Dubs survive ‘unfortunate’ error, tie series

Dubs survive 'unfortunate' error, tie series

SAN FRANCISCO – Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry was fouled with 40 seconds to go in Game 3 of the series against the Sacramento Kings. He had nowhere to go and no one to cross.

He saw the trap and realized there were no real outlets, so instead of turning the ball over, he called a timeout.

The only problem: The Warriors didn’t have many timeouts.

“I didn’t realize when we lost the challenge that we didn’t have any time left,” Curry said. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he failed to tell his players they didn’t have more timeouts.

“[Coach] Took the blame for it, but I’m not going to lie: I thought it was the smartest play in the world,” Curry said. “I looked at the bench, and everybody was shaking their heads. It was an unfortunate situation.”

That play ended up giving the Kings four points – a technical foul followed by a De’Aaron Fox 3-pointer to bring the Kings within one.

“There’s no time to be angry or frustrated,” Kerr said. “You just have to keep going, and our guys did that. We made some incredible stops down the stretch.”

Fox’s bucket ended up being the last points of the game, with the Warriors winning 126–125 and tying the Western Conference first-round series 2–2. But the Warriors could have made it more comfortable for themselves.

On the next play, with 12 seconds left — 11 on the shot clock — Curry missed a 16-foot pull-up jump shot.

“It’s always a balance of playing the clock and trying to find the best shots. Obviously, if I make a floater … you’d love to get that position one more stop,” Curry said. “I live with that decision.”

It wasn’t a “bad” shot for Curry. He finished the night with 32 points on 11-of-22 shooting, including five 3-pointers. He and Klay Thompson (23 points) were the main reason Golden State stayed within striking distance of the Kings in the first half, before going on a run in the third quarter.

Curry’s timely shots were also the reason the Warriors overcame a ferocious Sacramento comeback in the fourth quarter, when Golden State built a 10-point lead late in the third.

“It doesn’t look like it, but I’m always looking for my shot,” Curry said. “There’s always a double-team or a trap or a lot of attention. So just because I’m not shooting doesn’t mean I’m passive. It means you’re reading the defense to make the right play.”

After the Kings called a timeout following Curry’s late miss, the Warriors had one goal: keep the ball out of the clutch hands of the inaugural NBA Player of the Year. Heading into Sunday, Fox led the league in clutch time points per game at 5.0 and scored a league-best 15 points in clutch time in the playoffs.

The Warriors threw a late double-team on Fox, with Curry coming in to help Draymond Green defend. Fox kicked the ball to Harrison Barnes on the wing, but just as the Warriors had hoped, he missed at the buzzer.

“We know Fox can make shots,” Green said. “What I’m not doing is giving him an iso with somebody and watching him work. … Somebody else has to beat you. If he hits, great shot. He didn’t.”

Fox finished with 38 points on 14-of-31 shooting, becoming the first Kings player since Oscar Robertson in 1966 to have multiple 35-point games in a playoff series.

After Fox scored 21 in the first half, Warriors assistant coaches Dejan Milojevic and Chris DeMarco suggested they switch Green to Fox.

“Fox is a great player,” Green said. “It’s amazing. He continues to get better, and any time you draw an assignment to protect the other team’s best player, you appreciate the opportunity.”

“I always knew, as this series went on, that was something we had in our back pocket,” he continued. “If I’m honest, I was pretty happy we pulled that card.”

Green held Fox to 2-of-7 shooting as the primary defender and 5-of-15 from the field as the primary defender in the second half for the Kings overall.

Putting Green on Fox in the second half was an adjustment that brought Green into the starting five after coming off the bench earlier in the contest.

When Green was suspended for Game 3, it forced the Warriors to play with more guards and shooters, which gave them more spacing the floor.

This wasn’t the first moment the Warriors realized they needed better spacing. That’s one observation they made after Game 2 before the league decided to suspend Green, sources told ESPN.

But after seeing how successful that was in Game 3, the Warriors knew they had to make a big adjustment and bring Green off the bench to split his and Kevon Looney’s minutes.

Leila made the same observation. After watching Game 3 from his home, Green got into his car and drove straight to the Chase Center to discuss it with Kerr.

When Kerr asked Green how he felt coming off the bench, Green’s response was simple: “Who cares? Who cares how I feel?”

“It’s the right thing to do to start the game the way we did Game 3,” Green said. Sunday’s outing was the first time in the Kerr era that Green came off the bench and the first time since 2014 in a playoff game. It was Green’s 15th career playoff game not started.

The Warriors are no strangers to making major lineup changes in the playoffs — and requiring major sacrifices from their star players. In October 2014, Kerr decided to insert Green into the starting lineup for David Lee. In the playoffs that season, Andre Iguodala became the starter in the NBA Finals for Andrew Bogut.

Last season, Curry came off the bench for the first four games in their series against the Denver Nuggets.

Andrew Wiggins came off the bench for the first game of this series against the Kings.

“A lot of guys, after 11 years, you start to feel a sense of entitlement,” Green said. “Like, the place is yours, and the beginning is yours. I never wanted to get to a point in my career where I felt entitled to something. Those people don’t end up doing well. I just wanted to do what I thought was best. . for this team.”

It’s unclear if Green will come off the bench again in Game 5, especially since Green will play a critical defensive role on Fox. But as the Warriors return to the road — a place that has been very unfriendly to Golden State this season — they want to lean on what works for them.

“I’m a firm believer that if something ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Green said.

“These games are really detailed arrangements,” Kerr said. “In every playoff game, if something works for you, you have to stick with it. If it doesn’t work, you try something different.”

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Left: Microscope image of silver nanowire networks.  Right: strong and truncated (weak) pathways in nanowire networks.

Networks of silver nanowires appear similar to the human brain for learning and memory

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