Warriors takeaways: What we learned in blowout 129-112 loss to Rockets

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in blowout 129-112 loss to Rockets


HOUSTON -- The Rockets-Warriors rivalry has long been among the NBA's best. 

At the moment, it seems the battle is dormant, as evidenced by Golden State's 129-112 loss to Houston on Wednesday night. 

The young Warriors put up a fight early, shooting 50 percent from the field in the first quarter. However, after a Rockets' blitz over the next 12 minutes, the outcome was never in doubt.

Without Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, more of these games are expected from the Warriors, as they're forced to prioritize growth and development over wins. 

Here are three takeaways from Golden State's latest loss.  

Paschall struggles 

Entering Wednesday, Warriors rookie Eric Paschall had been averaging nearly 30 points and eight rebounds over his last two games. The trend didn't continue against the Rockets, as he finished with 19 points on just 6-of-14 shooting from the field. 

Much of Paschall's problems came at the hands of PJ Tucker, who took the primary defensive assignment on Golden State's rookie. 

He did have his moments, though, including a baseline slam in the second quarter that put the Warriors up four points. 

Wednesday's game was a reminder of Paschall's current place in the league. Though he's been successful in recent games, teams are now scouting him as Golden State's primary scorer. Over time, he will have to adjust through film work and practice, something the Warriors are confident will happen. 

Second quarter of doom

While Paschall struggled, his biggest contribution might have been for the other team. Following an and-1 in the second half over Rockets guard James Harden, the rookie walked to Golden State's bench and yelled, "He's food!" before making the ensuing free throw. 

Harden and the Rockets responded with a 23-8 run to close the half, outscoring the Warriors 33-23 in the second quarter. By halftime, Harden had scored 20 of his game-high 36 points. 

While Paschall's comments might have sparked the Houston outburst, the Rockets' performance was expected considering the talent gap between the two teams. So Paschall and the Warriors will have to charge this one to the mismatch.  

[RELATED: Dubs to re-evaluate Looney in two weeks, remain encouraged]

Another bad shooting night for Poole

Entering Wednesday, Jordan Poole was shooting 26 percent from the field. His luck didn't get any better by end of the night, as Poole finished just 2-of-11 from the field against the Rockets, scoring just eight points. 

Dating back to his college career, Poole has never been shy about chucking, regardless of what his shooting percentage is. That quality is admired by both players and coaches alike within the organization. Coach Steve Kerr has said that he has full confidence in the rookie's shot, no matter how accurate it is at the moment. 

Going forward, Poole's task will be to reward his team's trust and put the ball in the hoop.

Warriors' Eric Paschall recalls 'Whoa' moment of strong rookie season

Warriors' Eric Paschall recalls 'Whoa' moment of strong rookie season

One of the best moments of this forgettable Warriors' season happened in Game No. 7.

Rookie Eric Paschall celebrated his 23rd birthday on Nov. 4, 2019 by scoring 34 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in the Warriors' 127-118 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

It was a bright spot for a team that left the arena that night 2-5 on the season and would post just 13 more wins before the season was suspended due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

During an Instagram Live "Ask Me Anything" interview with 95.7 The Game's Whitley Sandretto, Paschall was asked for his favorite moment of this season.

"Definitely my game on my birthday," Paschall said. "I mean, can't complain about that day, I had 34 points, so I would definitely say that was my favorite game."

That was the coming-out party for the No. 41 overall draft pick.

Fans at Chase Center were chanting "MVP" for the rookie in his seventh game. It was a surreal moment for Paschall.

"That was probably one of the wildest things ever," Paschall said. "Again, a rookie, it's like, what was that, my fourth or fifth game? I don't know. It was very early and I'm getting MVP chants. I was like 'Whoa. This is a little crazy.' But it was cool. Again, I feel like Dub Nation has the best fans in the country, so I'm not complaining about it at all."

[RELATED: Paschall refuses to bash Kerr]

For the Warriors, it was mostly a lost season chalked up to major injuries to two superstars. But the development of Paschall is why it wasn't a completely lost season.

Mychal Mulder shares details of night Warriors offered 10-day contract

Mychal Mulder shares details of night Warriors offered 10-day contract

On Feb. 25, 2020, former Warriors guard Jarrett Jack made a free throw with one second remaining to lift the Sioux Falls Skyforce to a 100-99 win over the Austin Spurs in an intense G League battle.

Sioux Falls shooting guard Mychal Mulder did not have a memorable performance -- 11 points (4-for-12 overall, 2-for-10 3s), nine rebounds, one assist, two steals and two turnovers in over 32 minutes of action.

But his life changed forever later that night when he got a call from Kent Lacob of the Golden State Warriors.

"We just got done playing a game maybe a couple hours before, and I had a couple of my teammates at the house," Mulder explained to SportsByline. "We were just hanging around playing "UNO" (the card game) -- normal decompression stuff like that. Just hanging out, talking about the game -- it was close. Jarrett Jack actually game'd it for us -- winning on a free throw.

"And we're all just sitting there talking about that, and my phone rings from a number I didn't recognize so I didn't answer it. And then I got a text that was like, 'Hey Mike. This is Kent (Lacob) from Golden State. Sorry to call you so late but it's time-sensitive so give me a shout when you can.' Obviously I picked my phone up immediately and called.

"He's like, 'I have some good news for you.' And I just started smiling immediately because him calling my phone already is good news to me. There couldn't have been any negative aspect to that. So when he said they were ready to offer a 10-day (contract), that was something that was really satisfying for me -- a moment that I had been waiting on since I turned pro.

"To have it be with the Golden State Warriors -- it couldn't have been a better fit. Me and my teammates were in the house yelling and getting excited. And then I got to call my parents and tell them I finally got the call. That was special and I don't think I'll ever forget that."

Mulder certainly made the most of his opportunity.

After a non-descript NBA debut vs. the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 27, he averaged 14.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists over the next five games, while shooting 40 percent from 3-point territory.

The 25-year-old was rewarded with a contract through the remainder of the season -- plus non-guarantees in 2020-21 and 2021-22.

[RELATED: Paschall refuses to bash Kerr when baited by Jefferson]

Unfortunately, the NBA season was suspended just before the Warriors were about to play road games against the Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons. Mulder grew up just outside the "Motor City."

"He finally made it and we were getting ready to play games in Toronto and Detroit -- where he was gonna have tons of family -- and celebrate his accomplishments," coach Steve Kerr said two weeks ago. "He was having the time of his life."

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