SAN FRANCISCO – The Warriors were hoping the return of Draymond Green to the lineup Monday night at Chase Center would address some of their problems, and maybe they did.
But it brought no real solutions.
A 122-108 thumping by the Utah Jazz pushed the Warriors’ losing streak to a season-high four games and dropped them back into being the sole occupant of the Western Conference cellar.
Green, who missed four games with a sprained left index finger, was so frustrated he griped himself into two technical fouls and the automatic ejection that comes with such a package.
Here are three takeaways from another Warriors loss.
Good news: Improved rebounding
With 7-foot-1 center Rudy Gobert doing most of the snagging, grabbing 13.0 rebounds per game, the Jazz have maintained a slight edge over opponents.
The Warriors weren’t in the mood to fall victim to that trend.
After being clobbered on the glass the past two games in Minnesota and Oklahoma City, the Warriors submitted a more than respectful performance, winning that battle 44-43.
Green grabbed seven in 22 minutes before he was ejected with 8:28 left in the fourth quarter. Centers Willie Cauley-Stein and Marquese Chriss combined for 19. Eric Paschall, coming off the bench, pulled six.
Now, the question is whether they can string together a few games where they don’t get savaged on the glass.
Bad news: Same ol’ defense
Once again, there were too many occasions when a Warriors opponent had an open shot. Open corner 3-pointers. Open half-court dunks. Open via backdoor cuts.
Sometimes, it’s slow rotations. Other times, it’s miscommunication. Sometimes, it’s a lack of awareness. Other times, it’s outright negligence.
There was the reasonable belief that some of these issues would be resolved, at least somewhat, with Green’s return. For the most part, they were not.
Utah, which entered the game shooting 45.6 percent from the field as a team, simply lit it up, shooting 49.4 percent from the field, including 45.7 percent from deep. A better measure of came through the first three quarters -- before the rather inconsequential fourth -- when the Jazz scorched the nets at a 55.9-percent clip, including an astonishing 57.7 percent from deep.
D-Lo’s one-man show
For the third consecutive game, D’Angelo Russell led the Warriors in scoring. Maybe he wants to. He surely has to, or these losses would all fall under the category of gratuitous bullying.
Shooting 13-of-25 from the field, including 5-of-9 beyond the arc, Russell finished with 33 points, running his average to 38.3 points per game over the last three since returning from a three-game absence with a mild right ankle sprain.
Though three other Warriors reached double figures, Russell’s 17 first-quarter points exceeded the total of any of his teammates.
Yeah, it’s obvious. Without Steph Curry around to fill it up, the Warriors need D-Lo to keep shooting. He doesn’t seem to mind.