San Francisco – It was a special night for the Golden State Warriors, they raised their first championship banner at Chase Center. The team received their rings in a pregame ceremony that highlighted last year’s championship run. Tonight the Warriors kicked off the season with a 123-109 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Despite a sluggish start, Golden State got their groove back behind Stephen Curry’s 33 points. Curry missed his first five three-pointers before he started to find a good rhythm in the second half. Curry finished with 33 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds. Curry went 10-for-22 from the field and 4-for 13 from the arc.
Steve Kerr talks slow start and win for Warriors:
Curry started his 4th NBA season in a Warriors uniform, passing Chris Mullin (13) for the most in franchise history. His 33 points tonight marked the second-most points he has scored in a season-opening game. (40 on 10/27/15 vs NOP). Curry extended his extended his NBA-record regular season 3-point streak 190 games.
Klay Thompson and Draymond Green’s minutes were limited, Kerr mentioned that he wanted to take things slow with Thompson due to his mid-season return last year. Thompson will see his mounts increased game by game. He scored 18 points in 20 minutes. Green has been away from the team during preseason and needs more conditioning.
Stephen Curry talks James Wiseman and his slow start:
Wiseman made his season debut, the center has worked hard since being injures during his rookie season. Wiseman committed himself over the summer in becoming stronger and more disciplined. He played 17 minutes, scored 8 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.
Wiseman talks about being ready and his growth:
LA struggled from the start, LeBron finished with 31 points, 24 rebounds and eight assists. Anthony Davis added 27 points and had 6 rebounds but that wasn’t enough to stop Curry and the rest of the Warriors. The Lakers lost their way in the third quarter. The Warriors have won four of their last five matchups vs. the Lakers.
“Besides the early fouls I mean, versus a team like this you definitely don’t want to get in the penalty early,” said James. “They just shoot their free throw extremely well. For a team like that they’re already going to make so many tough shots you don’t want them to be able to get freebies. I thought defensively we were really good, we had some really good looks out there that didn’t go in for us.
Then in that third quarter we let loose a little bit defensively, allowed them to get in transition, Klay (Thompson) came out hot early in the third quarter, gave us eight straight then hit a nice dump down to Wiggs (Andrew Wiggins) for a dunk. That third quarter is where they’ve always excelled since they’ve made this transition being a powerhouse team. You always got to be ready for that third quarter and we were not tonight.”
WARRIORS HEAD COACH STEVE KERR (PREGAME PRESSER)
EXPECTATIONS FOR TONIGHT IN TERMS OF MINUTES ALLOCATED FOR THE STARTERS:
“I think a few of them are more ready than others. Maybe Steph (Stephen Curry), Jordan (Poole), and Wiggs (Andrew Wiggins) are all capable of getting up to 30 minutes or a little bit beyond. Obviously, Klay (Thompson) is not. I don’t think Draymond (Green) — I wouldn’t feel comfortable playing him big minutes tonight either. We’ll have to ease into it a little bit, but we’re planning on playing a lot of people anyway this year. We’ve got a lot of depth and we want to use it, so we’ve got to be able to rely on it here tonight and the first couple weeks of the season.”
THE BALANCE OF ENJOYING THE PREGAME VS TRYING TO WIN THE FIRST GAME:
“You just go play. There’s not a whole lot that I can say other than before we head out, we know it’s going to be fun, we know it’ll be emotional and a loss isn’t going to take away from the achievement, but a lot more fun if you go ahead and win the game too. That’s the intention, but regardless we got 81 left after this and we move forward.”
WHEN HE EXPECTS KLAY THOMPSON TO BE ABLE TO PLAY HIS NORMAL MINUTES:
“That will just sort of be a day-to-day, week-to-week thing. He’s going to play tonight and hopefully, the play will be to ramp up his minutes next game and a little bit more after that. It’s hard to predict how long that will take.”
HOW HE EXPECTS THE ROTATIONS TO GO EARLY ON:
“We could see 11 (players) tonight depending on how the game goes. For sure, 10. I already talked to the team about the idea that over the course of the season, everybody is going to get their opportunities, but what that level of commitment to the team requires is understanding that certain nights aren’t going to be your night. I think one of the reasons we’ve had a lot of success over the years, I know that the 2014-15 team that ‘Strength in Numbers’ philosophy. Guys just committed and understood that over time, everybody would contribute and get their chance. It’s tough. All these guys have individual goals, they want to play and there are going to be nights when they just have to move forward and keep working. That’s the plan.”
IF HE EXPECTS ANY DIFFERENT EMOTIONS FOR TONIGHT’S RING CEREMONY:
“I’ve never had a bad ring night. I can tell you that. They are all awesome. I’m really excited for tonight. Excited for our fans, our players, and our whole organization. It’s such a great celebration of something that is very difficult to accomplish. It’s important that we recognize the accomplishment, hand the banner, hand out the rings, and then it’s officially time to move onto this season.”
Photos by Warriors/Twiiter