Stephen Curry maintained it’s going to take some time for Golden State to develop cohesion. Through the preseason, for sure, and maybe even into the regular season.
The Warriors looked in-season sharp at times during a 129-128 overtime victory at the Denver Nuggets on Friday night. Curry had 22 points in 27 minutes, while new addition Kevin Durant added 19 points. Patrick McCaw hit a game-winning floater at the buzzer.
So, just how long will it take the Warriors to all get on the same page?
“It’s hard to say,” said Curry, whose team won 73 games last season before losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. “We have the same system, the same identity as a team when it comes to how we play. (Durant) fits right into that. But there’s a transition period and a learning curve of terminology and different principles.”
The Nuggets were led by Danilo Gallinari, who finished with 19 points. Rookie Jamal Murray hit a go-ahead, step-back 3-pointer with 11.5 seconds left in regulation, only to have McCaw tie the game with 1.1 seconds remaining.
Jarnell Stokes scored on a layup with 3.5 seconds left in OT to give the Nuggets the lead. That set the stage for McCaw.
Point guard Emmanuel Mudiay sprained his right ankle in the third quarter and didn’t return.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr played his starters a fair amount even though they have a game Saturday in Las Vegas against the Los Angeles Lakers. He took heat from Denver fans from holding out top players in March 2015.
“I had emails from people who had bought tickets and drove 100 miles to come here,” Kerr said. “If we can try to accomplish both, keep our health and keep people happy who bought tickets, we’ll do it. But it’s a hard balance.”
MAGIC 114, PACERS 106
ORLANDO, Fla. — Serge Ibaka had 19 points and 17 rebounds in new Orlando coach Frank Vogel’s first appearance against his former team.
Myles Turner led all five Pacers starters in double figures with 17 points.
Vogel spent the past five-plus seasons as coach of the Pacers after four years as an assistant. Indiana made the playoffs in five of his six years. His first visit to Indiana will be Nov. 14.
PACERS: Jeff Teague and Paul George scored 16 apiece, Thaddeus Young added 15 and Monta Ellis had 14. … Ellis had a team-high six assists, and Young had eight rebounds, four assists and four steals. … Key backups C.J. Miles (sore left knee) and Aaron Brooks (sore right knee) did not play.
MAGIC: Ibaka was 7 of 9 from the field in his second preseason game and the Magic’s first exhibition win. … Jeff Green scored 16 points, and Aaron Gordon added 15. … Bismack Biyombo had nine rebounds. … C.J. Watson had 10 assists with guards Evan Fournier and D.J. Augustin sitting.
UP NEXT: Orlando (1-3) plays at home again Sunday against former Magic center Dwight Howard, who signed with Atlanta in free agency. Indiana (3-2) visits Milwaukee on Wednesday.
BULLS 118, CAVALIERS 108
CHICAGO — Rajon Rondo scored 20 points and Taj Gibson had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead Chicago while LeBron James and Kyrie Irving sat for Cleveland.
John Holland scored 23 points to lead a reserve-laden group for the Cavaliers, who earlier in the day agreed to terms on a contract that will bring back shooting guard J.R. Smith.
Dwyane Wade had 11 points along with Doug McDermott and Robin Lopez for the Bulls.
CAVALIERS: There were four other double-figure scorers besides Holland in Jordan McRae (19), Jonathan Holmes (16), Kay Felder (14) and DeAndre Liggins (12). … Holmes led the Cavs with six rebounds, and Felder had seven assists. … Holland was 8 of 12 from the field, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range. … Cleveland was 20 of 22 at the line.
BULLS: Rondo had six rebounds, six assists and six turnovers. … Paul Zipser had 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting. … Wade had six rebounds, five assists and two steals.
UP NEXT: Cleveland (2-3) is home against Washington on Tuesday. Chicago (2-2) is at Milwaukee on Saturday.
HEAT 108, SPURS 100
SAN ANTONIO — Tyler Johnson scored 17 points and Hassan Whiteside had 12 points and nine rebounds to lead Miami.
Kawhi Leonard had 11 points on just 1-for-9 shooting for the Spurs, who were 5 of 19 (26 percent) from 3-point range. Leonard made all eight of his free throws.
HEAT: Goran Dragic (0 of 3), Wayne Ellington (1 of 9) and Derrick Williams (1 of 6) combined to go just 2 of 18 from 3-point range. The rest of the team was 9 of 12. Johnson made all four of his from long range. … Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters and James Johnson scored 15 apiece. … Dragic had six assists.
SPURS: LaMarcus Aldridge was given the night off to attend his induction into the Texas Longhorns’ Hall of Honor. … Leonard shared team scoring honors with Dewayne Dedmon while Pau Gasol, Tony Parker and Jonathon Simmons had 10 apiece. … Kyle Anderson had a team-high seven rebounds.
UP NEXT: Miami (3-1) faces Minnesota in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday. San Antonio (3-2) is home against Houston next Friday.
RAPTORS 122, SAN LORENZO DE ALMAGRO 105
TORONTO — Fred VanVleet had 31 points, five rebounds and five assists to lead the Raptors against the Argentine club San Lorenzo de Almagro.
With Toronto playing the second game of a back-to-back, most of the regulars sat. The list included Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas, DeMarre Carroll, Cory Joseph, Patrick Patterson, Terrence Ross and Jared Sullinger.
DeRozan (rest), Ross (right knee) and Sullinger (left foot) also missed Thursday’s win at Cleveland.
RAPTORS: Norman Powell and Drew Crawford scored 17 apiece. … Powell, VanVleet, Lucas Nogueira, Pascal Siakam and Crawford started for Toronto. … Siakam scored 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting, while fellow rookie Jakob Poeltl had 12 points and six rebounds. … Raptors coach Dwane Casey was disappointed that his defense failed to hold San Lorenzo below 100 points, a total he had set as a pregame goal.
SAN LORENZO: Jerome Meyinsse, the lone American on the roster and a former Virginia player, scored 22 points. Marcos Mata had 18 points and six rebounds, and Gustavo Aguirre had 17 points and 11 assists. … The reigning champion of Argentina is the first from that country to face an NBA opponent. … San Lorenzo made 15 of 29 from 3-point range.
UP NEXT: Toronto (3-2) visits Detroit on Wednesday. This was San Lorenzo’s only game against an NBA opponent.
SUNS 112, MAVERICKS 107
PHOENIX — Eric Bledsoe and rookie Marquese Chriss each scored 17 points for Phoenix.
Point guard Deron Williams led Dallas with 17 points but didn’t have an assist.
MAVERICKS: C Andrew Bogut had 10 points and a team-high four assists. … Dirk Nowitzki scored 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting. … Free agent addition Harrison Barnes, who signed a max deal at four years and $94 million, is 11 of 42 from the field (26 percent) in the preseason.
SUNS: Bledsoe had game highs with seven assists and three steals. … Brandon Knight scored 11 points. … Chriss started in place of C Tyson Chandler (rest), who had two stints with Dallas and won a championship there. … Chriss was 3 of 5 from 3-point range, and Jared Dudley (15 points) was 3 of 7.
UP NEXT: Dallas (2-3) is home against Houston on Wednesday. Phoenix (3-2) is at the Los Angeles Lakers next Friday.