Warriors

Warriors need to 'take another look' in mirror after bad loss to Suns

Warriors need to 'take another look' in mirror after bad loss to Suns

OAKLAND -- One day after the Warriors suffered a 33-point thrashing from the Celtics, Steve Kerr said his team had looked in the mirror.

Two hours before the Warriors beat the Nuggets to maintain the Western Conference's top spot Friday night, the coach praised his team's energy and expected a change in play.

Now, after a roller-coaster week in which the Warriors beat the best and lost to the worst of the NBA, they're again searching for answers after a 115-111 loss to the Suns on Sunday night.

"We laid an egg," Kerr said.

Golden State's fortunes didn't start off bad. The Warriors jumped to a 27-11 lead in the first quarter. Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant combined for 20 of the Dubs' 29 first-quarter points.

Then, the Suns, who beat the Warriors for the first time since Nov. 18, 2014, went on a 42-26 run, taking control of the contest. Devon Booker had 37 points and 11 assists, and Kelly Oubre added 22 points, including four 3-pointers.

Adding to the Warriors' troubles, Thompson finished the game 6 of 17 from the field after making four of his first five shots. In the fourth quarter, when the Warriors were trying to salvage an otherwise uninspired performance, Durant rolled his ankle, leaving the game for good.

Golden State's issues, according to them, is rooted in a lack of focus and energy, which, recently, has manifested in the second quarter. Over the Warriors' last five games, they have been outscored 177-142 in the second. On Sunday, they were outrebounded, outshot and committed more fouls than the Suns, who not only are the worst team in the league but were playing their second game in two nights.

"Karma," Kerr said of the performance. "When you don't deserve to win with, in terms of execution, energy connection, the ball doesn't go in. I like that about basketball. You tend to earn things like points and rebounds -- you earn a win. We didn't earn a win, so that's the bottom line." 

Since the All-Star break, the Warriors, despite evidence to the contrary, have been emphasizing that this season is different than last, when Golden State lost 13 of its last 20 games entering the postseason. Yet the Warriors rank 20th in 3-point percentage and 28th in turnovers, and are just 4-5 since the All-Star break. At 45-21, they're on track to finish worse than last year's 58-24 mark to close the season.

"That's been some of the narrative over our season, because there's nothing else to talk about in terms of trying to get to the playoffs and build the right habits," Stephen Curry said. "But we just haven't been able to put a consistent string of games together after the All-Star break. [We're] still the first in the West and still understand what our goal is to get home court and go into the playoffs with the right mentality."

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While the Warriors' loss stings, they still have a chance to right the wrongs of the last few weeks. With games against the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder on the ledger, Golden State looks to stay atop the West. But, before that can happen, they'll have to figure themselves out within.  

"We have to look back in the mirror again," Kerr said. "Take another look."

Draymond Green sports wrist wrap after Warriors' Game 4 win, insists he's fine

Draymond Green sports wrist wrap after Warriors' Game 4 win, insists he's fine

Draymond Green was all over the place in Game 4.

The Warriors forward finished with 10 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two blocks in Golden State's 113-105 win over the LA Clippers on Sunday. He also came away with a brace on his right hand, though he told NBC Sports Bay Area's Logan Murdock that he's fine.

No word on what the injury is, but Green has two days to receive treatment before the Warriors and Clippers meet Wednesday night in Game 5. Golden State would claim the best-of-seven NBA playoff series with a win in Oakland.

"You gotta know that they are going to come out and play hard, " Green told NBC Sports Bay Area's Kerith Burke after the game. "This is a team, their backs have been against the wall all year, and they put their head down and continued to work. So, we got to come out and withstand that first punch, and if we withstand that, we'll put ourselves in a good position."

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 113-105 Game 4 win vs. Clippers

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 113-105 Game 4 win vs. Clippers

BOX SCORE

LOS ANGELES -- The Warriors have struggled with complacency all season long, sometimes letting inferior teams get the best of them on a national stage. 

That did not happen Sunday afternoon, when Golden State beat the LA Clippers 113-105 in Game 4 of their first-round NBA playoff series, taking a three-games-to-one series lead back to Oakland. Game 5 is scheduled for Wednesday night.

Any concern of early morning fatigue quickly vanished as the Warriors shot 50 percent in the first quarter, taking a quick 10-point lead. 

Here are the takeaways from the win at Staples Center.

Klay day (and everybody's celebratin')

Thompson got going early, making his first seven shots. He had 27 points by halftime, and finished with 32 points on 12-of-20 shooting from the field. 

With LA keeping a close eye on Kevin Durant after his Game 3 performance and Stephen Curry struggling, there were many looks to be had for the veteran marksman. 

Thompson's Game 4 performance came with a bit of redemption. Entering Sunday, he had made just five 3-pointers in the series. As the postseason drags on, performances like what Thompson did Sunday will be increasingly imperative for the Warriors. 

Easy money

Following Thompson's lead, Durant churned in an impressive performance, finishing with 33 points, seven rebounds and six assists. 

Durant provided a stabilizing force in the third quarter as the Clippers took a brief lead, hitting a few jumpers to keep the Warriors afloat and take a three-point lead into the fourth. 

Much has been made of Durant's facilitating over the last few weeks, but he's been as aggressive as ever in the two games in Los Angeles, scoring more than 30 points in each outing. 

Curry getting too personal(s)

While Thompson and Durant cooked, Curry was cold, finishing with just 12 points on 3-of-14 shooting from the field. A big reason for Curry's shooting woes was his foul trouble, as he racked up four personals, two of which came in the first quarter. 

Fouling has been an impediment for Curry in this series. Through four games, he has committed 17 personals, and he nearly fouled out of Game 3. 

For the Warriors and Curry to be successful, he'll have to stay on the floor and out of foul trouble.