The Warriors finished strong for their second win in two nights, edging out the Jazz 83-80 at home on Monday. David Lee led the charge with 19 points, 14 rebounds and five assists while Brandon Rush added in 14 of his own. Rookies Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli were impressive in their first game at Oracle Arena, combining for 15 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Stephen Curry played limited minutes, but dished six sweet dimes for the Dubs. Golden State will be back in action Thursday when they take on Maccabi Haifa at home.
On Festus Ezeli:
"I thought he was very good against Al Jefferson. Festus (Ezeli) has everything it takes to be a great defender. Athleticism with an understanding of how guys are trying to hurt him and take away his strengths. He did a great job of being disciplined against Al Jefferson. In that fourth quarter (Enes) Kanter began to have an effect (on) him; probably when fatigue started to set in. When you let anybody in this league start to get going - all of a sudden it’s like playing against the elite. He allowed him to go baseline and score on him, but overall I liked his energy, effort and presence. You can tell he belongs in this league and he’s going to play for us."
On Playing For The Win In The Preseason:
"You look at the Lakers and the Jazz - two playoff teams that have a history in the playoffs; they can probably afford to lose a game in the preseason. They can afford to not play Al Jefferson and Paul Milsap down the stretch. We have to get in the habit of winning, make winning plays and not concern ourselves with who is on the floor for them. Ultimately, it would be different if the game wasn’t within reach, but we had worked too hard to leave here with a loss and went back to some of those guys (starters)."
On Stephen Curry:
"I thought he was very good. I thought I got just what I wanted to get out of him. I didn’t want him to do too much, but he felt strong. Obviously, you can never simulate game situations I don’t care who you are. As a player, I used to think I would be ready when we start practicing but all of a sudden when you get in that game it was almost like you didn’t do anything. You can ride bikes, you can run, you can do all of that but there is nothing like actual game situations. I wanted to put him in a position where he would get tired. He didn’t ask to be taken out, but I thought it was enough. We saw enough of Stephen Curry and got other guys minutes."
On How Tired He Was During The Game:
"I was exhausted, but I kind of expected that. It’s hard to mimic a game-like atmosphere, the adrenaline, the flow of the game, over the summer, when I’m just coming off the injury, so that first seven minutes was tough, but I got through it."
On How His Ankle Feels:
"It’s a little sore, but that’s to be expected, getting that wear and tear through it so we’ll see how it feels tomorrow. We’ll try to assess Thursday’s game and hopefully I’ll be able to play a whole lot more."
On Whether He Has A Minute Limit Right Now:
"Not really. We’ve kind of been having an open dialogue about how I feel. For tonight, at least that’s how I felt, making sure I didn’t go out there dog tired, putting myself at risk. I thought I handled it pretty well tonight."
On What It Was Like Going Against Al Jefferson And Enes Kanter:
"It was good test of my defense in the post. Those are good low post scorers. I came into the game to work on my defense."
On Whether There Was Anything Jefferson Did That Gave Him An Advantage
"No, I just tried to stay down on shot fakes and play defense like I ought to."
On How It Felt Playing More Minutes:
"It might have been the same thing yesterday, me playing more in the second half. I just came in to play."
On His Performance Tonight:
"I thought our team did okay. Utah is one of the more physical teams in the league. I thought we showed a lot of our new depth inside by hanging with them on the boards, outplaying them on the inside with our guys. That’s huge because that’s how you have to beat a Utah team that always play us tough."