Streaking Warriors set to face struggling Hawks
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors will seek to extend their winning streak to 12 games when they host the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night.
The Warriors (15-2) saw their run of 10 straight games with at least 30 assists end Saturday during a 115-102 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
However, Golden State shot 55.6 percent from the field and hit half of its 22 3-point attempts. The Warriors got 34 points from Stephen Curry, 28 from Kevin Durant and 23 from Klay Thompson.
The Warriors are 7-0 when Curry, Durant and Thompson all score at least 20 points in the same game.
Golden State began a five-game homestand with the comfortable win over Minnesota despite being without Draymond Green, who sat out because of a sprained left ankle. He is questionable for the Monday game.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Green was missed.
"It was just not having Draymond out there," Kerr said while discussing the team's 25 assists, five shy of keeping alive the NBA's second-longest, all-time streak of 30-plus assists. "It changes our ball movement and the force that we played with. He's handling the ball so often for us that you take him out of there, it changes things."
Kevon Looney made his first career start in Green's place and contributed six points, three rebounds, two assists and one steal to the win.
The Warriors will be facing an Atlanta team that played Sunday night in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
Coincidentally, Golden State entered their Saturday game against the Timberwolves under the same circumstances, having beaten the Lakers 109-85 the night before.
The Hawks (10-7) had no such luck in Los Angeles, losing 109-94. It was their fourth defeat in five games.
Atlanta's one and only visit to Oakland this season means another chance for Warriors fans to ridicule longtime rival Dwight Howard's free-throw shooting.
The Warriors intentionally fouled Howard on multiple occasions in his only visit last season as a member of the Houston Rockets. With the fans screaming in his ears, Howard obliged by missing eight of 10 from the line.
He is just 145 of 248 (58.5 percent) from the line in his career against the Warriors, having made 6 of the past 20. Often intentionally, the Warriors put Howard at the line an average of 9.5 times in his 26 career visits.
The veteran, a former Laker, responded to unappreciative former fans in Los Angeles on Sunday night with 19 points and nine rebounds. He did, however, miss four of five from the line.
Howard insisted after the game that the fans didn't bother him.
"I closed my ears," he said. "(The Lakers) are playing good basketball."
The Warriors swept the two-game series from the Hawks last year, but it was a struggle.
The second meeting, in Oakland, went to overtime, with the Warriors needing a 15-point, 13-rebound, nine-assist, four-steal effort from Green in order to prevail.
Golden State was missing Curry (sprained left ankle) that night.
The win, the Warriors' third straight over the Hawks and eighth in the past nine meetings, allowed Golden State to take a 143-142 lead in the all-time series between the rivals, who first met in 1950 as the Philadelphia Warriors and the Tri-Cities Blackhawks.