Warriors-Kings: What to watch for

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Warriors-Kings: What to watch for

Consecutive victories against Dallas and the L.A. Clippershave the Warriors upward trending these days, and they get a chance to keep itgoing Tuesday against the Kings in Sacramento.Although the Warriors remain in 13th place in theWestern Conference, they are only three games behind the Houston Rockets, whocurrently hold the eighth and final playoff spot.The Warriors are one of four teams in the playoff chase with21 losses. The Warriors (17-21) have played just 38 games, the fewest of anyteam in the NBA.The Kings are in Game 4 of a nine-game homestand and so farhave won two of three. Here are some things to watch for when the Warriors playthe Kings on Tuesday: Tyreke at 3: Kings coach Keith Smart hasbeen playing Tyreke Evans at small forward in recent weeks, allowing IsaiahThomas and Marcus Thornton to handle the backcourt duties.Evans has played mostly point guard and some two guard inhis two-plus seasons in the league. How the Warriors match up will likely bedetermined by who starts for them.Currys status: Its unclear what thestrategy is with point guard Stephen Curry and his troublesome footankle, butone thing that seems certain is Curry is unlikely to play big minutes.And that doesnt matter if he starts or not.Curry hasnt played more than 24 minutes in a game in morethan three weeks, and he played just nine minutes against the Clippers onSunday.Currys availability and whether he starts if he does play is something coach Mark Jackson hasnt been announcing till just beforetip-off. When Curry hasnt been starting, Jackson has gone with DominicMcGuire.High-scoring twos: Monta Ellis and MarcusThornton are each capable of having big scoring games. Whichever player has thebetter, more efficient shooting night will go a long way toward determiningwhich team wins.Continue road effort: The road has longbeen a killer for the Warriors, but they have been successful away from Oraclein recent weeks. In their past seven away games, the Warriors are 4-3.The teams have split two games this season, with each teamwinning on its own home court.

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

OAKLAND -- Even though Draymond Green still would like to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, winning a championship with the Warriors has quenched much of thirst for the honor.

“I don’t really care that much anymore,” Green said after participating in the JaVale McGee Celebrity softball game Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum benefitting the Jug Life Foundation, promoting a healthy lifestyle around water consumption.

“I cared before,” Green added. “But we won the NBA championship now. I don’t care about what happened in the regular season any more at this point. I think I would have cared if I found out in Round 1 or Round 2 (of the playoffs).

“But at this point . . . I don’t even care any more.”

This is in marked contrast to what Green expressed early in the regular season, when he acknowledged the DPOY award is the only individual award he actively cared to win.

As recently as two months ago, in discussing his defensive performance in a season during which he made numerous memorable plays, including some game-saving defensive stands, Green let his words speak on his behalf.

“It is the best defensive season I’ve had, because I’ve continued to grow,” he said at the end of the regular season. “When I look at the last couple years, I think each year I got better defensively. And I think this year I’ve gotten better. So I do think it’s my best season, defensively -- but just not numbers-wise. The numbers are up a little bit more. But I actually feel better about what I’ve done on the defensive end than I have in any other year.”

Winning a championship apparently has an impact on the significance of individual awards.

A finalist for the award for which he finished second in each of the past two seasons, Green said Saturday that his plan is to leave for New York on Sunday and be in attendance when the awards are presented Monday night.

The other finalists for the award are Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who won it the last two seasons.

All three players will be among those at Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York for the inaugural telecast of the NBA Awards on TNT.

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Kevin Durant didn't forget about the taunts.

In February, when Durant returned to Oklahoma City for the first time as a member of the Warriors, Thunder fans heckled him with t-shirts featuring cupcakes, a reference to Durant being soft for joining the 73-win Warriors.

On Saturday, the cupcake graphic made a return with one slight change.

Durant, playing in JaVale McGee's JugLife Celebrity Softball game at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday, showed up to the stadium wearing a cupcake hat. But instead of a cheery on top, a championship ring was superimposed on top of the cupcake.

So Durant, an NBA champion, got the last laugh.