The Warriors (14-13) knew they were going to up against a tough challenge when the Brooklyn Nets (16-12) entered Chase Center on Saturday night.
Boasting a Kyrie Irving-James Harden-Kevin Durant trio, it's hard for any team to match up against the Nets. Then, they have a second unit with players that could be starting on other teams.
Simply put, the Warriors didn't have enough firepower to compete with the Nets and fell to Brooklyn 134-117. The Warriors have yet to win or lose three games in a row this season.
Steph Curry was up to his usual stuff, scoring 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting. But because of Brooklyn's perimeter defense, Curry was forced to play more in the paint, going just 2-of-9 from three.
Outside of Curry, Kelly Oubre Jr., Eric Paschall and Andrew Wiggins had solid contributions, but the Warriors struggled to get the kind of productivity they needed to beat the Nets from anyone else.
Here are three takeaways:
Welcome back, Kevin Durant
With no fans in the stands, it didn't feel like a typical former player-team reunion. But the Warriors did their best to welcome back Kevin Durant, playing a video tribute for the Nets player in the first quarter.
Ahead of the game, Nets coach Steve Nash said that while Durant didn't show it, he knew this was a meaningful game for him.
Durant scored 22 points against the Warriors in the season-opener on Dec. 22, and he gave his former all they could handle again Saturday.
He finished with 20 points on 50 percent shooting and scored in every way possible.
Durant and Curry shared a moment pregame as Durant stretched at center court. But besides that, it was all business.
Yes, the Warriors hadn't led the Nets since the first few minutes of the game, but they still had a chance in the game heading into halftime. Then the third quarter happened.
In the last few games, the third quarter has been when the Warriors made a push to take or extend a lead. But against Brooklyn, it's when the game started to fall apart.
Anyone not named Curry struggled to score for the Warriors, and the Nets -- who the Warriors managed to keep relatively in check -- couldn't miss.
Six Nets players finished with double-digit scoring, and they did it from all over the court. They hit 10 3-pointers, while also playing strong in the mid-range and at the basket.
Irving toyed with any and all defenders in front of him and Harden dished out 14 total assists.
What was a 15-point game to start the third, quickly ballooned to a 108-82 Nets advantage heading into the fourth quarter. And Brooklyn didn't slow down then.
Warriors escape another injury
With less than two minutes remaining in the first half, Draymond Green left the game with an apparent right knee injury. He landed on his leg awkwardly after defending Kevin Durant, and after several minutes of lying on the ground, he was able to limp off the court under his own power.
Lucky for the Warriors, Green's injury occurred just before halftime, giving Green and the Warriors ample time for him to rest and recover. The Warriors had to play just about 90 seconds without Green.
If Green's injury was serious, it would have been a huge blow for the Warriors.
Not only is Green their defensive anchor, but he has been filling in at center as Marquese Chriss, James Wiseman and Kevon Looney all recover from their own injuries. For a team that is already undersized and undermanned, Green being OK a game-changer.