Warriors recover, reboot after stunning loss to Lakers

Warriors recover, reboot after stunning loss to Lakers

OAKLAND – After a full day to sweep away their sleepiest performance of the season, the Warriors returned to work Sunday and followed their usual routine in the wake of a stunning setback.

They went through extensive video review, and they practiced a bit longer and with more fervor than usual.

“With the day off yesterday, we got up and down,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We won’t scrimmage the rest of the week in our practice sessions, so (we did) a little extra work today.”

Though the Warriors were comprehensively deficient in a 117-97 loss to the Lakers, the most startling element was on defense. They failed to consistently switch or communicate, which are the pillars of their defense. They repeatedly blew assignments.

“We made some mistakes with our coverages that we’ll get better with,” Kerr said.

Asked if he could remember a previous game when the Warriors were so sloppy and unfocused on defense, forward Draymond Green struggled to identify one.

“I’m sure there’s one somewhere,” he said. “But it’s not something that you think of right off the top of your head.

“But that was definitely one of those where it was like every time we made a run, it was breakdown, breakdown, breakdown. You can’t really have that and win at a high level.”

The Lakers shot 64 percent in the pivotal second quarter, when they hiked a nine-point lead to as much as 19. The Lakers attacked the paint with regularity, putting up 46 shots and making 32 (69.6 percent). LA made eight 3-pointers, the Warriors five.

Such numbers pave a path to disaster, and they’re not something the Warriors care to see over the 76 games remaining in the regular season.

“We can learn a lot from that game the other night,” Kerr said. “Hopefully, we get off to a good start this coming week. We’ve got four games, three of them at home, so let’s set the table for the week.”

Green, though visibly perturbed during and after the game, was a bit more circumspect two days removed.

“You’ll always have moments where you feel like you’re taking a step back,” he said. “That’s a part of the 82-game season. It’ll happen again. And it’ll happen again after that.

“You can take something away from any game. At this point, it’s the sixth game of the year. If you’re not taking nothing away from the game, you got a problem.”

Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss


Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss

OAKLAND -- If Quinn Cook plays at anything close to the level he performed Friday night against the Kings, the Warriors should avoid any catastrophic stumbling in the absence of their top three scorers.

They stumbled plenty in a 98-93 loss to Sacramento, but not because of Cook. The two-way player who has spent most of the season with G-League Santa Cruz scored a team-high 25 points, shot 10-of-13 from the field and played respectable defense.

He did more than could have been reasonably expected.

“I felt like this was coming,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He was fantastic. He really lit it up and gave us a huge boost.”

The Warriors ran into problems elsewhere, shared among the usually reliable veterans who need to be particularly reliable in the absence of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.

Usual starters Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia combined to shoot 6-of-20.

Usual reserves Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, David West and Nick Young shot a collective 13-of-39.

In the second half, when Warriors mustered only 34 points -- a season-low for any half -- the six vets combined to take 32 shots and missed 24.

Those are atrocious numbers and they explain what went wrong in a game that was there for the taking.

They’re also an anomaly.

“We just couldn’t get anything going,” Green said. “But we got some good shots. We got ‘Dre on a couple of pull-ups in the lane, I got a couple open shots, Nick got a couple open shots, Zaza got a couple open ones. D-West had one pop in and out. (Kevon Looney) had two pop in and out.

“We just got cold. But hopefully those shots will fall tomorrow.”

West, returning after missing four games with a cyst on his right arm, was 1-of-6 from the field. He came into this game as a 60.8-percent shooter this season.

Igoudala was 4-of-10; he shot 70 percent over the previous 10 games. Young was 5-of-15, well below his 44-percent shooting this season. Livingston’s 3-of-8 shooting is uncharacteristic of someone shooting at least 50 percent for four years running.

If history is any indication, Green (5-of-14) and Pachulia (1-of-6) are not going continue to miss at the rate they did in this game, the first this season in which the Warriors were without all three of their top scorers.

If history is any indication, the Warriors can’t be counted on to score 34 points on 27.3-percent shooting in the second half of a game.

“I loved how our guys battled,” Kerr said. “They really competed well and made some big plays. We just couldn’t get the ball to go down quite enough in the second half.”

That’s going to change, perhaps as soon as Saturday night in Phoenix, were the Suns are playing to lose.

So if Cook plays steady basketball, the Warriors will fall off and their fans won’t become a basket case while waiting for the three shooters. The Warriors surely believe that.

“He really showed up. I’ve been waiting on that Quinn,” Green said. “We needed that. It was great for him to come out and play like that. And most importantly, his shots were falling. Since he’s been playing (more often) he’s been playing well, but his shots weren’t really falling. But tonight, they fell for him.”

They won’t always fall at a rate of 77 percent. They won’t have to once his teammates drop in a few more of their own shots.

Casspi rolls ankle, leaves game vs Kings


Casspi rolls ankle, leaves game vs Kings

OAKLAND -- Omri Casspi sustained a sprained right ankle with 9:00 left in the second quarter of the Warriors-Kings game Friday night and did not return.

After dropping in a short hook shot with 9:04 left in the quarter, Casspi landed awkwardly, rolling his ankle and dropping to the floor clutching his lower leg. Down for a couple minutes, he eventually got up and limped into the locker room, accompanied by physical performance specialist Chelsea Lane.

Casspi played six minutes off the bench, producing 6 points, one assist and one rebound against his former team.

He joins Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Pat McCaw and Klay Thompson on the sideline.