Preview: Warriors at Clippers
The Golden State Warriors seem to have found their high gear over the last few games and are about to hit the overdrive button with the addition of another All-Star. The Warriors will welcome center DeMarcus Cousins to the lineup when he makes his team and season debut on Friday at the host Los Angeles Clippers.
Cousins, who signed a one-year deal with the defending champions in the offseason after suffering a torn Achilles as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, told ESPN that he is coming back better after spending the rehab process working on all areas of his game and he is ready to help Golden State win. “I’m back, and I’m not looking back,” Cousins said in an ESPN interview. “I’m moving forward. I’m leaving it on the floor every night. And I plan on coming back for that top spot.” The Clippers are sliding in the wrong direction in a tightly packed Western Conference and are failing to take advantage of a four-game homestand that saw them fall to Detroit, New Orleans and the Utah Jazz in the first three contests. “When you go through tough stretches it’s not the end, it’s where you are right now,” Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers told reporters. “We have to keep plugging through.”
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State), FS Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (31-14): Cousins’ presence could create even more space on the floor for former MVP Stephen Curry, who is in the midst of a historic shooting stretch. Curry became the first player in NBA history to make at least eight 3-pointers in three straight games when he went 9-of-17 from beyond the arc in a 147-140 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday – Golden State’s sixth straight victory. “When Mark Jackson said (Curry) was ruining the game, I know a lot of people took that personal,” Warriors All-Star forward Kevin Durant told reporters of the ESPN announcer and former player and coach. “But I kind of got it a little bit, because he’s the only person I’ve ever seen that can shoot those shots in rhythm like that and make them. And now everybody else think they can, and you can’t. And that’s why I shake my head, because once in a generation, once in a lifetime type of talent and movement. His movements out there are just so smooth, it makes it look so easy. So, when he’s knocking down those shots it’s just a joy to see.”
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (24-20): Los Angeles allowed the Jazz to shoot 51.2 percent from the floor and score 41 points in the fourth quarter in Wednesday’s 129-109 setback, which marked the team’s fourth consecutive defeat. The Clippers couldn’t keep pace with Danilo Gallinari (nine points on 3-of-14 shooting) and Tobias Harris (17 on 6-of-14) suffering through poor shooting nights, and Rivers suggested the offensive woes stemmed from a lack of team play. “I thought offensively we were an individual team a lot tonight and defensively we had just too many breakdowns,” Rivers told reporters.
1. Warriors PF Draymond Green totaled 27 assists and two turnovers over the last two games.
2. Clippers SG Avery Bradley scored 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting Wednesday, reaching double figures for the second time in eight games this month.
3. Golden State suffered a 121-116 loss at Los Angeles on Nov. 12.