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sport / / BANG: Behind Draymond Green, Warriors close out road trip strong

o BANG: Behind Draymond Green, Warriors close out road trip strongAllen

BANG: Behind Draymond Green, Warriors close out road trip strong


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From: (Allen)
Subject: BANG: Behind Draymond Green, Warriors close out road trip strong
Date: Sun, 31 Mar 2024 20:17:30 -0700
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 by: Allen - Mon, 1 Apr 2024 03:17 UTC

Behind Draymond Green, Warriors close out road trip strong
The Warriors went 4-1 on their road trip
>Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green (23) celebrates a basket with
Gary Payton II during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game
against the San Antonio Spurs, Sunday, March 31, 2024, in San Antonio.
(AP Photo/Darren Abate)

Danny Emerman is a Bay Area News Group sports reporter
By DANNY EMERMAN | | Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: March 31, 2024 at 6:29 p.m. | UPDATED: March 31, 2024 at 7:20

Like this season as a whole, this road trip was a bumpy one for Draymond

In Orlando, he earned his first ejection since returning from his
indefinite suspension — drama that led to a visibly exasperated Steph
Curry. He took ownership for the outburst on his podcast. He helped shut
down Bam Adebayo in Miami and anchored an improved defense that led to a
three-game win streak.

Then against San Antonio Sunday, Green played a vintage third-quarter
stretch that swung the game. The Warriors won the third by 16,
evaporating a slow start. Green was in the thick of it, carrying the
Warriors on both ends.

Green hit the game-sealing free throw with 3.9 seconds, finishing with
21 points, 11 assists and a season-high six steals in the Warriors’
117-113 victory.

Curry added his 27th 30-point game of the season to push Golden State
(40-34) past the finish line.

“Draymond was incredible tonight. That was a defensive masterpiece,”
Steve Kerr told reporters postgame.

Golden State’s win caps a 4-1 road trip, with victories over the Spurs,
Magic, Heat and Hornets. Their only loss came in a tight defeat to the
contending Timberwolves. As the Rockets continue surging, the Warriors’
four-game winning streak is staving them off as Houston is two games
behind Golden State for the 10th and final play-in spot.

In their three-game winning streak, the Warriors had been jumping out
ahead of their opponents early. They held the Magic to 11 points in the
first quarter (on 3-for-22 shooting) and the Hornets to 17. But in San
Antonio, the Spurs struck first.

A massive 17-2 run pushed the Spurs ahead by 13 in the first. The
Warriors fumbled away five turnovers, several of which were unforced,
and were a step slow in transition.

The period was a stark contrast to how Golden State had defended this
week, when they committed to getting back on defense and benefitted from
some shooting luck. Kerr, fed up with his team’s start and a missed
call, picked up a technical foul for berating an official on the court.

Golden State recovered from their slow start, but still struggled to get
prolonged stops.

Part of that could’ve been because they were missing Jonathan Kuminga
for a third straight game. Kuminga — who warmed up but couldn’t go in
San Antonio — was ruled out with bilateral knee tendinitis.

Without Kuminga, Andrew Wiggins has stepped up as a scorer. But he and
Klay Thompson were cold against San Antonio, leaving a void.

Green, of all people, filled it. In a 14-0 run to start the third
quarter, Green scored two buckets plus a 3-pointer. The Warriors held
San Antonio to a five-minute scoring drought — finally, the level of
defense they needed — to take their first lead since the opening minutes.

As much of a force as Victor Wembanyama (32 points, nine rebounds, five
assists, four steals) is defensively, Green often out-thought the
20-year-old. He used interior touch passes and Curry’s gravity to take
attention away from him and create lanes to score inside.

Green also generated two steals in quick succession, leading to fast
break buckets for Brandin Podziemski and Gary Payton II. The eight-time
All-Defensive player took over the game. For Golden State’s best
defensive stretches, they played Green at center without Trayce
Jackson-Davis, who started alongside him.

Green, who hasn’t averaged double-digits scoring in a season since
2017-18, scored 11 of his 21 points in the game-changing third. The
Warriors won the period 37-21, turning an eight-point deficit into an
eight-point lead. Wembanyama dunked on Jackson-Davis — revenge for the
Warriors rookie’s earlier poster — and threatened to take over the
fourth. He scored San Antonio’s first nine points, bringing the Spurs
within four.

But Green and Curry returned from their scheduled rest and shut the
Spurs down. Green poked away an outlet pass for his fifth steal and
connected with Curry on a backdoor cut for his ninth assist. Curry sank
a step-back 3 over Sandro Mamukelashvili.

The Warriors played championship-level defense this week. Is it real?
Stanford, VanDerveer look ahead to ACC leap next year with Iriafen
leading charge
In Charlotte, Hornets fans still hold out hope for Steph Curry in teal
Stanford’s season, Brink’s career end on fouls in loss to North
Carolina State
Warriors coast by Hornets for third straight win

Green finished over Wembanyama and then notched his sixth steal. The
Spurs kept hitting 3s and went on a 9-0 run as Golden State committed a
string of crunch-time turnovers, coming within two with a minute left.

In danger of a brutal collapse, Green came up with an offensive rebound
and kicked out for a Thompson 3. Then, with five seconds left, Green’s
effort on the offensive glass drew a Wembanyama foul that secured the
win for Golden State — adding to their 22-15 record away from Chase Center.

“To be on the road for eight days and do what we just did, that’s a sign
of a really good team,” Kerr said.

sport / / BANG: Behind Draymond Green, Warriors close out road trip strong


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