Warriors edge Suns in season opener, 87-85


Warriors edge Suns in season opener, 87-85

Warriors 87, Suns 85
Player of the game: Carl Landry finished with 17 points and a couple of big buckets to help the Warriors win their regular-season opener against the Suns in Phoenix.Key stretch: Landry hit a tough bucket inside with a little over a minute left to put the Warriors 85-84, and then knocked down an elbow jumper with 54 seconds left to give the Warriors an 87-84 lead.

It was just a great overall effort, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. When you talk about winning, youve got to be willing to sacrifice. We have a group that is buying in. Weve got to be extremely satisfied. It was ugly, but I remember we would lose ugly games.
Lee, Curry struggle: David Lee and Stephen Curry had openers to forget. Curry, who signed a four-year, 44 million contract earlier in the day, missed his first 10 shots against the Suns and finished 2-for-14 from the field for five points.VIDEO: David Lee postgame
Lee also couldnt get much to go down, missing 14 of his first 16 shots on his way to a 2-for-16 shooting night. He finished with just six points, but it was his feed to Landry with 1:04 left that gave the Warriors a one-point lead.Defensively we continue to grind it out, compete and execute, Jackson said. We missed shots but if you would have told me that David Lee and Stephen Curry would go 4-for-30 from the field, I would have said we were in trouble.Strength in numbers: The Warriors believe this years team is deeper than past teams, and it showed early. The Warriors opened up a 17-point lead -- 42-25 -- early in the second period thanks to the substitutes.Brandon Rush was the best player on the floor in the first half, scoring 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting.How well did the bench play? Well enough that despite Stephen Curry going 0-for-5 from the floor and David Lee 2-for-11 from the field, they still led 48-42 at halftime.

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.