SAN ANTONIO, TX – MAY 14: Harrison Barnes #40 of the Golden State Warriors takes a shot against Gary Neal #14 of the San Antonio Spurs during Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 14, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO – Warriors forward Harrison Barnes was named to the NBA All-Rookie first team, the league announced Tuesday. Then in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals, he went on to look like an All-NBA selection.
Barnes led the Warriors with 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting to go with seven rebounds in a 109-91 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. He had his 3-pointer and his midrange shot going, and his post game looked unstoppable at times.
“I didn’t realize he could put the ball on the floor as much as he could,” TNT analyst Kenny Smith said. “I didn’t realize he had individual one-on-one moves. … The NBA style of play and the way Mark Jackson has implemented him, the playoffs are a coming-out party for him.”
Barnes has scored 25 points in back-to-back playoff games. The last rookie to do that was the Spurs’ Tim Duncan in 1998. He is the third player under 21 since 1979 to score 20 points or more four times in a single postseason. The other two: Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson.
“Hard to celebrate after getting pounded like we did,” Barnes said.
He joined Portland guard Damian Lillard, Washington guard Bradley Beal, New Orleans forward Anthony Davis and Cleveland guard Dion Waiters on the first team.
“He was very excited,” coach Mark Jackson said. “Told all of the guys in our first huddle. Everybody high-fived and hugged and dapped and acted as if it was them who got the recognition. This is a total team thing.
While Jackson welcomed the news of Barnes’ first-team selection, it does require an adjustment on his part. He has talked nonstop about the Warriors getting snubbed from honors and recognition. But with Barnes being honored, his beef is mitigated.
"Yeah,” said Jackson, who finished seventh in Coach of the Year voting, “I’ve got to work on another angle.”
Point guard Stephen Curry acknowledged playing terribly. But he said it had nothing to do with his sprained left ankle.
“Not really,” said Curry, who scored nine points on 4-for-14 shooting. “I mean, it’s sore, but I came in feeling good and was pretty optimistic about how I could play tonight. But it didn’t go that way.”
Curry, who sprained the ankle in Game 2 against Denver and again late in Game 3 against San Antonio, was limited in his movement in Game 4. He needed an anti-inflammatory shot before Sunday’s game.
But Curry said he didn’t need a shot this time because his ankle had responded well.
Curry said his ankle probably won’t be 100 percent for the “foreseeable future.” But he dismissed talk of offseason surgery.
“As of right now, no,” Curry said. “I don’t think it’s been too much of a recurring issue, yet. Obviously, I’ve had two minor sprains in the last two or three weeks, but I’m not really in that mind frame. And the doctors don’t think that’s a situation we need to talk about now or hopefully ever.”
David Lee made his third consecutive appearance, his first on the road. He played 12, the most action he has seen since tearing his right hip flexor. He made all three of his shots and added a rebound, an assist and a steal.
“I think every time I’ve gone to him he’s given us great minutes and has given us a boost,” Jackson said. “I’m staying in contact with him, talking to him, seeing how he’s feeling. And he’s feeling better and better every day.”