Warriors-Pacers: What to watch for

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Warriors-Pacers: What to watch for

With All-Star Weekend complete, the Warriors begin thesecond half of their season on Tuesday with a game against the Pacers inIndianapolis. This is Game 1 of a five-game road trip for the Warriors (13-17),who are three games behind eighth-seeded Portland in the Western Conferenceplayoff race.The Pacers have won four consecutive games and are currentlythe No. 3 team in the Eastern Conference with a record of 21-12. The Pacersdefeated the Warriors earlier this season 94-91 at Oracle Arena, a game inwhich Monta Ellis turned the ball over in the final seconds, leading to agame-winning three-point play by George Hill.Indiana has beaten the Warriors nine of the past 10 games inIndianapolis.Here are some things to watch for during Tuesdays game:

Curry out: Warriors point guardStephen Curry strained a tendon in his right foot against the Phoenix Suns onWednesday and, after initially being ruled a game-time decision, will not play. Rookie Charles Jenkins will make his first career NBA start in place of Curry.
Curry did not practice on Monday night and didntgo through shootaround with the team on Tuesday morning.

Curry already has missednine games this season, and during those times, Jenkins hasgotten the start.Its not like everything is a lost cause when Curry doesntplay: The Warriors actually have a better winning percentage in games Currymisses (4-5) than in games he plays in (9-12).Limit turnovers: In the past two gamesagainst the L.A. Clippers and Phoenix Suns both wins the Warriors turnedthe ball over just nine times and 10 times, respectively.The last time the Warriors played the Pacers, Golden Statecommitted 18 turnovers, which led to 22 points. Of course, there was noturnover more critical than Ellis in the waning seconds with the gametied.Guard Granger: Pacers small forward DannyGranger has been a Warriors-killer over the years. He had 26 points in theteams first meeting this season, but thats only a small picture of what hesdone to Golden State.In seven games against the Warriors since the start of the2008-09 season, Granger is averaging 31.6 points, his highest average againstany opponent. Dorell Wright will likely get the first crack at Granger, butexpect Jackson to use Dominic McGuire on him attimes.Ellis continues stretch: Warriorsshooting guard Monta Ellis is averaging 30.3 points and shooting 47.6 percentover the past three games, and the Warriors will need more where that came from particularly if Curry isnt able to play.

Report: Warriors assistant GM on verge of becoming Hawks GM

Report: Warriors assistant GM on verge of becoming Hawks GM

The Warriors are reportedly about to lose a member of their front office.

The Hawks picked Golden State assistant GM Travis Schlenk to become the team's new general manager, and the two sides are discussing contract terms, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Last September, after five seasons as assistant GM, Schlenk was promoted to vice president of basketball operations/assistant general manager.

In his 13th season with the Warriors, Schlenk assists in the management of all day-to-day basketball operations, including all player-related matters.

In 2009-10 and 2010-11, he served as Golden State's director of player personnel. Before joining the front office, Schlenk spent five years as an assistant coach and video scout for the Warriors, having originally joined the organization prior to the 2004-05 season as a video scout.

More to come...

Golden State Warriors media services contributed to this story

Irving fuels Game 4 comeback, Cavs take 3-1 lead over Celtics

Irving fuels Game 4 comeback, Cavs take 3-1 lead over Celtics

BOX SCORE

CLEVELAND -- Kyrie Irving gritted his teeth, tightened up his left sneaker and hopped to his feet.

The pain didn't stop him. The Celtics didn't either.

Irving took over in the second half and finished with 42 points, LeBron James added 34 and the Cleveland Cavaliers moved within one win of an almost inevitable third date in the Finals with Golden State by rallying to beat Boston 112-99 on Tuesday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

With James in foul trouble, Irving stayed on the floor despite rolling his left ankle in the third quarter, when he scored 19 points in less than five minutes.

"He put us on his back and carried us," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said.

The defending NBA champions, who shot 71 percent in the second half to open a 3-1 lead in the series, can wrap up their third straight conference title - and a "three-match" against the Warriors - with a win in Game 5 on Thursday night in Boston.

But if Games 3 and 4 are any indication, it won't be easy.

Fighting to keep their season alive, the Celtics aren't giving an inch despite playing without All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, who may need surgery on a hip injury.

The Cavs, meanwhile, wouldn't be on the cusp of the Finals without Irving.

With Cleveland in jeopardy of dropping its second game in a row after James followed an 11-point Game 3 by picking up four first-half fouls, Irving put on a breathtaking one-man show in the third quarter.

Freezing Boston defenders with his dribble and driving to the basket whenever he wanted, Irving made six layups, two 3-pointers and a free throw in a dizzying span of 4:48. He capped his blistering 19-point outburst with a 3 in the final second of the quarter and celebrated at mid-court by pretending to put two pistols back in his holster.

"Coming out of halftime I just wanted to be aggressive, lead my guys and leave it all out there on the floor," Irving said.

When the horn sounded to end the third, Cleveland's players poured off the bench to greet him. They had to be careful not to knock him off his feet after Irving had put a scare through the frenzied Quicken Loans Arena crowd moments earlier when he stepped on the foot of Boston's Terry Rozier.

Irving stayed on the floor for several seconds before sitting up and re-tying his sneaker. Nothing was keeping him out.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens was disappointed with his team's defense on Irving, who was able to spread the floor while surrounded by shooters.

"There's choices," Stevens said. "I'm not sure there are good choices. When he gets going like that, he's tough to stop. The ones we gotta look at are the ones he got at the rim."

Kevin Love added 17 points and 17 rebounds for the Cavs, now 11-1 in the postseason.

Avery Bradley scored 19 and Jae Crowder 18 for Boston.

Lue chuckled before the game when he was asked if he planned to say anything to James following his sub-standard performance in Game 3.

"No message," Lue said. "Just come out, be aggressive, in attack mode like he has been over the last four or five months. Nothing has changed."

Lue should have warned James to be careful, too, as the superstar picked up four fouls and spent the final 6:46 of the first half watching from the bench, unable to help his team.

But beyond James' foul trouble, the Cavs were having other issues as the Celtics outplayed them at both ends while opening a 16-point lead.

Irving kept Cleveland within striking distance while James was out by scoring 12 points over the final 5:11 of the second quarter.

And in the third quarter, the All-Star guard had James' back again, keeping the Cavs on their collision course with the Warriors.

TIP-INS:
Celtics: Thomas spoke to coach Brad Stevens and told him that he has visited one hip specialist and plans to see more before it's decided if he needs surgery. Thomas initially injured his hip in March and played the final two months of the regular season before aggravating it during the playoffs. ... Stevens started Kelly Olynyk, who had 15 points. ... Before the playoffs began, the Celtics were 22-5 at home since Jan. 1. They're 5-4 in the postseason so far.

Cavaliers: Irving scored 41 in Game 5 of last year's Finals. ... J.R. Smith and his wife, Jewel, brought their daughter home after more than five months in the hospital following her premature birth. Smith posted photos on his Instagram account of the couple leaving Hillcrest Hospital with their baby in a stroller. "We Walked In Together We Walked Out Together!!" Smith wrote. ... Deron Williams played 18 minutes after sustaining a shoulder "stinger" in Game 3.

UP NEXT:
The Celtics lost Game 2 at home by 44 and the first two games of the series by a combined 57.