VIDEO: Highlights from games played Feb. 10
NEWS OF THE MORNING
No. 1: Warriors roll into All-Star break at 48-4 — From the start of the season, the Golden State Warriors have been the story to follow. From a 24-0 start to their dazzling offense to the exploits of reigning MVP Stephen Curry, Golden State is dominating opponents and having fun along the way, too. They head into the All-Star break a game ahead of the pace the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls set when they won an NBA-record 72 games. After last night’s win in Phoenix, the players and coaches talked about how that record is firmly in their sights, writes Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group:
Klay Thompson described the record the Warriors have as surreal, with them rolling at a record pace without any sign of a championship hangover.
Whatever you want to chalk it up to, people saying it was a fluke, yada, yada, you just want to go out and prove that we’ll be here for a long time,” Thompson said.
Despite uncertainty at head coach with Steve Kerr missing much of the first half of the regular season, the Warriors held steady and dominated the competition. They notched 30-point wins against the Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs after starting the season 24-0 under interim head coach Luke Walton.
“I think that streak sort of gave guys extra motivation through the first quarter of the season,” Kerr said. “And then since that time, we’ve been on a good run.”
Said Stephen Curry: “We handled a lot of challenges pretty well this first half of the season and kept our high level of consistency.”
In garbage time, rookie Kevon Looney got in on the action and managed to bank in the first 3-pointer of his career.
Curry, Draymond Green and Thompson traveled to Toronto, where they will participate in festivities during All-Star weekend and play in Sunday’s game
The rest of the Warriors will get to rest and focus on what the Warriors have to do in the second half.
“Just play with great focus, because when we do that, we’re almost impossible to beat,” Thompson said.
Kerr was among those who could use time to relax. He didn’t feel well following the Warriors’ win against the Houston Rockets the previous night at Oracle Arena, explaining he was dealing with a headache and he appeared uncomfortable during Tuesday’s brief postgame news conference.
“I still have symptoms from everything I’ve been dealing with, so I wish everything was clear and gone away, but it’s not, so at times I have to deal with stuff,” Kerr said.
Kerr will travel to his home in San Diego for the All-Star break after having won all nine of his games on the bench this season. He missed the first 43 and indicated upon his return three weeks ago that his symptoms were manageable following a leave of absence caused by complications from an offseason back surgery.
“I don’t want to go into detail with all this stuff, but there’s a lot to it in terms of my protocol that I’m going through,” Kerr said. The All-Star break will give me a chance to get through some of that, too.”
Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to an Indianapolis hospital where doctors would pop the shoulder back into the joint. This is the same shoulder that Kidd-Gilchrist injured in the preseason, requiring surgery to repair a torn labrum.
The Hornets said postgame that Kidd-Gilchrist will have an MRI in Charlotte Thursday to determine the seriousness of this injury.
Kidd-Gilchrist had an excellent recovery from that previous shoulder injury, returning to the active roster about two months earlier than originally projected.
Kidd-Gilchrist was injured when Indiana Pacers center Ian Mahinmi fell on his shoulder under the Hornets’ basket. Kidd-Gilchrist didn’t get up until after the Hornets fouled to stop play. He appeared to be in severe pain before being helped to the locker room.
It’s unclear how long Kidd-Gilchrist might miss while recovering from this injury, but a minimum of weeks is likely. The game in Indiana was the Hornets’ last before the All-Star break. They don’t play again until a trip to Milwaukee to play the Bucks Feb. 19. The Hornets’ next five games are all on the road, as the CIAA tournament takes over Time Warner Cable Arena.
It’s unclear how long Kidd-Gilchrist might miss while recovering from this injury, but a minimum of weeks is likely.
Kidd-Gilchrist was averaging 13.5 points and seven rebounds and shooting 53 percent from the field when he got hurt Wednesday.
With Kidd-Gilchrist out, it seems likely coach Steve Clifford would go back to P.J. Hairston as a starter. Clifford used Hairston in that role to cut down on Nic Batum having to constantly guard the opposing team’s best perimeter scorer. Kidd-Gilchrist is the Hornets’ best defender.
The Hornets have been besieged by injuries this season but were working their way back to full health when Kidd-Gilchrist hit the floor Wednesday. The Hornets hope to get back center Al Jefferson shortly after the All-Star break. He needed knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus.
VIDEO: Kidd-Gilchrist injures shoulder vs. Pacers
No. 3: Prokhorov: Nets readying GM short-list — The Brooklyn Nets have technically been without a general manager since Jan. 10, when Billy King was reassigned to another role on the team and then-coach Lionel Hollins was fired. There have been a smattering of stories since then about who will get the Nets’ vacancy, and according to Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com, owner Mikhail Prokhorov has whittled down the list of contenders to his favorites:
Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov left early Wednesday night.
His 14-40 Nets were being routed by the Marc Gasol-less Memphis Grizzlies in their final game before the All-Star break, and Prokhorov has a lot more important things on his mind in the big picture — namely who he’s going to hire as general manager to right his team’s sinking ship.
Before leaving, Prokhorov told ESPN.com that his search committee’s first round of interviews is over, and they are currently in the process of compiling a short list of candidates who could fill the GM vacancy.
“We’ve finished our first round of homework, now we’re onto our second — the short list,” Prokhorov said.
The Nets conducted interviews from Monday to Wednesday — and it is believed their list included the following: two-time executive of the year Bryan Colangelo, Denver Nuggets assistant GM Arturas Karnisovas, Houston Rockets vice president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, former Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry, San Antonio Spurs assistant GM Sean Marks, Indiana Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard, former Cleveland Cavaliers GM Chris Grant and Brooklyn assistant GM Frank Zanin.
The Nets have spoken to about over a dozen candidates during the process. Thursday will mark exactly a month since they demoted Billy King and reassigned him within the organization.
Simply put, the search committee — which includes Prokhorov, Nets chairman of the board of directors Dmitry Razumov, trusted Russian basketball confidant Sergey Kushchenko, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment Brett Yormark and president of ONEXIM Sports & Entertainment Irina Pavlova — is being very thorough because it needs to get this hire right.
No. 4: Love not expecting to miss time — All manner of nightmarish memories of the 2015 playoffs had to be running through the minds of Cleveland Cavaliers fans after Kevin Love left last night’s game with a shoulder injury. It was the same shoulder he hurt in the first round last spring against the Boston Celtics that KO’d him for the team’s playoff run. However, Love said after the game he thinks the injury is just a “stinger” and he shouldn’t miss time. Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com has more:
Cleveland Cavaliers can breathe a sigh of relief.
Power forward Kevin Love will not miss any time after suffering a left shoulder contusion in Wednesday night’s 120-111 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Love left the game with less than a minute to go in the second quarter as his left arm just dangled. He hurried to the locker room in pain and General Manager David Griffin followed right behind him.
It didn’t look good at all. He would not return.
Love said his arm got tangled up with Kobe Bryant.
“At the time I didn’t know really what it was,” Love said. “It’s just like when you get hit in the funny bone of the elbow. Shooting pain. It felt like fire was running down my arm. It’s just a stinger and the doctor decided to just be cautions and use the break for it to feel better, but it actually feels OK right now.”
he way Love held his shoulder and the expression on his face was reminiscent of when his postseason journey ended abruptly as he sprinted to the locker room at TD Garden. Fortunately for the Cavaliers and Love, he will be in the starting lineup come Feb. 18 when they host the Chicago Bulls after the All-Star break.
It could have been much worse.
“It’s not concerning,” Love said of his shoulder history, “but it’s the first time that sort of thing has happened [since my first shoulder injury].”
VIDEO: Kevin Love suffers shoulder injury vs. Lakers
SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris says Wednesday’s mid-game bench scuffle with Archie Goodwin was ‘nothing’ … Pretty cool video from Cavs.com — Kobe Bryant autographing and giving LeBron James his game-worn shoes from his Cleveland finale … So, who won the “Canada Cup” on The Starters? … Sad news as the wife of Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams died yesterday following injuries suffered in a car crash … Free-agent to-be Mike Conley isn’t ruling out signing with the Brooklyn Nets or New York Knicks this summer … ICYMI, here’s the full ceremony the Detroit Pistons had last night as they retired Chauncey Billups‘ No. 1 jersey … Boston Celtics may be interested in trading for Atlanta Hawks star Al Horford … The Houston Rockets are seemingly in desperate need of a roster shake-up …