Big games from Jermaine O'Neal and Draymond Green led the Warriors to a 93-86 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night at Oracle Arena. O'Neal finished with season-highs of 23-points and 13 rebounds while Green logged a career-high 18 points plus 10 rebounds. Stephen Curry added 17 points and eight assists, including a clutch three-pointer in the final minute of the game. The Warriors dominated the Nets in assists (26 to 11) and have now won eight of their last nine against Brooklyn. Next up for the Warriors is a six-game road trip, which tips off Monday in Detroit against the Pistons.
On Jermaine O'Neal:
"I thought he was outstanding once again. A lot of miles which, I said last game. He’s a big time warrior, no pun intended. The guy has been a vocal leader for us and the great thing about it is he’s getting the opportunity to put a stamp on what he says. It’s no longer what he says, but what he is doing. For a guy, at this stage of his career, to miss this much of the season, to be ready to respond when called upon, is a true testament to who he is as a basketball player and what type of character he has as a human being. Just a big time game for him."
On the banked in three from Stephen Curry in the fourth quarter:
"I did not have the opportunity to ask Steph (Stephen Curry), but according to our dynamic PR staff they said that he did call glass. A great comedian can tell a joke and people die laughing, I can tell the same joke and they look at me like I’m crazy. If Steph (Stephen Curry) says that he banked it, then he banked it."
On Draymond Green:
"He was great. Aggressive offensively, rebounded the basketball and played stellar defense against whomever I had him guard. That’s what this team is about; guys stepping up and responding. We needed big energy and big effort in this big game from both Jermaine (O’Neal) and Draymond (Green) and those guys responded. Really proud of them."
On if he will use the same closing defensive lineup in the future:
"Not really sure. Deron Williams is a big time player that has great size and strength and I wanted to put a bigger guy on him. One thing we have, when we are healthy and whole, is great versatility. We were able to give them different looks and force them into tough shots."
On Jermaine O'Neal getting the lane violation on his free throw:
"That’s the way he shoots the basketball. As an opponent you have to be aware and alert of different player tendencies and that has been his tendency. That‘s why he’s never been called for trying to trick the opposition because that’s who he is and that’s his routine. The way he played was incredible, absolutely incredible. To think that this may be his last year the guy has plenty left in the tank. The way he has conducted himself. He’s going to have the opportunity to leave the game on his terms. It will be whether he wants to or not, it won’t be because he can’t play anymore."
On the upcoming road trip:
"We are playing good teams; it’s going to be very important. We have to continue to defend at a high level. The last three games we only have 29 turnovers; we are taking care of the basketball. When we do those things we put ourselves in position to win ballgames. We are looking forward to the road and it will be a great challenge for us."
On his play in tonight's game:
"First of all I’ve got to give the glory to God for putting me in a position to even be able to play this game. At this point in the year you’ve got to give whatever you’ve got and I said that’s what I’m going to do. Coming back from the break, whatever this team needs me to give, if it’s playing 37 minutes or it’s playing five minutes, I’m going to be prepared and I’m going to be ready to help this team. You don’t’ get very many opportunities to be a championship-caliber team and get a chance to compete for a championship. I don’t know what next year is going to bring to me. This year is all I can bank on and I’m going to go as hard as I can and I’m going to make sure my guys go as hard as they possibly can, and we’ll see what happens."
On the importance of defense to this team:
"Defense, defense, defense. We have some tremendous scorers on this team and I don’t think people even know that we’re the third-most team missing guys in the league, so we’ve had to have guys step up and play but one things we’re learning to do is play defense. We’ve got some fantastic scorers and we look really flashy at times but defense is really going to win the games for us so hopefully we can continue to do it. We’ve been doing a fantastic job on taking it one game at a time and hopefully we can hit this road trip running."
On what's changed with the defense recently:
"We’ve got to move our feet and stop swinging at the ball. Just do our job and if they get past us, depend on the next guy to help. We’re learning man. I tip my hat off to coach Jackson for being so patient with our team. Having guys in and out of the lineup it’s hard to get a team prepared but right now he has us going and most of all the guys on this team are really, really focused. We’ve got to continue this though."
On Draymond Green:
"He’s a gamer. When a guy goes down, he’s filled in for D-Lee (David Lee) in the starting lineup a couple times this year. He’s got a high motor so he’s going to go out and regardless of how he shoots the ball, he’s going to make plays to help win the game; sacrificing his body, setting great screens, trying to attack on the offensive end. The versatility he provides with being able to switch with Klay [Thompson], Harrison [Barnes] and Andre [Iguodala], it allows our defense to have a different look, and it worked tonight."
On the importance of every game:
"100 percent we’ve had games that we can look back at now and say we didn’t get it done, so every game is important. You look at the standings and you understand how far you can drop or rise with each win, and keep pace. Definitely games we need to have. We’re trying not to lose at home, that’s the idea. I should say we are trying to win every game at home, that’s the mentality for these last 26 games before the playoffs."
On the importance of defense:
"That’s what won us the game. One thing we talked about after coming out of the All-Star break is we have to defend at a high level, give ourselves a chance to win every game. The shots aren’t going to fall every night but if we defend at a high level we’ll have a chance to win every game and all of a sudden Steph [Curry] banked a three at the end of the game. Just give yourself a chance on the defensive end and the offense will come, and it happened for us tonight."
On the recent play of Jermaine O'Neal:
"Very inspiring. JO [O’Neal] has been stepping up to the challenge with [Andrew] Bogut out. We need our bigs to step up and he’s been stepping up, not only tonight but the other day against Houston. Of course a lot of people want to say he had a great game but he held Dwight Howard to nine points and all of his field goals were alley-oops. So he’s been playing great for us and to come out and give us a lift on the offensive end, gave us a lift rebounding the ball tonight was big for us and it’s very uplifting to see that, and it just makes you want to continue to work hard."
CUTTING DOWN THE NETS
Fresh off of two wins in back-to-back nights over the Kings and Rockets, the Warriors play host to the visiting Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night. This will be the second and final matchup between the two teams this season. The Nets won the first encounter in Brooklyn back on January 8, which brought an end to the Warriors season-long 10-game win streak. Now back in their home arena, Golden State will be looking for some redemption before departing on their final extended road trip of the season.
HEAVY TRAFFIC AND PARKING ADVISORY
Dual events will be taking place on Saturday, as O.co Coliseum (which shares our parking) will host Monster Jam with an expected attendance of 50,000. Those fans plus 20,000 of you coming to protect Warriors Ground, means some planning to get into the arena is required. Fans attending the game are strongly encouraged to take BART, and those driving to the game should expect massive traffic delays and limited parking opportunities. OPTIONS TO HELP PLAN YOUR GAMEDAY EXPERIENCE
LAST TIME OUT
Playing their second game in as many nights, again without Andrew Bogut, the Warriors earned a hard-fought victory on Thursday night, defeating the Rockets 102-99. David Lee had a great game, notching another double-double with 28 points and 14 rebounds. Stephen Curry was tremendous, particularly in the late going, with 25 points and six assists and several clutch baskets. Andre Iguodala filled the stat sheet with 11 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Klay Thompson and Jordan Crawford each added 12 points apiece. The win pushes the Warriors record to 33-22. They’ll look to build on the momentum when they take on the visiting Brooklyn Nets on Saturday. GAME RECAP
Winning back-to-back games on consecutive nights is never an easy thing in the NBA. Doing so without your starting center, against teams that boast the likes of DeMarcus Cousins and Dwight Howard as their counterpart, makes it a significantly taller task. And yet, here the Warriors are, 2-0 after the All-Star break, while Andrew Bogut has remained sidelined recovering from a shoulder injury. Obviously the Dubs would prefer to have their rim-protector and defensive leader out on the court with them, but the team’s success in his absence is a very positive sign as they embark on the backstretch of the season. Every team is going to deal with injuries; that’s just the nature of the sport. But the ability to respond and overcome, despite the odds being stacked against you, is what truly separates the wheat from the chaff. Hopefully Bogut returns sooner rather than later, but in the meantime, the Warriors are learning valuable lessons that will serve them well come playoff time.
The trade deadline has come and passed, and the Warriors’ roster is essentially the same one they’re going to head into the postseason with, assuming they get that far. While the team didn’t have a ton of assets to make a drastic move, the additions of Jordan Crawford and Steve Blake should address the areas of major concern, and hopefully, elevate the team to the next level. While both players can play the same positions, they bring different skill sets that should help carve their niche on the team. Crawford, as we’ve seen particularly as of late, has the ability to break any defender down, and when he gets hot, look out. Blake, on the other hand, isn’t as flashy, but his ability to run the offense and distribute the ball while Stephen Curry gets a breather will prove to be just as important. The bench was a huge part of what the Warriors accomplished a season ago. If they hope to advance further this year, it’s likely Crawford and Blake will have had a large say in doing so.
BROOKLYN SCOUTING REPORT
With their new arena and collection of former and current All-Stars, the Nets stole many of the headlines throughout the offseason. Unfortunately for them, the public attention hasn’t necessarily translated into success on the court. The Nets, at 25-27, have been underwhelming to say the least, but still occupy the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. The team has fared significantly better in 2014 however, having gone 15-6 since the turn of the calendar, and with players like Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, it’s not hard to imagine how. They are a talented collection of veterans that have been through the thick and thin of many NBA seasons, and with their eyes set on getting home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, have definitely stepped up their game. The Warriors, who depart on their final extended road trip of the season (a six-game trek) following the game, must be prepared to earn every inch if they hope to remain perfect in post-All-Star break play.
GSW: Andrew Bogut (left shoulder inflammation) is doubtful. Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery) and Nemanja Nedovic (left hamstring strain/right foot inflammation) are out.
BKN: Brook Lopez (fractured right foot) is out.
BKN: Brook Lopez (fractured right foot) is out.