Warriors recall Wright, waive Barron

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Warriors recall Wright, waive Barron

Chris Wright posted some impressive numbers with Golden State's D-League franchise and earned a return to the NBA on Monday.

The team waived Earl Barron to make room for Wright on the roster.

Wright, a 6-8 forward out of Dayton, appeared in three games with the Dakota Wizards, averaging 20.7 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist and 2.33 blocks in 31.0 minutes per game.

Barron, a 7-footer who was signed after Kwame Brown was lost to surgery, appeared in two games with the Warriors, averaging 2.0 points in 4.5 minutes. He was originally signed as a free agent on Jan. 13.

Wright started the season on Golden State's roster and appeared in five games, averaging 1 point in 3.2 minutes per contest.Monday also marks the first day that NBA teams may sign players to 10-day contracts. It is possible the Warriors could bring a big man in to replace Barron.

Warriors 'should have our guard up' in Rockets-Spurs back-to-back

Warriors 'should have our guard up' in Rockets-Spurs back-to-back

Programming note: Warriors-Rockets coverage starts today at 4pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

The Warriors left town Monday atop the Western Conference, on the wings of a seven-game win streak and staring into the most consequential 30 hours of the season.

They’re at Houston on Tuesday night, and the explosive Rockets, third in the Western Conference, have emerged as a legitimate threat to reach the NBA Finals.

Immediately after that game, the Warriors make the roughly 200-mile trip to San Antonio for a Wednesday night battle with the Spurs, the most consistent contender of this generation -- and the team whose footsteps are cluttering the ears of the Warriors.

Winning both games is conceivable only if they reach the level of lights-out defense that has been essential to their recovery in the wake of losing Kevin Durant. A sweep also stretches the boundaries of probability.

A split would be acceptable, under the circumstances, particularly if the victory is over the Spurs.

Losing both games would slice into the Warriors’ hopes of maintaining the No. 1 overall seed for the playoffs.

The Warriors say they are ready. And coach Steve Kerr insists they are rested.

“We should have our guard up and we should be ready to roll,” Kerr says. “We are playing well. We’ve got to keep it going.”

The Warriors (59-14) own the best record in the NBA and have a two-game lead over the Spurs (57-16). A win over the Rockets (51-22) would guarantee the Warriors would finish ahead of Houston.

Here’s the rub: The Warriors are 0-2 against the Spurs and 1-1 against the Rockets.

“We know it’s a tough trip,” Draymond Green says. “The Rockets are playing well and, also, San Antonio is playing well.

“But you know, we’re going there and play a hard game, which we’ve done a good job of as of late. We’re going there with a defensive mindset and everything else will fall into place, and we’ll be just fine.”

Defense has been the hallmark of the Warriors for much of this season, and certainly over the past seven games, during which they have led the league in defensive rating. The lockdowns generally start with Green, but the efforts of his teammates, particularly Andre Iguodala, also have allowed the Warriors to play some of their most efficient offense of the season.

They’ve managed to post an NBA-best 99.0 defensive rating this month despite the absence of Durant, who had been stellar on defense and, overall, the team’s best player.

No opponent in the NBA tests defenses to the degree the Rockets do. With MVP candidate James Harden orchestrating things, they’re second in scoring (115.8 points per game), just behind the Warriors (115.9), and their 25.4 assists per game is No. 2, behind the Warriors’ 30.4. Moreover, Houston is No. 1 in 3-point makes and attempts. They average 14.7 threes per game; the Warriors are fourth at 12.0.

“You’ve got to be really disciplined against these guys,” Kerr says. “That means sticking to your principles but not getting frustrated when they do make shots. They make tough shots. But as long as they’re tough ones, and not easy ones, and you stay with it, you can get through it.

"We played a really disciplined game here last time and won in this building. That’s what it takes. We’ll see if we can do it again.”

Doing so won’t make the next night, San Antonio, any easier. It will be different, given the Spurs’ shooting accuracy and offensive proficiency, but no less challenging.

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

BOX SCORE

SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the ailing Cleveland Cavaliers 103-74 on Monday night in a showdown that turned into a major letdown for the defending NBA champions.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol added 14 points apiece for the Spurs, who won their fifth straight.

Cleveland (47-26) dropped its second in a row, set a season low for points and fell a half-game behind Boston (48-26) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Cavaliers star LeBron James was injured late in the third quarter after taking an elbow to the base of his neck. He remained on the bench for a while receiving medical attention, then headed toward the locker room and didn't return to the game.

His status was not immediately known.

Cleveland has been out of sync recently, losing three of five, and those struggles only got worse against San Antonio. The Spurs led by as many as 33 points to the delight of the sold-out crowd.

San Antonio (57-16) is two games behind Golden State (59-14) for the league's best record entering a home showdown with the Warriors on Wednesday.

Cleveland opted to play its stars rather than sit them for rest, but the trio of James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love sat out the fourth quarter of its second rout in the past two weeks.

James exited with 25 seconds remaining in the third after taking an elbow to his neck from David Lee on a rebound. James continually rubbed the area before collapsing after he crossed midcourt and remained on the floor for about a minute before walking unassisted to the bench. He left for the locker room early in the fourth quarter during a timeout.

James finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 29 minutes.

The Spurs held the Cavaliers scoreless for three minutes after San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was issued a technical foul during a timeout with 6:38 remaining in the first half.

Leonard hit a right-handed runner as the second quarter closed to give the Spurs a 64-40 lead.

TIP-INS:
Cavaliers: Cleveland completed its schedule against the West, finishing 16-14. In addition to losing to the Spurs by 29 points, the Cavaliers lost by 35 to Golden State and 30 to the Los Angeles Clippers. . Cleveland F Kyle Korver missed his third straight game with a sore left foot, and the team plans to sit him for several games to see if rest and treatment helps. Korver will sit out Thursday in Chicago and Friday at home against Philadelphia before being re-evaluated, a team spokesman said. The shooting specialist missed seven games earlier this month with an inflamed tendon in his foot. . G Iman Shumpert missed his second consecutive game with a sore right knee. . James needs 24 points to pass Shaquille O'Neal for seventh overall in career scoring. O'Neal has 28,596 career points. . The Cavaliers averaged 116.3 points in their previous four games.

Spurs: San Antonio is holding its opponents to an average of less than 100 points for the 22nd straight season. . Danny Green tied his season high with four blocked shots. . Leonard has scored in double figures in 100 straight games.

UP NEXT:
Cavaliers: At the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.

Spurs: Host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.