Warriors overpowered by Howard, Magic, fall 117-109

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Warriors overpowered by Howard, Magic, fall 117-109

BOX SCORE
OAKLAND The Warriors scored the first nine points of the game. but the Orlando Magic scored the final eight, giving them a comeback win at Oracle Arena. The Warriors, who were coming off an overtime win against Miami, now head out onto the road for a four-game road trip beginning Saturday in Charlotte.Magic 117, Warriors 109Star of the game:Dwight Howard finished the game with 45 points and 23 rebounds as the Warriors spent a portion of the game fouling him intentionally.
When the Warriors werent fouling him on purpose, they were fouling him because they had to. Howard set an NBA record for free throw attempts in a game against the Warriors with 39. His final line looked like this: 12-for-21 from the field, 21-for-29 from the foul line.I think he was in a pretty good rhythm all night, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. The guy missed 18 free throws. I can understand people thinking: Why? But dont get caught up in the free throws. Think about when we didnt foul him. Dunks, hooks at the rim. Hes a great player and hes a bad free throw shooter. We were giving ourselves the best chance possible. We tried to mess up their rhythm, take their 3-point shooters out of it. Which we did.Key stretch: The Warriors and Magic were tied 109-109 with 1:23 remaining in the fourth quarter, but Howard followed up a Hedo Turkoglu miss and turned it into a 3-point play. Then Monta Ellis, who finished with 30 points and 11 assists, missed a 3-pointer and Von Wafer knocked down a triple at the other end. That made it a six-point game with half-a-minute remaining and that was that.Record-setting night: At various points the Warriors intentionally fouled Orlando Dwight Howard. At other times, they simply fouled him hard to stop inside moves. Then other times, he was fouled normally.All this fouling resulted in Howard going to the line 39 times, which set an NBA record for free throw attempts in a game. Wilt Chamberlain, playing for Philadelphia, took 34 free throws in a game against St. Louis on Feb. 22, 1962.Jackson said afterward he wouldnt have fouled Howard as much if Kwame Brown were healthy. Brown suffered a tear in his chest muscle against Miami on Tuesday and will miss approximately three months.Intentional fouling: Warriors coach Mark Jackson intentionally fouled Dwight Howard on several possessions in the second quarter. While the Warriors lead dwindled over that period, it wasnt because Howard was knocking down his free throws.It was because the Warriors didnt use the strategy consistently and got caught twice not fouling when they had been instructed to do so. Howard finished the first half with 19 points and 13 rebounds, but he was just 9-for-18 from the foul line.Curry update: : Warriors general manager Larry Riley talked to point guard Stephen Curry on Thursday and said Curry was working out back in Charlotte.He was actually able to do some shooting, Riley said. We wont know for sure how far he responded. Were probably another day away from putting some kind of timeline from when we expect him back. I think well have a better feel (Friday).Curry has missed the past four games with a sprained right ankle. He sustained the injury on Jan. 4 against the Spurs.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr out indefinitely with chronic pain

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr out indefinitely with chronic pain

PORTLAND -- Still suffering with chronic pain after multiple back surgeries nearly two years ago, Warriors coach Steve Kerr will step away from his duties for an indefinite period.

Kerr made the announcement Sunday afternoon, one day after he was unable to attend Game 3 of the first-round playoff series against the Trail Blazers at Moda Center. He conceded the possibility he could miss the rest of the postseason.

“This past week for whatever reason, things got worse,” Kerr said from the team hotel. “My symptoms got worse. And I was not able to coach. The last few days have been difficult.

“With things getting worse, I just made the decision I couldn’t coach. As of now, I’m consulting with my doctors. I’m hoping for some improvement. If I can get some improvement, I’ll get back on the sidelines. But I’m not going to do that unless I know I can help the team.”

Assistant coach Mike Brown, a three-time NBA head coach who guided the Warriors to a 119-113 comeback win in Game 3, will serve as acting head coach during Kerr’s absence and will be on the sideline for Game 4 Monday night.

No matter what happens, Kerr said, he plans to assist in game preparation and remain involved with players and staff for the duration of the postseason.

“At this point in the season, we all have a feel for our team,” Kerr said. “Early in the season, it probably wouldn’t have been that way. It’s great that we’ve had the year together. It’s great that Mike has coached in this league 10 years and has coached in The Finals. He knows what he’s doing. The team is in great hands regardless.”

While spending Game 3 at the team hotel Saturday watching the game with his son, Nick, Kerr pointed out that some of the substitutions he thought should be made were, in fact, made seconds after crossing his mind.

Kerr said he did feel somewhat better Sunday than he did on Friday and Saturday.

Kerr has been coping with severe side effects since the summer of 2015. Though he has said his back was improved by the surgeries, a spinal leak has resulted in frequent headaches and neck pain.

Two days into training camp in September, barely a month after his second surgery in seven weeks, he took an indefinite leave of absence, returning Jan. 22, 2016 and coaching the final 39 regular-season games as well as the postseason.

But after laboring through 2016 training camp and the regular season -- often wearing a pain patch on the back of his neck -- the chronic anguish never went away, being by turns uncomfortable and excruciating. Kerr made it through only the first two games of the postseason.

He clearly was in discomfort during Game 2 Wednesday night at Oracle Arena and felt no better after an off-day Thursday. During his post-practice news conference Friday, before the team flight from Oakland to Portland, Kerr constantly shifted his body and grabbed his head.

Kerr was unable join the team for shootaround Saturday morning, and four hours later the Warriors announced Kerr would not attend Game 3.

“This is not going to be a case where I’m coaching one night and not coaching the next,” Kerr said. “I’m not going to do that to our team, to our staff.

“We’re hoping that over the next week or two, whatever it is, I can sort of make a definitive realization or deduction, or just feel it, that I’m going to do this or not.”

Kerr has tried various pain-killing drugs, as well as medicinal marijuana, in hopes of alleviating his chronic pain. Nothing so far has provided consistent relief, and some medications that have helped were offset by nausea and other side effects.

Kerr is in the third year of a five-year contract signed in May 2014. His 207-39 regular-season record is the best in NBA history by any coach over a three-year span.

Blazers big man Nurkic ruled out for Game 4 vs Warriors

Blazers big man Nurkic ruled out for Game 4 vs Warriors

Programming note: Warriors-Blazers Game 4 coverage starts Monday night at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

The Warriors hold a 3-0 lead in their first-round playoff series with the Blazers after Saturday's 119-113 win. 

For the first time this series, the Warriors went up against Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, who returned from a leg fracture. Nurkic started and played a total of 16:40 in Game 3. 

In his return, the "Bosnian Beast" was a non-factor on offense. He only scored two points, but did grab 11 rebounds. And his return was even shorter than expected. 

Blazers head coach Terry Stotts ruled Nurkic out for Game 4. 

Nurkic averaged 15.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game in 20 games for the Blazers after Portland acquired him in a trade with the Nuggets.