Reliable reserves maintain Warriors' high level

OAKLAND >> They are “The Others,” Golden State’s tight-knit second unit of non-superstars. The backups, and a talented bunch, indeed.

Shaun Livingston heard a while back that Shaquille O’Neal had been referring to Steve Kerr’s reliable reserves as “The Others.” It caught on — and no insult taken by the Warriors.

“It makes sense, I know what he was trying to say,” Livingston said of Shaq. “It’s more about separating the superstars to the bench guys, the superstars to the others or starters to the bench, however you want to say it.”

They were a huge reason the NBA-best Warriors rebounded from a short rough patch to run off a 14-game winning streak after Kevin Durant went down with a knee injury.

They take great pride in their roles of spelling KD, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson while maintaining a high level of play.

“A lot of people do talk about the four of us, but one thing that’s constant in this organization is everybody — the strength in numbers,” Green said, “the depth that we rely on so heavily throughout the course of the year and through the playoffs.”

And who knows? It might not be much of a stretch that Golden State’s second team could be a playoff eight seed on its own.

The Warriors needed everybody on their bench during Durant’s recent 19-game absence, and again Wednesday night in a commanding playoff win against the Trail Blazers as KD sat out with a strained calf. Golden State leads the…

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