ORACLE AREANA – Martinez Tribune https://martineztribune.com The website of the Martinez Tribune. Thu, 10 May 2018 01:55:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 Warriors bounce Pelicans, will face Rockets in conference finals https://martineztribune.com/2018/05/08/warriors-bounce-pelicans-will-face-rockets-in-conference-finals/ https://martineztribune.com/2018/05/08/warriors-bounce-pelicans-will-face-rockets-in-conference-finals/#comments Wed, 09 May 2018 06:48:37 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=8548 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER Back on the Oracle floor with a chance to wrap up their second round playoff series against the Pelicans following their dominating Game 4 victory in New Orleans, the Warriors once again established their dominance on the way to a 113 -104 victory to win the series in five games. For the ...

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©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Golden State’s Steph Curry drives to the basket around the Pelicans E’Twaun Moore during the Warriors series clinching 113-104 win over New Orleans at Oracle Tuesday night. Curry led the Warriors with 28 points.

BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

Back on the Oracle floor with a chance to wrap up their second round playoff series against the Pelicans following their dominating Game 4 victory in New Orleans, the Warriors once again established their dominance on the way to a 113 -104 victory to win the series in five games.

For the second game in a row, Coach Steve Kerr started his “Hampton 5” death lineup (Curry, Thompson, Durant, Green and Iguuodala), and while the game was much more competitive thru the first half than Sunday’s blow-out in New Orleans, the Warriors scored their 15th consecutive home playoff victory, tying the All-Time NBA record held by the ’90-’91 Chicago Bulls.

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Pelicans center Anthony Davis soars to the basket for a dunk during Golden State’s series clinching 113-104 win Tuesday night. Davis led all scorers with 34 points along with a game high 19 rebounds.

Scoring the first 10 points of the second half as part of a 25-4 run to start the third quarter, the Warriors lead swelled to 88-64 midway thru the third, but the pesky Pelicans refused to fold, closing the gap to single digits before finally succumbing after outscoring Golden State 29-18 in the final quarter.

The Warriors now advance to the Western Conference Finals for the fourth consecutive year where they will play the Houston Rockets after a five day rest for both teams. The Rockets finished with a NBA best 65-17 record in the regular season, taking two out of three from the Warriors, but none of the three games saw both teams completely healthy.

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Draymond Green defends the basket against the Pelicans Jrue Holiday during the the Warriors series clinching 113-104 win Tuesday night. Green finished with 19 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists on the night while averaging a triple-double for the series.

Golden State’s performance featured great balance as their Big Four combined for 94 points. Steph Curry led the way with 28 points in 37 minutes of action. It was his longest outing since returning four games ago from a six week absence following his knee injury. Curry went 3-6 from beyond the arc, his 79th consecutive playoff game with a three-point basket, extending the longest streak in NBA history.

Kevin Durant added 24 on 10-18 shooting and Klay Thompson pitched in 23. Golden State also got another solid game from Draymond Green, who scored 19 points to go along with 14 rebounds and nine assists, enabling him to become the first Warrior in franchise history to average a triple double for an entire series (14.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 10.0 assists). The Warriors improved their record to 26-0 all-time when Green records a triple-double.

Anthony Davis had his best game of the series for the Pelicans, collecting game highs with 34 points and 19 rebounds. Jrue Holiday also put up a triple double. Holiday finished with 27 points along with 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

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Draymond Green sneaks into the Pelicans huddle during the second quarter of the Warriors series clinching 113-104 win Tuesday night.

After the game, Kerr was asked about Curry’s progress since returning to the lineup. “We played him 37 minutes tonight. So the conditioning is absolutely coming. In fact, it’s probably there. If he can play 37 minutes in a playoff game, then I think he’s OK. And now we got about five days till our next game. He looked tired to me after about eight minutes in the third, so I took him out around the 4 minute mark, then we played him the whole fourth I think. It all worked out fine.”

When asked to comment on Green’s performance, Kerr showed no lack of praise. “The guy has huge energy, amazing defense, incredible basketball intellect. He’s a future Hall of Famer. He’s right in his prime right now but this guy, he is the perfect modern-day NBA big: He can guard everybody. He can step out and make threes. He can handle the ball in transition. This is what the NBA has become and you have to have somebody like Draymond to have a good team, so we’re lucky to have him.”

Game 1 of the Conference Finals will be Monday in Houston, with the teams returning to Oakland for Games 3 & 4 at Oracle on May 20th and 22nd. It will be the first time in the Steve Kerr era that the Warriors haven’t had the home court advantage in a series.

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Curry’s return helps boost Warriors past Pelicans to 2-0 lead https://martineztribune.com/2018/05/01/warriors/ https://martineztribune.com/2018/05/01/warriors/#respond Wed, 02 May 2018 06:07:54 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=8445 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER Buoyed by the return of Steph Curry, the Golden State Warriors earned a hard fought 121-116 win over the New Orleans Pelicans at Oracle on Tuesday night to take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference semi-final playoff series. It was their 14th consecutive playoff victory at home, just one shy of ...

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Warriors forward Draymond Green soars in for a dunk over New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday during the second quarter of Game 2 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals Tuesday night at Oracle Arena. Green just missed his second straight triple double, finishing with 20 points, nine rebounds and 12 assists.

BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

Buoyed by the return of Steph Curry, the Golden State Warriors earned a hard fought 121-116 win over the New Orleans Pelicans at Oracle on Tuesday night to take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference semi-final playoff series. It was their 14th consecutive playoff victory at home, just one shy of the NBA record.

Back on the court for the first time since March 23rd after being sidelined with a knee injury, Curry took the floor to a thunderous ovation 7:40 into the first quarter with the Warriors down by eight points, and immediately proceeded to swish a three-pointer 11 seconds later.

Having played in only one game in the past 53 days overall, Curry showed no signs of being rusty. Four minutes after his return he already had a game leading eight points on 3/4 shooting from the floor at the end of the quarter. The Warriors outscored the Pelicans 29-19 during Curry’s initial eight minute return to action, and went into the locker room at halftime with a 58-55 lead after Klay Thompson nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer.

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Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrates a three point basket by Klay Thompson during the first quarter of Golden State’s 121-106 win over the New Orleans Pelicans Tuesday night at Oracle. Curry scored 28 points in 27 minutes in his first game in six weeks to help the Warriors take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Semi-Finals.

Coming into the game having lost 25 of their last 27 games to the Warriors after Saturday’s emphatic series opening thumping, New Orleans only trailed 88-86 after three. The Warriors were finally able to create some separation with a nine point run mid-way thru the final quarter to take a 108-98 lead. Still the Pelicans refused to go away without a fight, closing the gap to five in the closing seconds but unable to commit a foul on Kevin Durant in an effort to stretch the game out as time expired.

Guarding against a let down after their easy Game 1 win, Golden State needed their four All-Stars on the court to hold off the pesky Pelicans. Unlike the opener when they controlled the boards, they only had a 49-46 advantage on Tuesday. Anthony Davis looked more like his All-Star self and led New Orleans with 25 points on 12/24 shooting to go along with 15 rebounds. True Holiday also performed more like he did in an opening round sweep against Portland as he contributed 24 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 8 assists.

The Warriors were paced by Kevin Durant’s 29 points (along with six rebounds and seven assists) while Curry finished with 28 on 8/15 shooting including 5 three pointers to go along with seven rebounds. While Klay Thompson wasn’t much of a factor other than his three at the half, Andre Iguodala stepped up with 15 points and eight rebounds, and Draymond Green just missed another triple double by one rebound, finishing with nine to go along with 20 points and 12 assists.

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Kevin Durant (35) powers to the basket against New Orleans during the third quarter of the Warriors Game 2 win on Tuesday night. Durant led all scorers with 29 points along with dishing out seven assists and pulling down six rebounds.

Asked about Green’s prowess these playoffs, Warriors coach Steve Kerr simply said “I think he’s just incredibly engaged and locked in. This is the best I’ve seen him play all year. Draymond has to play hard to do what he does. I think the playoffs have energized him. Draymond has been phenomenal throughout the playoffs. He’s been saving himself for the playoffs. It’s a long regular season, especially after three straight trips to the Finals, and you can tell the difference in the intensity from a lot of our guys, but Draymond in particular.”

As for the return of his two time MVP, Kerr was asked about the decision to bring Curry off the bench. “We knew we wanted to play him 25 minutes or so. Not so much based on his knee but based on his conditioning, and we played really well in Game 1. So we decided to stick with Nick (Young) in the starting lineup, and then just play Steph in Quinn Cook’s minutes, and then just kind of pick it up from there and see how it went. I would say it played out as I expected. I knew I would play him more than what we planned. I think we planned on 24 and he got to 27, but he was Steph. He doesn’t take long to warm up, that’s for sure.”

Rajón Rondo was once again solid for New Orleans. The 12 year veteran scored 22 points to go along with 12 assists, 7 rebounds and 5 steals. Nikola Mirotic added 18 points and 9 boards. The series now moves to the Crescent City for two games with Game 3 scheduled to tip off at 5pm Friday evening.

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