beyond the arc.His 3-pointer with five-and-a-half minutes remaining put Orlando up 89-78.Redick finished with 22 points, including 10 in the final period.Defense solid: The Warriors played in fits and starts at the offensive end, but they were able to hang their collective hats on the defensive end.The Warriors held the Magic to 38.9 percent shooting through three quarters and it allowed them to be even at 69-69 heading into the fourth quarter.If there was one player who was a thorn in the sides of the Warriors up to that point it was Orlando center Nikola Vucevic, who had 11 points and 12 rebounds in just 26 minutes.Six of his rebounds came at the offensive end, giving the Magic some extra possessions that it needed.Early on: The Warriors had things their way for most of the first quarter until a bad stretch at the very end. Orlando scored seven consecutive points in the final minute of the period, punctuated by a Davis jumper at the buzzer after a bad inbounds pass by Landry.Davis shot gave the Magic a 28-27 lead, and it held onto that lead for much of the second quarter.Trip looming: The Warriors open up a seven-game road trip their longest of the season on Wednesday at Detroit. Its the longest road trip the Warriors have had since an eight-game trip during March of the 2004-05 season.In an ideal world, we want to handle our business and look forward to going on the road, Jackson said before the game. This is a huge game for us because of the task that lies ahead which is going on the road playing against some good teams in their buildings.

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.