SAN FRANCISCO -- The Warriors entered Chase Center on Monday seeking the modest goal of winning consecutive games for the first time this season.
They failed, with a hail of missed shots and a flurry of turnovers sending them to a 110-102 loss to a Grizzlies team that had lost nine of its last 10 games.
The Warriors fell behind early, briefly went ahead in the third quarter and spent the fourth quarter trying to mount a comeback they couldn’t quite complete.
Here are three takeaways from a game in which the Warriors shot 37.6 percent and were picked apart on defense in the second half:
Morant routs Paschall in battle of rookies
Each team came into the game with a strong Rookie of the Year candidate, forward Eric Paschall for the Warriors and guard Ja Morant for the Grizzlies.
Morant, who had missed the last four games with back spasms, was better on this night and it was not close.
Paschall scored only five points, 12 below his average, while shooting 2-of-10 from the field and 0-of-2 from beyond the arc. He grabbed two rebounds and finished minus-14 over 22 minutes.
Morant practically willed the Grizzlies to victory, scoring 26 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 3-of-5 from deep and 7-of-8 from the line. He added seven assists and two rebounds, playing 29 minutes.
Morant made a couple dazzling plays, including a soaring dunk to give Memphis a 108-100 lead with 1:19 to play, effectively closing out the Warriors.
Draymond cranks up the offense
Though Draymond Green’s reputation for being a highly-effective defender lives on, he often is subjected to critiques about his scoring ability.
It’s not that he can’t. It’s that he usually doesn’t and hasn’t had to -- until now.
Presumably taking note of the team’s scoring challenges, Green immediately turned up his aggression on offense, scoring a team-high 14 first-half points in 16 minutes. Green, along with veteran guard Alec Burks (11 points), kept the offense from falling flat in the first half.
Green totaled 16 points, tying a season-high, shooting 6-of-13 from the field and 1-of-3 from deep.
The Warriors are a different team when Green is a scoring threat. It appears he is attempting to better establish that on a roster that needs it.
Oh, those turnovers
Coach Steve Kerr hasn’t done much ranting about turnovers, a subject he often harped on over the last five seasons. Perhaps because of the youth and relative shared inexperience of his roster.
That’s about to change.
The turnovers are becoming almost routine. After rarely coming close to the 20-turnover mark in the first 20 games, the Warriors are averaging 19.0 over the last five. They committed 15 Monday night.
Worst of all, most of the turnovers were of the live-ball variety. The Grizzlies turned those 15 turnovers into 22 points.
That’s what stings most of all, seeing those giveaways turn into easy points the other way. The Warriors’ last five opponents, including Memphis, averaged 21.0 points off turnovers.