Curry takes blame for long stretches on bench
Before Warriors point guard Stephen Curry checked back in midway through the fourth quarter Monday, he got a word from assistant coach Lloyd Pierce.
Curry had been glued to the bench for 24 of the game's first 42 minutes. And when he headed to the scorer's table, he had five points on 2-for-8 shooting with four fouls and no rhythm. But Pierce told Curry it was his time.
"Coach Pierce reminded me the game hadn't gone like I wanted it to up to that point," Curry said. "But I had to come in and be a closer."
Curry scored eight of his 13 points in the final 5:23 to salvage a rough afternoon in the Warriors' 109-100 win over New Jersey. His biggest shot, perhaps, was a 3-pointer with 1:57 remaining, pushing the Warriors' lead to 104-96.
Through the first three quarters, Curry played just shy of 18 minutes, thanks to foul trouble accrued from defending Nets guard Devin Harris and the instincts of Warriors coach Keith Smart.
Curry acknowledged that the stretches on the bench are frustrating, and he said it's "not fun" trying to work himself back into rhythm. But he blamed himself.
He said the last two games, a "ticky-tack foul" -- which he said was a result of being out of position -- has hurt him. He said he is trying to be more conscious of avoiding such fouls and that he will trust the help behind him instead of trying to compensate when his man gets behind him.
Monday marked the second consecutive game Smart has sat Curry for a long stretch late in a close game, choosing to go with swingman Reggie Williams instead.
In the win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, Smart sat Curry for most of the final four-plus minutes, bringing him in only to knock down free throws as the Clippers intentionally fouled. Curry played 27 minutes that game.
His dream didn't come true Monday. Lopez finished with seven rebounds in just shy of 36 minutes. It was his highest-rebounding total this month.
-- Marcus Thompson II