NBA

Kerr credits Green with willing Warriors to victory as Curry lauds unmatched 'competitive spirit'

By Sports Desk March 29, 2023

Steve Kerr credited Draymond Green with "willing" the Golden State Warriors to victory in their comeback win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Green scored eight points and provided 13 assists, four turnovers and two steals to help complete a 120-109 turnaround triumph for the reigning NBA champions at Chase Center.

Golden State were trailing by 17 points after a lacklustre first half, but Green sparked the team into life, earning the credit from his coach.

"Draymond willed us to victory tonight," said Kerr. "Just the intensity, the frustration early with the way we were playing.

"Mad at the world, yelling at everybody – their bench, our bench – and frankly, we deserved it."

Green's first spark came late in the second quarter when he picked up his 17th technical foul for a shove on Brandon Ingram.

The pair exchanged words, amongst some shoving, and were issued Ts.

He will be fined $5,000 if the technical foul does not get rescinded over the next 24 hours - which Green thinks it will be - but if it does not, the Warriors forward believes it was worth it.

"It was perfect," said Green. "Perfectly executed. We looked dead those first 18 minutes. We had to find some energy somewhere.

"It wasn't just going to come, especially after losing the game like we did last game [99-96 to Minnesota Timberwolves].

"That can carry over. I felt like it did. I knew we had to do something and do it fast before the game got out of hand."

Green almost picked up another technical foul 20 seconds later after colliding with Herbert Jones but following more shoving and a video review, no Ts were assessed.

"I've got to play with the same intensity I try to play with each and every time I step on the court," added Green.

"I can't worry about that. For me, if I'm going to change my intensity level, then why be out there?"

Following Green's clash with Jones, Stephen Curry got involved in the scrum yelling at Pelicans players and giving some shoves.

"He knows that guys are backing him up," said Curry. "I'm sure [Green] wouldn't go out on an island like that if he didn't have that confidence.

"There are times when I've got to keep him in check and bring him back in when it's turning in the wrong direction in the sense of staying focused on just winning."

The Warriors outscored the Pelicans 74-46 in the second half, shooting 70 per cent to help complete their second-biggest comeback of the season.

Curry scored or assisted half of the points Golden State won after half-time.

Green said: "When I turned it up a notch, [Curry] turned it up another two notches.

"We all hopped in line and followed him, and he was locked in. No one was stopping him."

The Warriors are now sixth in the Western Conference, holding just a half-game advantage over the Timberwolves in seventh with five rounds left of the regular season.

"It feels like we've been in a playoff vibe for a couple of weeks now," said Curry.

"The only difference is you're playing a different team every night. But it's the same kind of adrenaline rush that we're getting. Every game does matter.

"We have a competitive spirit that's unmatched. And it's been that way for a decade."

Related items

  • Celtics sweep Pacers to reach NBA Finals Celtics sweep Pacers to reach NBA Finals

    Derrick White's tie-breaking 3-pointer with 45 seconds left sent the Boston Celtics into the NBA Finals for the second time in three years with a 105-102 win over the Indiana Pacers in Monday's Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

    The top-seeded Celtics, who were ousted in seven games by the Miami Heat in last year's East finals, completed a sweep of this best-of-seven series by rallying from a nine-point deficit with under nine minutes left.

    Jaylen Brown led Boston's comeback by scoring 10 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and coming up with a key late block that preceded White's winning shot. The Celtics also received 26 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists from Jayson Tatum, as well as another strong performance from their backcourt duo of White and Jrue Holiday.

    Holiday totalled 17 points and nine rebounds while White had 16 points on 7-of-14 shooting along with a game-high five steals.

    The sixth-seeded Pacers were unable to extend the series while playing a second straight game without All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton, who injured his hamstring in Thursday's Game 2.

    Andrew Nembhard led Indiana with 24 points and 10 assists, while Pascal Siakam posted 19 points and 10 rebounds.

    The Celtics will face the winner of the Western Conference finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves, and will host Game 1 on Thursday, June 6. The Mavericks lead that series 3-0 and can advance at home in Tuesday's Game 4. 

    A tightly contested game saw neither side lead by more than eight points until the Pacers put forth a 5-0 run, capped by Nembhard's 3-point play with 8:57 left to play, to take a 94-85 advantage.

    Indiana led 98-90 with under six minutes to go before the Celtics began catching fire. After Brown hit two free throws and Tatum knocked down a 3-pointer, Holiday drove the lane and was fouled while getting a layup to go down following a made basket by Nembhard. Boston's veteran guard calmly hit the ensuing free throw to bring the Celtics within 100-98 with 3:54 left.

    It remained a two-point game until Brown knocked down a floater with 2:40 left to tie the score at 102-102. Shortly thereafter, the All-Star forward rejected Nembhard in the lane as Boston's Al Horford grabbed the rebound with the contest headed towards the final minute of play.

    Brown then found an open White in the right corner, and the valued guard drained a 23-footer to send the Celtics ahead.

    Indiana had one final chance to force overtime, but Nembhard's 3-point try missed the mark and the Pacers failed to get another shot off. 

     

     

     

  • NBA legend Walton dies at 71 NBA legend Walton dies at 71

    Basketball legend Bill Walton died Monday at the age of 71.

    The NBA announced he passed away following a prolonged battle with cancer.

    During a 10-year professional career, Walton won a pair of NBA titles and was named the 1977-78 league MVP. He was also included on the NBA's 50th anniversary and 75th anniversary teams.

    He was the No. 1 overall pick of the 1974-75 NBA draft by the Portland Trail Blazers following a brilliant collegiate career that saw him win a pair of national titles at UCLA and earn three national player of the year awards.

    "Bill Walton was truly one of a kind," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

    He helped redefine the centre position, but his career was cut short by foot injuries.

    After averaging 17.1 points and 13.5 rebounds in his first four seasons with the Trail Blazers, he averaged 10.2 points and 8.1 boards in his final six seasons with the Clippers and Celtics.

    He led Portland to the 1976-77 NBA title, while being named Finals MVP, and later won a championship with Boston in 1985-86.

    He retired after playing just 10 games in the 1986-87 season, and was inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

    Following his playing career, Walton became a star broadcaster for decades. He became known for his colourful broadcasting style, where he enthusiastically offered high praise and also blunt criticism.

    "What I will remember most about him was his zest for life," Silver said. "He was a regular presence at league events – always upbeat, smiling ear to ear and looking to share his wisdom and warmth. "

     

  • 'He's born for clutch situations' - Doncic salutes 'Mr Fourth Quarter' Irving 'He's born for clutch situations' - Doncic salutes 'Mr Fourth Quarter' Irving

    Luka Doncic says Kyrie Irving was "born for the clutch situations" as the Dallas Mavericks produced another late show to deny the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    The Mavs, who overcame a late two-point deficit, prevailed 116-107 in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals series, becoming the first NBA side in history to take a 3-0 series lead despite trailing in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter in each game.

    Dallas had the second-best clutch record (23-9) and best clutch offence (127.1 points per 100 possessions) during the regular season, and have continued that momentum into the playoffs.

    Indeed, they also came from behind late on in Game 6 of their conference semi-final series victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    Irving scored 14 points in the fourth quarter in Game 3, and now has 31 such points this series; the most by any player in this year's conference finals.

    "Unbelievable. That's why some people call him Mr Fourth Quarter, right?" Doncic said of his team-mate. "Just amazing. He's born for these situations. He's born for the clutch situations, so we just get the ball to him."

    "Down the stretch, that's where we make our money," Irving added. "I think we have that poise now, and we're just showcasing our skill sets out there that a lot of teams have to guard, the depth that we have. A lot of teams have to guard each one of us, and you got to pick your poison."

    Irving and Doncic scored 33 points apiece to become the first starting backcourt to each register at least 30 points in three playoff games over the past 50 seasons.

    "I feel like we're both born for this if you ask me, but it's just basketball. You've got to give the game what it needs at times," said Irving, who called for focus in his franchise's quest for a second NBA title.

    "It doesn't mean anything if we don't win a ring together. Right now, I want to show a lot of respect to the guys that have come before us and have actually done it. And our time will come."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.