© John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
OAKLAND – The Brooklyn Nets have had a hard time getting the best of the Golden State Warriors as of late. They’ve lost five straight games against the Dubs, including three straight at Oracle.
The streak will continue.
The Warriors beat the Nets 114-101 on Tuesday night, led by 34 from Stephen Curry and a quiet 19 from Kevin Durant. But the news late in the game was the exit of emerging rookie power forward Jordan Bell, who sprained his right ankle in the waining seconds of the third quarter.
Jordan Bell suffers an apparent ankle injury and exits the game pic.twitter.com/YuljU89H8n
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 7, 2018
Bell was contesting a shot by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in the paint, and the rookie’s right foot appeared to come down on Hollis-Jefferson’s. He immediately rolled to the floor, slamming his fist on the hardwood in apparent pain. After trying to get up and jog to the other side of the court, Steve Kerr called a timeout and Bell headed to the locker room.
The Warriors have already released a short statement on the injury, confirming that it was a right ankle sprain. The rookie will undergo X-Rays to see the extent of the damage.
Before Bell’s injury, the first half of Tuesday’s contest was dominated by two massive runs. After the Nets jumped out to an early 14-10 lead (sound familiar?), the Warriors responded with a scorching hot 25-nil run that lasted for a few ticks over five minutes long at the end of the first half.
Give the Nets credit, because their second unit responded with a 19-2 run themselves, taking a 44-42 lead with four minutes left in the first half on a D’Angelo Russell 3-pointer. Behind five offensive rebounds and 12 Warrior first-half turnovers, the Nets took a 53-48 lead into the locker room.
No matter, because the Warriors would trot out of the locker room, deliver another Golden third quarter and put the Nets away for good, right?
The Warriors put up 38 points on Brooklyn in their favorite third quarter and never looked back, but the run came late. The Nets held a 78-77 lead with a minute and a half left, but went on a quick 11-3 run and headed to the fourth with a 86-80 lead the would not relinquish.
The win pushes Golden State to 50-14 on the season. It is the fifth year in a row the Warriors have won 50 games or more, an almost unthinkable feat after spending most of the 2000s in the cellar of the Western Conference.
Next up for the Warriors, a home game against the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night, followed by a game in Portland Friday night against the red-hot Trail Blazers.
WEST SITS: David West was inactive Tuesday night with a cyst in his right arm. West is in the midst of small renaissance this year in his limited minutes. He’s averaging more points, rebounds and blocks per 36 minutes than he has since 2011, his last season with the New Orleans Hornets.
CURRY CARRIES ON: The subplot of Friday’s win in Atlanta was Stephen Curry’s minor ‘tweak’ of his right ankle. Curry was contesting a shot in the paint and landed on Zaza Pachulia’s foot, rolling it. He was taken into the locker room to have the ankle looked at, and after a brief return in the second quarter (where he played extremely well), Curry sat played minimal minutes for the rest of the game.
After a full practice Monday and a ho-hum Curry-like stat line of 34 points, six rebounds and four assists against the Nets, it would appear that Curry’s ankle is on the mend.