Warriors

W's open second half with ugly loss in Indiana

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W's open second half with ugly loss in Indiana

BOX SCORE

The Warriors started the second half of the season with a ... thud.Trying to build on a two-game winning streak, the Warriors got down big early, made a run in the second quarter and then were run off by the Pacers the court in the second half.The Warriors five-game road trip continues on Wednesday against Atlanta.Pacers 102, Warriors 78
Player of the game: Danny Granger seemed to toy with the Warriors on Tuesday, scoring 25 points in 29 minutes and scoring those points on a variety of defenders.In his previous seven games against the Warriors, Granger had averaged 31.6 points -- most against any opponent -- so in one respect the blowout loss helped Golden State limit Granger more than usual.After all, Granger didnt play in the fourth quarter.Embarrassing, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. We got outworked, did not take care of the basketball and allowed them to get into transition. The disappointing part is that we allowed out inability to make shots affect the way we defended.Key stretch: The Warriors stumbled late in the second quarter and it put them in a hole they couldnt get out of. The Pacers held a 41-37 lead with just under three minutes to play, but wound up outscoring the Warriors 11-1 to take a 52-38 halftime lead.During that stretch, the Warriors turned the ball over twice, missed four shots and allowed the Pacers two second-chance opportunities.This game was lost at the end of the second quarter, Jackson said. End of the first quarter we put together a run, got back into the game. But the end of the second quarter they go on an 8-1 run turnover, fastbreak, turnover, fastbreak. Thats where they won the ballgame.Missing 3-ball: Its no secret the Warriors rely heavily on the 3-point shot, so when theyre not falling Golden State can be in some trouble like on Tuesday.The Warriors missed 16 of their first 17 shots from beyond the arc so it was no wonder they were down 67-44 midway through the third quarter. When the Warriors cant connect from long range, it puts more pressure on their offense to score in other ways and that sometimes can be problematic because they have a lack of an inside game.For the game, the Warriors were 3-for-22 from beyond the arc.We went into the break playing great basketball and had a rhythm, Jackson said of wins over the L.A. Clippers and Phoenix. And tonight everything we had going for us was everything we didnt have tonight. We missed shots and youre going to miss shots. But we didnt win ballgames because we made shots, we won ballgames because we defended, took care of the ball and got back in transition.But you cant game plan for lack of effort, you cant game plan for turning the ball over and you cant game plan for giving up second-chance points.
Bad start: The Warriors didnt exactly come back from the break clicking on all cylinders. In fact, it was the opposite of that. The Pacers jumped out to a 10-0 lead, holding the Warriors scoreless for more than three minutes to start the game.No Curry: The Warriors played on Tuesday night without starting point guard Stephen Curry, who was nursing a strained tendon in his right foot.Curry sustained the injury in the first quarter of last Wednesdays game against the Phoenix Suns. The Warriors are calling Currys status day to day, however it seems like a longshot that Curry would play Tuesday at Atlanta.

Jordan Bell: Rookie year with Warriors 'like being a freshman all over again'

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AP

Jordan Bell: Rookie year with Warriors 'like being a freshman all over again'

Warriors rookie Jordan Bell made an instant impact for the team this season. But as of late, his playing time has dwindled. In four of the Warriors' last five games, Bell has been inactive. 

“It's just the life of a rookie,” Bell said to The Athletic. “That's what Steve Kerr always tells me. It's not because I'm playing bad. Just gotta be professional about it and stay ready. It's like being a freshman all over again.”

While Bell wants to be on the court with his teammates, what he appreciates most from Steve Kerr is his communication. Kerr is always honest about when he won't play Bell and he keeps the former Oregon Duck encouraged. 

“He talks to me about it every time he sees me,” Bell said. “Lets me know I'm not going to be active. Keep doing what you're doing, you're doing good. But it still f------ sucks. You're playing well and it doesn't mean anything because you're younger. It sucks, but you got to be professional about it.”

Bell has played in 12 of the Warriors' 18 games this season. The 22-year-old is averaging 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game over 8.3 minutes per game. 

The Warriors bought the 38th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft from the Chicago Bulls and selected Bell. On Friday night, the Warriors, and perhaps Bell, play the Bulls for the first time this season. 

One thing is pretty clear about these Warriors after 2-2 road trip

One thing is pretty clear about these Warriors after 2-2 road trip

The Warriors are not ready to flip their seek-and-destroy switch. Not yet.

They’re closer to being ready than, say, their longtime rivals in Cleveland, but in going 2-2 on this four-game road trip the Warriors showed they are nowhere near full annihilation mode.

They went into Oklahoma City Wednesday night and, in gulping down a 108-91 loss on national TV, came away looking more vulnerable than they have in any game this season. The 17-point loss was their largest margin of defeat and this was awful close to being a wire-to-wire rout.

The Warriors defense, so splendid during the seven-game win streak they took out of town last week, was inconsistent throughout and downright atrocious by their standards as they concluded the trip.

Their offense, which had begun reducing the turnovers to acceptable levels, came apart like a pair of $3 sneakers.

Even their body language, aside from two well-deserved technical fouls, seemed to mostly vacillate between whispers and a whimpers.

“We didn’t have any focus or concentration,” coach Steve Kerr said. “The ‘millennials’ couldn’t lock in tonight. And their coach couldn’t do much either. Long night for us.”

These were not the Warriors who posted seven consecutive double-digit wins, and they’re certainly not the team that found its competitive blowtorches last April. They weren’t visible in this game, nor were they seen for most of this road trip.

This, ahem, regular-season road trip.

That’s the catch. Last April is when the playoffs got underway, and next April is when the 2018 playoffs begin. The time between now and then is for experimenting, fine-tuning and fighting through the monotonous joys of victory -- a factor on vivid display Wednesday night.

“We played with some decent energy,” Stephen Curry said. “We just didn’t play smart.”

“They completely outplayed us, outcoached us,” Kerr said. “It was just their night. It was absolutely their night. They brought the energy, they brought the juice, they brought the intelligence. And we didn’t bring any of that.”

The Warriors entered the game after studying video and stats that illustrated OKC’s ability to disrupt an offense. The Thunder leads the NBA in steals, deflections and -- this one punches the Warriors in the gut -- forcing turnovers.

The Warriors committed 22 giveaways, leading directly to 34 Thunder points.

“Thirty-four points off turnovers, you can’t win like that,” Draymond Green said.

“I’ve got to do a better job of getting them ready to play,” Kerr said. “We have a pretty loose, fun atmosphere around here. That’s great, but there are certain times where it’s like, ‘All right guys. Let’s throw it to our team. Let’s execute the play. Let’s remember the play.’ ”

Kevin Durant bemoaned the “silly turnovers” that were such a factor in the game, blaming it players rather than Kerr and his staff.

“For the most part he can’t control that type of stuff,” said Durant, whose four turnovers were second to Curry’s team-high six. “We’ve got to be better at keeping the ball in our hands, shooting more shots than our opponents and playing defense.”

Added Green: “We were pretty well-prepared. We just played bad.”

That happens to even the best of teams, a category in which the defending champions fit quite snugly. No team, not even the Chicago Bulls of the maniacally competitive Michael Jordan, is able to bring its best for 82 games a season.

The Warriors blew two 17-point leads, one in second quarter and another in the third, in losing at Boston.

They fell behind by 24 in the third quarter to the 76ers before coming back to win in Philadelphia before recovering the next night to submit their best performance of the trip in routing Brooklyn.

And in OKC, against a Thunder team that would seem to get their full attention, the Warriors were outhustled, outsmarted and played with considerably less fury.

“Right now, we’re just in a little bit of rut, where we’ve got to focus,” Kerr said. “And I know we will. We’ve done this many times in the past and bounced back. And we’ll bounce back. We need to lock in and tighten up everything.”

They will, eventually. It could happen next week, or next month, or after the calendar turns to 2018. They’ll turn it on and become the team of terror, punishing all before them. It might be April, though.

This road game indicated some truth, though, which is there will be games over the next four months in which they will lose the battle with themselves.