Warriors

Presented By montepoole
Warriors

SAN ANTONIO -- The Warriors concluded their worst road trip in the Steve Kerr era Sunday night with a 104-92 loss to the Spurs before a merciless sellout crowd at AT&T Center.

Golden State's three-game swing through Texas resulted in losses in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio -- the first 0-3 trip under Kerr, who took over as coach in 2014-15.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors’ fifth loss in seven games:

Durant still off his game

For the Warriors to give themselves their best chance at victory, they need Kevin Durant to be himself.

He is not.

And it’s not just the atypically poor shooting -- he was 8 of 25 from the field, including 1 of 8 from deep, in scoring a team-high 26 points. It’s that there were, again, visible signs of frustration, largely manifested in overreactions.

Durant often chirped at officials. He was whistled for a technical foul early in third quarter after fouling DeMar DeRozan because he still was fuming about a non-call on his shot. He later gestured before leaping into a 180-degree spin on a call against him but did not draw a whistle.

With Durant often seeming unfocused, it’s safe to assume he might be bothered by the events of the week centering on his public spat with teammate Draymond Green.

[RELATED: Joe Lacob says Warriors didn't pick sides in Draymond-Durant beef]

It was an ugly incident to be sure, but the Warriors need Durant to move past it and start taking out his frustrations on opponents.

 

Until he does, every game will be struggle.  

Cook again provides a spark

For the third consecutive game, Kerr started Andre Iguodala at point guard. For the third consecutive game, the Warriors came up short.

Maybe it’s time to turn it back over to Quinn Cook.

It’s not what Iguodala is doing wrong. It’s what Cook provides that Iguodala doesn’t, mainly stretching the floor and being a threat to score from anywhere on the court.

Coming off the bench, Cook pumped some life into a Warriors offense that barely had a pulse. He scored 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 1 of 4 from beyond the arc. This followed a 15-point night Saturday in Dallas.

Starting Iguodala in Houston made perfect sense. His defense was needed against a Rockets backcourt featuring James Harden and Chris Paul, who would have torched Cook. But the move hasn't paid dividends in the last two games.

Don’t be surprised if Kerr recognizes this and goes back to Cook as soon as Wednesday.

[RELATED: Warriors must strike delicate balance between confidence and arrogance]

The ball is sticking and sticking and sticking ...

The staple of Golden State's offense is movement by the players and, even more so, by the ball. The Warriors seem to have forgotten that.

After a 24-assist night Saturday, they managed just 20 against the Spurs. The Warriors, who have led the NBA in assists each of the past four seasons, are averaging 21 over their last three games.

This is a team that enters every game with a goal of reaching the 30-assist mark.

Some of this undoubtedly is related to Klay Thompson and Durant trying to do too much as individuals. That’s natural, given the injury absence of Stephen Curry and the short-handed state of team.

But it’s not Warriors basketball.