Warriors

What we learned in Warriors' disappointing loss to Suns

Warriors

The Warriors looked like they were on the second night of back-to-backs that included travel in their 114-93 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night at Phoenix Suns Arena. 

The offense was almost nonexistent. They couldn't put together consecutive stops. The mental lapses down the stretch put them in a hole they couldn't climb out of. 

The Warriors knew the Suns would be a tall task, but with Devin Booker out with an injury, there was hope that it would at least be a competitive game. But Phoenix outplayed Golden State in every way. 

Here are three takeaways from Thursday night's loss.

No other offense besides Curry

Well, it wasn't much of a revenge game for Kelly Oubre Jr., who spent last season in Phoenix. Coming off of what was his best game of the season the night before, Oubre scored four points on 1-of-11 shooting against the Suns. 

But he wasn't the only Warrior who couldn't buy a bucket.

Draymond Green had just two points on 1-of-7 shooting. James Wiseman scored five. Golden State shot 30 percent on the night overall.

The only Warriors to finish in double figures was Andrew Wiggins, who finished with 16 points, and Steph Curry, who led the team with 27. Not every player needs to have a big scoring night. However, the Warriors are not in the position to rely solely on two players, especially when their opponent is hitting everything and drawing fouls, as the Suns did. 

 

Phoenix went on a 14-4 run in the third quarter, after making the Warriors pay for their mistakes in the first half. 

Someone needed to step up to help Curry and Wiggins. But no one came. 

The bench came around eventually to help Curry and Wiggins. However, it's important that the Warriors don't put themselves in these holes moving forward. They are no longer the team that can overcome any large deficit. And they need to play that way.

Bench unit needs to have an impact

I mentioned the bench showing up to help Curry and Wiggins out. 

And no, they didn't down the stretch. However, they did to start the game, once again giving the Warriors a chance to hang in there early on. 

After trailing by 14 points in the first quarter, it was the Warriors' bench that found a spark for the team. 

The small-ball lineup with Eric Paschall at center was particularly effective, going on a quick 8-2 run to open the second period. Paschall was the only other bright spot besides Curry and Wiggins. He finished with 12 points.

At the start of the fourth quarter, he scored three consecutive baskets for the Dubs. But it wasn't enough, and the rest of the bench was severely lacking. Over the last few games, the importance of high production from the bench has been highlighted. 

The Warriors are now 3-0 this season when the bench scores 50-plus points, including the 60 points the bench scored against the Timberwolves on Wednesday. 

It seems obvious to say the Warriors have a higher chance of winning when the bench plays well. But it's true. As the starting lineup continues to have ups and downs, the bench has to be consistent to keep them in games. 

Can't get three in a row

As it stands, the Warriors haven't won three games in a row so far this season, but they also haven't lost three games in a row. 

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What does this tell us? It means that the Warriors are still not finding consistency in their play, whether it be good or bad. 

The Warriors have proven that they can make the correct adjustments and come back after losses -- as they did in their two wins against the Minnesota Timberwolves after two bad losses. But they are still struggling to keep up the good habits that get them victories. 

Getting over this three-game hump will be a positive sign for the Warriors moving forward, giving them a sign that they can put together a good stretch of basketball.