Warriors

What we learned as Steph trails Allen by one, Dubs beat Pacers

Warriors
Steph shooting

With 15 seconds left in the Warriors' game against the Indiana Pacers on Monday night, Steph Curry had an opportunity to tie Ray Allen's 3-point record. He missed the shot.

But Kevon Looney was right there to snatch the rebound and get the put-back bucket to give the Warriors a two-point lead with 13 seconds left. After the timeout, Gary Payton II forced Indiana to turn over the ball. With 2.2 seconds left, the Warriors inbounded the ball and turned it over, but the Pacers didn't have enough time to get a shot off.

Looney's layup was the break the Warriors had been waiting for all night. And it decided the game, as the Warriors escaped Gainbridge Fieldhouse with a 102-100 win.

The game was anything but pretty for Golden State. Draymond Green and Steve Kerr were called for technical fouls in the first three minutes. Their offense struggled to sustain itself throughout the night. Fouls and turnovers cursed them all night.

Curry ended the night with a decent stat line: 26 points on 8-of-20 shooting, including five threes -- putting him two away from owning the all-time 3-point record. But, he still had a rough night. 

Green was Golden State's strongest player with 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting, nine rebounds and five assists.

A win is a win, but there is a lot for the Warriors (22-5) to work on.

Here are three takeaways from the win over the Pacers (12-17):

The offensive slump continues

Sure, the Warriors finished the night shooting exactly 50 percent from the floor, but for the first half of the night, Golden State's offense left a lot to be desired.

 

Midway through the second quarter, the Warriors were shooting just 10 percent from three, before bumping it up to 21.4 percent at halftime. 

This marks the third consecutive game where the Warriors' offense has been out of sync. But against Indiana, there wasn't a clear explanation as to why. 

Against the Portland Trail Blazers last week, it was because they were force-feeding the ball to Curry, taking them out of their natural rhythm. In Philadelphia, it was because the 76ers imposed their defense and shut the Warriors down. But against the Pacers, Golden State was just in a funk. 

They found a little rhythm in the third quarter -- as they usually do -- but it wasn't sustained. It's something to monitor moving forwards, especially after Curry breaks Allen's 3-point record. 

Turnovers, fouls still their Achilles heel

The Warriors' top-ranked defense was good, holding Indiana to 40 percent shooting, but the turnovers and fouls the Warriors committed allowed the Pacers to stick around throughout the night. 

The Pacers were credited for 11 steals while finishing with 21 second-chance points, were plus-13 points off turnovers and plus-13 on free throws points. 

Golden State coughed up the ball 18 times leading to 19 Indiana points. Curry was responsible for seven turnovers. 

The Warriors' live-ball turnovers were their biggest issue in this area, with the team just giving up the ball as they tried to work their way to the hoop or make plays for others. 

Several of Curry's turnovers were off of him simply losing his dribble, while a few others were from passes to no one. 

No contributions off the bench

The Warriors' depth has been highlighted as one of their biggest strengths. And it is. Usually, Golden State can count on a different player every night to step up in the second unit. 

Usually. 

On Monday, no one off the bench was up to par. Otto Porter Jr. did his best, finishing with 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting. But even Porter wasn't entirely himself, failing to hit a 3-pointer and he finished with a minus-7 net rating. 

The next highest scorer off the bench was a four-way tie with three points between Nemanja Bjelica, Jonathan Kuminga, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Payton.

For the Warriors to regain the rhythm they had a few weeks ago, their bench has to get back to the contributions they were making before. If not, the Warriors will struggle to get out of this slump.