OAKLAND -- The Warriors delivered a perfectly patchwork performance Tuesday night in their 108-100 win over the Thunder on opening night. Even in victory, it was evident they have a lot of work to do.
There was good and bad in near equal quantities, and everybody in the locker room was honest enough to acknowledge it. They’ll need to be substantially better to meet their standard, and they know it.
Here are two positives and two negatives apparent in sifting through the game, the reaction and video review:
Curry and Durant bringing the ‘O’
On a night when Klay Thompson simply didn’t have it -- 5 of 20 from the field and 1 of 8 beyond the arc, missing his last seven attempts from deep -- Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant found buckets.
Curry and Durant combined for 22 first-quarter points, helping the Warriors build a double-digit lead. The two scored seven of the team’s nine points inside the final two minutes to close out the win.
Curry finished with 32 points (11 of 20 from the field, 5 of 9 beyond the arc, 5 of 5 from the free-throw line), a game-high nine assists and eight rebounds. He was plus-15 in 37 minutes.
Durant also played 37 minutes, totaling 27 points (9 of 21 from the field, 0 of 5 from deep, 9 of 10 from the line), eight rebounds, six assists and one block. He was plus-14 for the game.
The rise of Kevon
Entering last season, there were legitimate concerns whether Kevon Looney could have a significant NBA career. The team’s first-round pick in the 2015 draft, he had undergone surgery on both hips, leaving much to doubt about his future.
He silenced those doubts. Effective on both ends, Looney was a solid contributor, which led to the next question: What is his ceiling?
That’s to be determined, but it’s clear he has not reached it. Always smart and fundamentally sound, Looney now is sprinkling in more instances of his athleticism.
He was hyperactive in the paint, protecting the rim and grabbing 10 rebounds -- eight on the offensive glass -- to extend multiple possessions. He blocked two shots and recorded two assists. That he was plus-23 in 18 minutes illustrates his impact.
Looney is shedding the skepticism. He’s 22. He has an NBA future.
Temporary loss of identity
The Warriors entered the second half with a 10-point lead. OKC needed less than five minutes to erase the deficit and go up by three, largely because the Warriors were passive on defense and strayed from their customary pass-happy offense.
The Thunder cut the deficit to three (64-61) when Durant locked in on Paul George and failed to switch onto Patrick Patterson, who hit a wide-open 3 off a George pass.
Two possessions later, after a George triple pulled OKC within two, a Draymond Green turnover led directly to a 3-ball by Dennis Schroder, who was given too much space by Curry. Thunder by one.
How did the Warriors respond? They went with back-to-back zero-pass possessions, first by Durant and the second by Thompson. When Klay misfired on a midrange jumper, Kerr popped off the bench.
What followed was predictable. Kerr called a timeout, but not before OKC had worked the ball inside to Steven Adams, who dropped it in for a three-point lead.
The Warriors went away from what they do best. A timeout helped them remember.
Iguodala limps into the locker room
Andre Iguodala left the game with 6:11 left in the second quarter and did not return. The Warriors announced the veteran wing was experiencing tightness in his left calf.
Maybe it’s something to worry about. Maybe it’s not.
But it didn’t take long -- 18 minutes into the season -- for those whispering concern about Iguodala’s routine availability to get their first nugget worth documenting.
Iguodala has missed 41 games over the last three seasons. When he missed 18 games last season, after signing a three-year contract with $48 million, the whispers started. He’s such an important member of the team, but the injuries are piling up.
There is no need to sound the alarms. But if the aches and pains and bruises start to add up, it’s valid to wonder if Iguodala is entering Andrew Bogut territory.