Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Warriors 107, Suns 92

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Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Warriors 107, Suns 92

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND The Warriors completed their preseason on Tuesday night, but there remain unknowns about what will happen when the team starts to play for real.With their 107-92 victory over the Suns at Oracle, the Warriors finished the preseason with a 6-2 record. Those are nice numbers, but who knows what they mean?The Warriors are still a very difficult team to gauge because they played all of the preseason without Andrew Bogut and some of it without point guard Stephen Curry.And the two questions that were asked before the start of training camp are still being asked: When will Bogut play and can Curry stay healthy?We still dont know the answers to those questions.What we do know, however, is coach Mark Jackson will rely heavily on David Lee and Klay Thompson just like he did during all of the preseason.Lee had 16 points and five rebounds, and Thompson finished with 12 points, three rebounds and three assists against the Suns. Neither of those players logged as many minutes as they have been averaging in the preseason, but then again, the Warriors open the regular season against the Suns on Oct. 31. No sense in letting them in on all things Warriors.If theres one thing the Warriors figure to rely on this season, its their depth. On Tuesday, the Warriors got contributions from Carl Landry (13 points), Harrison Barnes (16 points) and Jarrett Jack (13 points, nine assists).Now, you throw in a healthy Curry and Bogut, and the Warriors very well might have something. Without those two players, who really knows what you have?For the win: The Warriors 6-2 record would match their highest number of wins in a preseason since they went 6-1 in 2006. Warriors coach Mark Jackson made it clear from Day 1 of training camp that he was going to try to win as many games as possible because he believed it was important for changing the culture.The real test is whether the Warriors can string wins together in the regular season, of course.No Bogut: The goal for center Andrew Bogut was to play a preseason game or two and then be ready to go by the regular-season opener on Oct. 31 against Phoenix.Well, scrap the preseason game or two now well see about the opener.Bogut, who fractured his left ankle in January and only played 12 games last season, is still not 100 percent, according to Jackson. And for now, the Warriors will move forward without him.My mindset is to prepare this team and let the chips fall where they may, Jackson said. I really like how hard he has been working. Were listening to the doctors, were listening to the training staff and were listening to his body as well.The important thing now is to understand that we need him for the long haul and we dont want him on the floor until hes 100 percent. To his credit, its not because hes not working.

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.