Pacific Notes: Warriors, Curry, Zubac, Beal

In search of answers after a poor stretch of games, the Warriors made another change to their starting lineup on Friday night, with Dario Saric replacing Jonathan Kuminga, per Kendra Andrews of ESPN (Twitter link). Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney were the other four starters.

Golden State gave up 75 points to the Bulls at half, which was a season-high for Chicago, and trailed by 13 after two periods. But the Warriors rebounded with a 48-20 third quarter and wound up winning by nine.

Here’s more from the Pacific:

  • Curry has been in a slump of late for the Warriors, and it’s clear the ups and downs of the season have been wearing on him, writes Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. “I feel like we’ve been in this situation for the last two years,” Curry said. “Even in the championship year, we started 18-2 and then we had some rough patches like this where we struggled mightily. These last couple of years have been rough because of all the noise and distractions, because of the lack of consistency on the court. At least last year we had enough to scare somebody. But we’re far from that right now.”
  • Center Ivica Zubac has been playing an important role during the Clippers‘ surge up the standings, per Janis Carr of The Orange County Register. The eight-year veteran is averaging career highs in multiple categories this season and has formed a strong two-man game on offense with James Harden while anchoring the paint defensively. “I knew I could play in that pocket, that I could be a roll man on offense and defense,” said Zubac. “I’m confident in my game a lot, so I’ve always been confident. But right now, it’s at a high level.”
  • Suns guard Bradley Beal had his best game of the season during Thursday’s victory over the Lakers in Los Angeles, recording 37 point (on 14-of-21 shooting, including 8-of-10 from deep), six rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes. In a story for Sportskeeda, Mark Medina describes Beal’s transition to Phoenix, writing that the three-time All-Star has drawn rave reviews for fitting in so well with the team, despite dealing with injuries for much of 2023/24. “Brad is one of the best players in the world,” Kevin Durant said. “To see an opportunity to see that close up and see a guy every day and see who he truly is as a player and then you come out there and get moments like that, that’s always fun. I enjoy seeing my teammates cook like that. We’re going to need more from him because that ignites the bench and it ignites the crowd, even if we’re on the road.”
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