While the Warriors escaped with a controversial call and a win over the Thunder, rookie forward Chet Holmgren left quite an impression.
“Chet’s a problem,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said. “He can play. He can dribble the ball, he can shoot the ball, has great length, great shot-blocker. He’s only gonna get better.”
Holmgren scored 24 points on 7-of-9 shooting to go with eight rebounds.
- Either way, the Thunder just missed on an opportunity to beat the Warriors in the opening game of the In-Season Tournament. “For the most part, we gave ourselves every chance to win that game,” guard Josh Giddey said. “Just needed to be a little bit better down the stretch.”
Forward Draymond Green said he’s a fan of the new NBA Cup.
“We talk about this in-season tournament and it’s a playoff game,” Green said. “It was a fun game to play in. The intensity level was there. It’s a job well done to the NBA, adding this type of excitement in November, because there are some dark days in November, but you get games like this, you can appreciate them. It was great.”
- Star guard Stephen Curry said he believes the call that led to the Warriors’ controversial game-winning shot was the right one. “They called it no good at first … and whichever way you call it you have to have the evidence to go the other way,” he told reporters. “That’s where, I guess, the doubt crept in. I couldn’t tell what camera angles we had. Thankfully they got it right.”
- Green also stood by the call. “Hitting the rim is not a goaltend. I did not affect the shot,” he said. “[Referee Che Flores] said if [Giddey] touched the net and it didn’t affect the ball, it’s not a goaltend. If I touched the rim and it didn’t affect the ball, it wasn’t a goaltend. I knew I didn’t affect the ball, so I thought it was good. We got the bucket.”
Despite losing their first game of the season, Friday vs. the Nuggets, star guard Luka Doncic chose to look at the bright side.
Doncic finished 34 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists — but also nine turnovers.
“There’s a lot of positive things to look at,” he told reporters. “What lost us the game is my turnovers and offensive rhythm. I think if this was last year we would’ve lost by 30.”
- Coach Jason Kidd missed the game with an illness, replaced by top assistant Sean Sweeney for the night. “When you put yourself down that much early on, as we know, it’s tough to overcome that,” Sweeney said. “Especially against guys like (the Nuggets), that are a great team and well-coached.”