Warriors

Without Green, Iguodala, fourth quarter turns into disaster for Warriors vs Rockets

Without Green, Iguodala, fourth quarter turns into disaster for Warriors vs Rockets

OAKLAND -- The defending champion Warriors started cracking in the hours before tipoff Tuesday night and broke apart when they usually come together.

The fourth quarter was a disaster area and it cost the Warriors, as the Houston Rockets wiped out a 13-point deficit and tagged them with a 122-121 loss before a stunned sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.

So ends, as it should, the spurious notion of a rubber-stamp championship for the Warriors. A strain here and a tweak there and they found themselves on the painful end of the score.

The Warriors learned prior to the game that forward Andre Iguodala, their valuable Sixth Man, would be out nursing a strained back. They were hit with another injury, this one to Draymond Green, who was highly effective, late in the third quarter.

“He was our best player tonight,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He was the guy who was bringing the energy and the life.”

Green’s numbers -- 9 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists -- barely hint at his value in this game. Green and Iguodala are the primary defensive communicators, and Green held it down fairly well -- until he, too, was gone.

“Our communication wasn’t very good and we didn’t stick to the game plan; we gave them too many wide-open threes,” said Klay Thompson, who scored 11 first-quarter points but only 5 over the final three.

“We did a good job in the half-court of keeping them in front,” said Kevin Durant, who also scolded himself for committing eight turnovers. “But in transition we got cross-matched so many times and we just didn’t communicate well enough.”

Games aren’t always lost in the fourth, despite the frequent narrative, but this one most assuredly was. With Green in the locker room accompanied by ice, the Warriors were outscored 34-20 in the fourth quarter.

After shooting 45.8 percent through three quarters, the Rockets took it to 56 percent in the fourth, closing the game on a 13-5 run over the final 4:01.

The Warriors don’t yet know when Green and Iguodala will return, whether it’s as soon as Friday at New Orleans or a matter of weeks. Until they do, Kerr will have to resort to patching things together.

Problem is, aside from the scoring of Nick Young (23 points on 8-of-9 shooting, including 6-of-7 from deep) and Jordan Bell (8 points on 4-of-5 shooting in 12 minutes), the bench did not distinguish itself.

That was particularly true on defense, which happen to be where Iguodala and Green make their greatest impact. The reserves accounted for 13 of the 25 fouls called on the Warriors.

“We’ve got to be better,” Durant said. “We’ve got to be better, and we’re looking forward to practice Wednesday.”

Mike Brown explains why Warriors players respect the young 76ers

embiid.jpg
AP

Mike Brown explains why Warriors players respect the young 76ers

On Saturday night in Philadelphia, the 76ers led the Warriors by 24 points early in the third quarter.

With about five minutes left in the game, Golden State led the game 115-97.

It was an incredible turn of events.

On Monday morning, Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown was asked about the 76ers during a radio appearance on KNBR 680.

"They're gonna be good. Right now, they're just kind of finding their way," Brown said. "The thing that I think our guys really like most about that group is -- they don't back down from anybody. They're confident in their abilities, they're confident in their team and they kind of let you know it.

"They talk about it during the course of a game. Our most vocal guy, Draymond, is like that and usually when Draymond shows respect to guys, the rest of our team follows."

Said Steph Curry: "They're on the right path. Waiting on Markelle to get back, and put all the puzzle pieces together but I'm sure they're ready to turn the page from building to actually cementing their idenity and how they're gonna be. I'm pretty sure they're close. They play an exciting brand of basketball. In the first half they showed if you're not ready to play, they can come out and do some amazing things."

[RELATED: Joel Embiid 'likes' Kevin Durant's postgame comments]

Kevin Durant on Ben Simmons: "Something I've never seen before as really playing the point guard at that height and that speed and that strength. You can tell he's an Aussie, too, because he doesn't mind getting into some scuffles or showing his little fiesty side. That's gonna mean well for the Sixers down the line ... all the amazing pieces that they have here ... they're gonna be a load coming up this year, next year, year after that."

Also -- Joel Embiid is hilarious and the world is a better place because of him.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Warriors GM Bob Myers has zero tolerance for two things

myers-bob-ecu.jpg
USATI

Warriors GM Bob Myers has zero tolerance for two things

Warriors general manager Bob Myers traveled to the East Coast for the team's current road trip.

With Golden State playing in Brooklyn on Sunday, Myers joined "The Woj Pod" for a conversation with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

One question from Woj: "What do you have no tolerance for? Is there something that you've just said, 'I will not allow that.'" 

Myers' response: "There's a couple things I don't like. I don't like arrogance and I don't like selfish -- people that think they're more than the whole team. One thing I've heard about San Antonio -- that I think is true -- they tell their players, or anybody that works there, that you have to get over yourself. And I think that's great. It's not about one person. And when it ever does become about one person, I think that everyone suffers.

"The team is the most important thing. You're a part of that -- whatever part you play in our team is to serve the team and the goals and to win. And when that happens, you'll get your own individual accolades, or whatever you're hoping to obtain. But when I see someone that tries to step outside of that a little bit and says, 'What about me?' Whether it's deflecting blame or having credit, I just don't like that.

"I just don't subscribe to one person doing anything by themselves. It's not true."

The Warriors' general manager must be referring to arrogance off the court, because Steve Kerr has repeatedly said that Steph Curry is "incredibly arrogant on the floor and humble off the court."

We deserve some clarification Mr. Myers... (kidding, of course).

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller