Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Warriors 109, Nets 102

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Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Warriors 109, Nets 102

BOX SCORE

Nets 109, Warriors 102

Player of the game: Warrior forward David Lee scored 13 of his team-high 30 points in the fourth quarter as the Warriors won their second consecutive road game.

The Warriors have now won the first two games of their seven-game road trip.

Lee was brilliant from the field, knocking down 13 of 21 field goals – which he parlayed nicely with 15 rebounds.

[VIDEO: HIGHLIGHTS -- Warriors 109, Nets 102]

“That’s a very good basketball team,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “They have great talent. For us we take it one at a time and this was a huge win. Guys came in off the bench: Carl Landry, Jarrett Jack, Draymond Green were huge. Stephen Curry is showing the world how good he is and David Lee was spectacular.”

Key stretch: The Warriors went on a 9-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to turn an 89-86 deficit into a 95-89 lead.

Lee had three consecutive buckets to finish off the run, including two jumpers and a put-back of a Curry miss.

The run put the Warriors in control for the game’s final five minutes.

Curry also had a big night for the Warriors (12-7) with 28 points on 10-for-19 from the field.

I said it before the game,” Lee said. “He’s healthy and this is what he’s all about. He’s a great person, great basketball player and I have confidence he can do it every night. … We’re just trying to be unselfish and make plays.”

Taking care of the ball: The Warriors entered Friday’s game averaging 16 turnovers per game. But they took nice care of the basketball against the Nets, and they had only seven through three quarters.

For the game, the Warriors had only 11 turnovers.

Blatche for Brook: On the surface, the Warriors seemed to catch a break because Nets center Brook Lopez wasn’t available. Lopez, who has a sprained an ankle, couldn’t play, but Andray Blatche played in place of him.

And Blatche had a big first half, scoring 13 points and grabbing eight rebounds. So effective was Blatche in the first half that coach Mark Jackson started Draymond Green in the third quarter for Festus Ezeli in an effort to slow down Blatche.

Green not only slowed down Blatche, he was money all around, too. Green’s tip-in with 1:43 remaining in the game gave Golden State it’s biggest lead of the night at 105-96.

Green finished with six points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Hanging in: Things weren’t looking too good early for the Warriors as the Nets jumped out to a 37-24 lead early in the second quarter. But shots began falling, rebounds began finding their hands and defensive stops started coming – and by the four-minute mark of the second quarter it was a 46-45 Brooklyn lead.

The Warriors went ahead and took a three-point lead, but the Nets finished the second quarter on an 11-0 run to head into the locker room up 63-55 at halftime.

 

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

BOX SCORE

SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the ailing Cleveland Cavaliers 103-74 on Monday night in a showdown that turned into a major letdown for the defending NBA champions.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol added 14 points apiece for the Spurs, who won their fifth straight.

Cleveland (47-26) dropped its second in a row, set a season low for points and fell a half-game behind Boston (48-26) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Cavaliers star LeBron James was injured late in the third quarter after taking an elbow to the base of his neck. He remained on the bench for a while receiving medical attention, then headed toward the locker room and didn't return to the game.

His status was not immediately known.

Cleveland has been out of sync recently, losing three of five, and those struggles only got worse against San Antonio. The Spurs led by as many as 33 points to the delight of the sold-out crowd.

San Antonio (57-16) is two games behind Golden State (59-14) for the league's best record entering a home showdown with the Warriors on Wednesday.

Cleveland opted to play its stars rather than sit them for rest, but the trio of James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love sat out the fourth quarter of its second rout in the past two weeks.

James exited with 25 seconds remaining in the third after taking an elbow to his neck from David Lee on a rebound. James continually rubbed the area before collapsing after he crossed midcourt and remained on the floor for about a minute before walking unassisted to the bench. He left for the locker room early in the fourth quarter during a timeout.

James finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 29 minutes.

The Spurs held the Cavaliers scoreless for three minutes after San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was issued a technical foul during a timeout with 6:38 remaining in the first half.

Leonard hit a right-handed runner as the second quarter closed to give the Spurs a 64-40 lead.

TIP-INS:
Cavaliers: Cleveland completed its schedule against the West, finishing 16-14. In addition to losing to the Spurs by 29 points, the Cavaliers lost by 35 to Golden State and 30 to the Los Angeles Clippers. . Cleveland F Kyle Korver missed his third straight game with a sore left foot, and the team plans to sit him for several games to see if rest and treatment helps. Korver will sit out Thursday in Chicago and Friday at home against Philadelphia before being re-evaluated, a team spokesman said. The shooting specialist missed seven games earlier this month with an inflamed tendon in his foot. . G Iman Shumpert missed his second consecutive game with a sore right knee. . James needs 24 points to pass Shaquille O'Neal for seventh overall in career scoring. O'Neal has 28,596 career points. . The Cavaliers averaged 116.3 points in their previous four games.

Spurs: San Antonio is holding its opponents to an average of less than 100 points for the 22nd straight season. . Danny Green tied his season high with four blocked shots. . Leonard has scored in double figures in 100 straight games.

UP NEXT:
Cavaliers: At the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.

Spurs: Host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.

Iguodala making loud free agency case to Warriors in Durant's absence

Iguodala making loud free agency case to Warriors in Durant's absence

OAKLAND -- It was with impeccable timing, for the Warriors and for Andre Iguodala, that he has spent recent weeks summoning all the best parts of his game.

He has been a disruptive force on defense, as usual, but at a time when the Warriors needed something extra at both ends of the court, he is providing an abundance of offensive electricity.

Iguodala came through once more on Sunday as the Warriors suffocated Memphis in the fourth quarter to take a 106-94 win at Oracle Arena. Though the team’s Sixth Man again scored at an efficient clip -- 20 points on eight shot attempts -- his ability to energize teammates from Stephen Curry to Draymond Green to Klay Thompson and beyond is no less significant.

“We feed off his energy when we see him get a rebound or get a steal, push up the court, make a crazy inside-out dribble and finish at the rim, knock down threes or play-make for other guys,” Curry said. “It’s fun to watch.”

Iguodala’s rise has coincided with the loss of Kevin Durant, the team’s leading scorer and someone who plays the same position. With Durant out, Iguodala has taken on additional playing time, which can be risky for someone in his 13th season.

“He’s been fantastic,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He looks incredibly athletic, bouncy and fresh. He’s a pro. The guy just knows how to take care of his body. He’s done a great job of stepping up in KD’s absence and recognizing what we need from him.”

The Warriors have played 13 games since Durant went down with a knee injury, and Iguodala has played in 11 of them, shooting 44 percent from deep and 61.8 percent overall. The man who shot 62.3 percent from the line in his first three seasons as a Warrior is at 70.1 percent this season. Leadership also is part of the package.

“I try to read (what’s needed) when I get into the game,” Iguodala said. “Try to bring that energy. And, more than anything, lead by example. Not say too much. Just show it.”

When Iguodala is sprinting up and down the court, rising and dunking on one end, stripping balls away on the other, the Warriors are appreciably better team. If the Curry-Durant-Green-Thompson foursome is the engine, Iguodala is the turbo boost.

“We’re a completely different team when he’s as aggressive as he’s been of late,” Green said. “When he’s moving the way he’s been moving -- he’s beating everybody down the floor -- it makes us a completely different team. “

Igoudala’s minutes have spiked, from 23 per game in November, to 26 in December, to 27 in January and February, to almost 29 in March.

“I don’t want to run his minutes up too much,” Kerr said. “But if he has to play a couple extra minutes while KD is out, then that’s fine.”

It’s fine with Iguodala and it’s paying off for the Warriors.

Iguodala hopes it pays off, literally, when he becomes a free agent in July.

Though free agents entering their 14th season don’t often command big money, he is making a very impressive audition for the Warriors or any team that might be interested in his services.

Iguodala has made it clear he’d prefer to stay in the Bay Area, and at this rate the Warriors may have to find the necessary coins to bring him back.