Warriors

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 127-101 loss to Lakers

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 127-101 loss to Lakers

OAKLAND -- The Warriors chose Christmas Day to do something they’ve rarely done in four-plus seasons under coach Steve Kerr.

On national TV, in prime time in front of most of America, they let loose with a stinker at Oracle Arena, and lost 127-101 to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Warriors were outshot, outhustled and outsmarted by a frisky Lakers team that lost LeBron James to a groin injury with 7:51 left in the third quarter but still rolled.

Here are three takeaways from a game in which the Warriors, who fell to 23-12, never led after the opening minutes:

Santa Claus didn’t bring the Dubs any defense

If the Warriors are to string together an impressive run of games, they will have to do it with defense. It has been inconsistent at best, and it didn't show up Tuesday night.

Too many late rotations, sloppy switches and half-hearted closeouts contributed mightily to the Lakers (20-14) taking control early behind 52.4 percent shooting in the first quarter and hiking it to 63.6 percent in the second. That’s a 58.1 percent first half.

The Warriors turned it up briefly in the third quarter, after James left, to pull within three (78-75, 2:48 left in the quarter) before the Lakers recovered and pulled away, shooting 55.3 percent for the game.

And this is a team that, in the minds of many observers, doesn’t have enough shooting.

The Warriors victimized themselves with individual breakdowns, and there also were team breakdowns. Most of it, though, was a matter of them not doing enough -- with the exception of their third-quarter spurt -- to make their presence felt.

Iguodala was a lonely cook

The Warriors don’t often turn to Andre Iguodala for offense, but on this night, they didn’t have much of a choice.

With Stephen Curry struggling and Klay Thompson virtually irrelevant, Iguodala got assertive, responding with a season- and team-high 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting, including 3 of 5 from beyond the arc.

Kevin Durant found his way to 21 points, while Curry had 15 and Thompson added just five.

Iguodala, averaging 4.8 points per game this season, was, for most of this contest, the Warriors' most effective offensive option. He added five rebounds and four assists off the bench.

Odds are the Warriors will lose if Iguodala is the high scorer despite Curry, Durant and Thompson all being healthy.

Thompson still seeking his shot

Thompson had another miserable shooting night, going 2 of 7 overall, including 1 of 3 from deep. His five-point night not only was his lowest of the season but also marked the first time he failed to reach double figures in a game.

Thompson now is 8 of 39 from deep over his last six games. His scoring totals have been, in order, 27 points, 16, 12, 14, 12 and five.

The eighth-year shooting guard entered the game shooting a career-low 33.7 percent from deep.

The man who became an All-Star because of his 3-point shooting has become consistently unreliable beyond the arc.

Lakers center JaVale McGee tricks Warriors before dunk in preseason game

javaledunkus.jpg
USATSI

Lakers center JaVale McGee tricks Warriors before dunk in preseason game

JaVale McGee pulled a sneaky one from his bag of tricks Wednesday night against his old team. 

In the third quarter of the Warriors' 126-93 preseason loss to the Lakers at Staples Center, McGee began limping and grabbing his left knee. Within about three or four seconds, it seemed his antics became clear: JaVale was faking an injury. 

The Lakers center went from crouched out of bounds to back in play in a flash to catch a pass from fellow big man Anthony Davis and throw down a dunk. McGee couldn't help but laugh at the expense of his former Golden State teammates. 

But on Thursday, McGee claimed he thought he actually was injured. 

After chuckling about the play, McGee told reporters, "I hit my knee, I really hit my knee. And it hurt. I went out of bounds and I saw Draymond guarding AD and I was like, forget the pain, I'm gonna go get these buckets. So I ran back in and got a dunk.

"But I really did bump my knee." 

McGee didn't seem to be in any pain running back on defense, however, only he knows how his body truly felt.

[RELATED: What Draymond was right -- and wrong -- about in Suns rant]

If he was faking an injury, that kind of tomfoolery might seem illegal at first, but in reality, McGee looks like a genius who perfectly knows the rule book. Section XV of the NBA rule book states: "An offensive player shall not leave the playing area of the court without returning immediately and cannot repeatedly leave and re-enter the court." There are exceptions, though, the first of which comes from an injury. 

While the Lakers have been dominating the Warriors in the preseason, McGee has been catching up on his reading. The Dubs, and the rest of the NBA, surely will have their eyes on JaVale goes down.

Andre Iguodala discusses his NBA future, won't be like Vince Carter

Andre Iguodala discusses his NBA future, won't be like Vince Carter

Nobody knows which team Andre Iguodala is going to finish the 2019-20 season with.

But we do know that the former Warriors forward will become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

How many more seasons for the 2015 NBA Finals MVP?

"I could play like Vince Carter. I could. I won't," Iguodala said Thursday on Hot 97 radio out of Brooklyn. "I'm really excited about the things that I got going off the court. Patience is killing me on the schedule. I'm ready to go full-time off the court.

"But I'll probably play like two, three more years. Three years max. So we'll see how things shake up. I've been working out. I'm in really good shape. I'm the leanest I've been in awhile."

Iguodala -- who will turn 36 years old on Jan. 28 -- is entering his 16th NBA season.

Carter -- who will turn 43 years old on Jan. 26 and was drafted fifth overall by the Warriors in 1998 -- is entering his record-setting 22nd NBA season.

Iguodala, meanwhile, is waiting for the Grizzlies to strike a deal. If they can't trade him by the Feb. 6 deadline, the expectation is that the sides will agree to a buyout -- allowing the two-time All-Defensive selection to pick his next team.

[RELATEDReport: Iguodala set on two teams if he gets Grizz buyout]

"Hopefully it happens sooner than later," Iguodala told Hot 97.

In the meantime, he will have to keep working on his golf game and watching the Dubs from afar.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram