Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Warriors cut through Nets

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Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Warriors cut through Nets

BOX SCORE
Warriors 102, Nets 93Player of the game: Klay Thompson emerged from a shooting slump to score 23 points and help lead the Warriors to their fourth victory in five games.Thompson went 10-for-19 from the field, marking the first time all season hes made more than half of his shots in a game.He entered the game shooting just 33 percent from the field for the season.It felt like I got my game back, Thompson said. It felt great. I want to build on it Friday (vs. Denver) and keep this little win streak going. Im not going to lie to you, it felt amazing.Key stretch: The Warriors finished off the third quarter on a 14-3 run, which turned a three-point deficit into a 74-66 lead. The run was punctuated by a four-point play by Stephen Curry with 2.5 seconds remaining.Curry pulled up in transition from beyond the arc, was fouled by C.J. Watson, and the ball went in.Curry finished with 25 points to lead the Warriors, and David Lee had 20 points and 13 rebounds.Thompson, who missed five of his first seven shots, had eight of the Warriors 14 points at the end of the period, knocking down two 3-pointers and converting on a drive.Nothing really changed, Thompson said. I had a tough four-game stretch and its been a tough 11 games shooting the ball. But I got in the gym and ironed out my shot a little bit. It just feels great to come out here and see it pay off.Said Warriors coach Mark Jackson: Great to see Klay take and make shots. Ive said all along Im not concerned about Klays shooting. Thats like being concerned with Albert Pujols not hitting. He works too hard and its a gift. You dont lose a gift.Uneven but in it: The Warriors didnt play particularly well in the first half, but they did enough to be in the game. After falling behind 39-26, Golden State tightened the defense and crawled within 46-41 at intermission.Harrison Barnes was the best player on the floor for the Warriors offensively, at least scoring nine points and grabbing three rebounds in 17 minutes.The player giving the Warriors the most difficulty was Brook Lopez, who had 12 points at halftime on 6-for-10 shooting. Lopez did most of his damage on the interior, which isnt where he did most of his damage on Tuesday night against the Lakers.Lopez knocked down plenty of perimeter shots in the Nets 95-90 loss to the Lakers in L.A., but against the Warriors he made use of his size and scored mostly in close.We dont have LeBron James, Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant so we are going to have to do it by committee, Jackson said. We have some special talent but were going to have to do it by committee --- five guys holding onto the rope.Curry streak ends: Curry entered Wednesdays game having made 30 consecutive free throws. But that streak came to an end in the second quarter at 32 after he was fouled on a 3-point attempt by Deron Williams.Curry made the first two, and then the third one curled out.Who was out: The Warriors were without three players Andrew Bogut, Brandon Rush and Richard Jefferson. Bogut, who is recovering from a fractured left ankle, hopes to practice on Monday. But he wont play before Nov. 29.Rush tore his ACL in the second game of the season and will miss the remainder of the season. An MRI on Jefferson revealed a strained right calf. He didnt play against Brooklyn and is day-to-day.The Nets were without Gerald Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse.Rush back: Warriors small forward Brandon Rush was back at Oracle Arena on Wednesday for the first time since tearing the ACL in his left leg on Nov. 1.Rush sustained the injury while going up for a dunk in transition, but was thrown off-balance when Zach Randolph hit him trying to make a block.Rush is expected to miss the whole season.It was bad timing being the second game of the season and I was playing well, Rush said. I was very confident in my abilities and the, boom, this happens. Just brought me right back down.

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.