August 26

Warriors, DeMarcus Cousins visit Clippers for another newsworthy night

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error LOS ANGELES — For the second time this season, the Golden State Warriors made news on the road against the Clippers.Back on Nov. 12, the headlines had less to do with the Clippers’ overtime victory over the two-time defending NBA champions than with strife between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green that started on the bench and then reportedly carried over into their locker room.On Friday evening, there was drama of an entirely different order when basketball fans tuned in to see how the talented, mercurial DeMarcus Cousins would fit on the Warriors’ star-studded roster.Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he planned to start Cousins in his Warriors debut, and to play the 28-year-old big man only in “short bursts” as he re-acclimates himself to the pace of the NBA – and his new, famously up-tempo team, which entered Friday’s game atop the Western Conference standings and winners of six straight games. WILLIAMS SIDELINEDRivers played coy when asked pregame whether there were any new injuries to report.“We have injuries. And that’s all I’ll say,” he said about an hour before the team reported that star reserve Lou Williams would miss the game with a sore hamstring.Williams missed four games – all Clippers losses – in December with a sore left hamstring. He’s the NBA’s top scorer off the bench, averaging 18.7 points per game. Following shootaround Friday morning at Staples Center, Cousins asked for patience.“Honestly, I’m just happy to be back on the floor,” he said. “Outside of winning the basketball game, that’s probably my only goal tonight. Go in, play hard, get my feet underneath me. It’s been a long journey, and I’m in the last phase of it. Like I said, I’m just extremely happy to be on the floor.”Cousins was reported to be one of the peacemakers during the Warriors’ last visit to Staples Center, a situation he said his team has moved past.“I said what I said,” he said. “Really no need to go into detail. But it (wasn’t) really about what I said. Those two guys made the decision to get over it and for the betterment of themselves and the team, and that’s all that really matters.”Kerr said the Warriors now are healthier, in all ways, than they were Nov. 12.“We’re light years ahead,” he said. “I’m really proud of how far we’ve come and how our guys have gotten to this point. Playing at a high level, we’re playing through frustration, we’re playing through adversity.”Being able to recover from inevitable setbacks is part of the challenge of the “marathon” NBA season, Kerr said, with an eye on Friday’s opponent.“The Clippers have had a great, great season of playing at a high level,” Kerr said. “Now all of a sudden, they’ve lost four in a row. So it’s their time, where they’ve got to dig themselves out of a little bit of a hole. All 30 teams go through this, and as a coach, it’s your job to manage the situation and try to help the guys get back on the right track.” “No matter what team you’re coaching, that’s what coaching is about, managing 15 players – I like Premier League soccer, they call the coaches ‘managers,’ ” said Kerr, joking that he’d prefer to be referred to as a manager. “That’s all part of it, and obviously it takes on an even greater significance when you’re talking about an all-star player, one of the best players in the league, joining our team, coming off an injury.”Friday was Cousins’ first NBA action since Jan. 26, when he suffered a torn Achilles tendon as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans. This past July, Cousins signed a one-year, $5 million contract with Golden State – news that Clippers coach Doc Rivers initially cheered.“I said, ‘Good for him,’ ” Rivers said before the game. “He had an awful injury and he was in a ridiculous spot. Had he been healthy, he would’ve signed a contract that would have taken care of him maybe for life, and he gets injured.“I was looking at all the teams and thinking that this was the perfect team for him to rehabilitate with, where they wouldn’t rush him, for him to come back. …“And then I thought, ‘Wow That’s not right.’ ”last_img read more