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Emotional Warriors honour beloved assistant coach earlier than beating Hawks Specific Instances

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‘A whole lot of guys had been in tears because the ball was being tipped’

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SAN FRANCISCO — With a number of of his gamers overcome by feelings simply moments earlier than tip-off after celebrating the assistant coach they dearly miss, Steve Kerr caught to his message: “Attempt to lose your self within the sport.”

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Stephen Curry had 25 factors and eight assists, Klay Thompson scored 24, and the Golden State Warriors received Wednesday evening of their first sport again after the dying of assistant coach Dejan Milojević final week, beating the Atlanta Hawks 134-112.

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“It was not straightforward however I assumed our guys did a extremely good job of making an attempt to make that transition and settle into the sport,” Kerr stated. “It was very emotional. A whole lot of guys had been in tears because the ball was being tipped.”

The Splash Brothers shined enjoying for his or her beloved “brate” — the phrase for brother in Serbian that Milojević so lovingly used for the entire Warriors. Kuminga made all 11 of his photographs on the best way to 25 factors as seven Warriors scored in double figures. He matched Corridor of Famer Chris Mullin’s franchise document for many photographs made with out a miss.

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“It’s been a tricky week,” Kuminga stated. “Clearly we sort of regroup with every part that was happening and went on the market and simply take pleasure in and simply have enjoyable and do what Deki would need us to do.”

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In an emotional pregame ceremony, the 2 groups stood united on one sideline close to their staff benches and listened because the Serbian nationwide anthem performed in his honor. Every Warrior participant then positioned an additional jersey with Milojević’s title on the again worn throughout warmups on one of many teaching chairs, which additionally featured a particular black T-shirt with the phrase “BRATE” draped over the seat.

“There’s nonetheless a extremely huge gap in our staff,” Thompson stated.

Milojević suffered a coronary heart assault final Tuesday evening at a staff dinner in Salt Lake Metropolis and died the subsequent day. Two injured Warriors, Chris Paul and Gary Payton II, wore their jerseys with Milojević on the again all sport.

A tribute video performed on the large display screen and images throughout Chase Heart confirmed a beaming “Deki,” as they so fondly referred to as him. Kerr referred to as for the sellout crowd — the Warriors’ franchise-record five hundredth consecutive — to rejoice the enjoyment Milojević exuded every single day with a standing ovation in lieu of a second of silence.

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Two members of the Hawks had been proper subsequent to Kerr because the Warriors coach spoke of Milojević’s profound affect on each individual he encountered. Atlanta guard Bogdan Bogdanovic is a local of Belgrade who performed for Milojević’s former Partizan staff. Hawks assistant coach Igor Kokoskov was the Serbian nationwide staff coach and employed Milojević onto his workers.

“There’s such a robust Serbian connection on this league,” Kerr stated.

Bogdanovic scored 17 factors with 4 3-pointers, whereas Dejounte Murray led the best way with 23 factors within the Hawks’ third straight loss.

“This sport had significance past the sport,” Hawks coach Quin Snyder stated.

Dario Saric is the one who grew to become the assist individual for Milojević’s household this previous week and he imagines he can be pondering of Deki every single day for the foreseeable future — the coach performed a key function in Saric coming to the Warriors.

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“He had such a terrific affect on me in a brief time frame,” Saric stated. “He was like my older brother.”

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Curry and Thompson shot a mixed 10 for 18 from deep because the Warriors completed 48.5% with 16 made 3-pointers. Curry, Thompson and Draymond Inexperienced notched their four-hundredth regular-season victory collectively.

“That’s very particular,” Thompson stated. “Any time I’m on the court docket with these two I’m very grateful.”

The Warriors went eight days in between video games, the primary staff to go eight or extra days with out enjoying within the common season not together with the All-Star break or the stoppage for the pandemic in March 2020 was the 2020-21 Spurs with 9 days from Feb. 14-24, 2021, in keeping with Elias.

It additionally marked the longest stretch with out enjoying throughout the season in Warriors franchise historical past.

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Hawks: Host the Mavericks on Friday evening.

Warriors: Host the Kings on Thursday evening to finish a home-home back-to-back.

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