Warriors takeaways: What we learned in Game 2 collapse vs. Clippers

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in Game 2 collapse vs. Clippers


OAKLAND -- Throughout the Warriors' dynastic run, they've proven their superior talent can overcome a multitude of sins.

That didn't happen Monday night when they lost to the Los Angeles Clippers 135-131 at Oracle Arena, evening their NBA playoff first-round series at one game apiece.

In a game the Warriors led by as much as 31 points but constantly failed to take care of the basketball, the Clippers outscored them 85-58 in the second half.

Adding to the sloppy play, the Warriors might have lost an integral piece for the foreseeable future.

Here are the takeaways from Game 2, as the Warriors suffered the biggest blown playoff game lead in the NBA's shot-clock era:

Boogie done?

Just three minutes into his second career playoff game, Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins tumbled to the ground as he reached for a loose ball.

After sustaining what officially has been deemed a left quad injury, Cousins tried to walk under his own power and avoided help from his teammates as he limped to the locker room.

Cousins' return from a torn Achilles is well-documented. Through the first few months of the season, he tirelessly worked to get back into professional form, even playing well enough to earn himself a decent payday this summer as a free agent.

For now, with an MRI scheduled for Tuesday, Cousins and the Warriors will hold their collective breath, although coach Steve Kerr said afterward that the big man's injury is "pretty significant."

Too many turnovers

One day after Kerr criticized his team's lack of focus on the offensive end, the Warriors didn't seem to heed the message, committing 22 turnovers.

The Warriors have given up the ball 43 times in two games, and on Monday, they threw careless passes with an often-lazy approach and helped the Clippers overcome a big deficit. That's a habit for LA, which led the NBA in the regular season with nine wins after trailing by 15 points.

The Warriors still should be able to get away with a lazy approach against the Clippers because of their superior talent. But just as the regular season has taught us, it wouldn't be wise for the Warriors to be this careless in future games, starting Thursday night in LA.

[RELATED: Where Warriors go from here post-Cousins injury]

Looney steps up

With Cousins out, Kevon Looney was stellar, finishing with a career-high 19 points and five rebounds in 20 minutes. He did most of his damage in the second quarter, scoring 10 points and adding three rebounds as the Warriors outscored the Clippers 40-25.

Like in last year's postseason, Looney is showing his value to the Warriors as a dependable bench contributor. Over his first two playoff games this year, Looney is plus-31.

No matter the outcome of Cousins' MRI, rest assured that Looney will see a lot more opportunities.

What Ex-Warrior Andre Iguodala thinks of NBA's bubble environment

What Ex-Warrior Andre Iguodala thinks of NBA's bubble environment

Andre Iguodala and the Miami Heat are in Orlando preparing for the restart of the 2019-20 NBA season.

How is the former Warriors forward approaching the "bubble" at Disney World?

"It's not really a different type of environment," the 2015 NBA Finals MVP said Saturday after practice. "The majority of the league comes from low to middle-class income families. We played in worse conditions. Obviously the NBA and every team should be giving all the players all the resources they need.

"It's just getting the mental side right, making the most of the moment and putting forth the mental and physical effort to keep our game in a healthy place ... we're doing it as a collective. We're competing on the court, but hopefully the players are getting a chance to interact and keep each other in a good mental space."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Iguodala -- one of the smartest players in the entire league -- understands the big picture and what's at stake for the NBA. He knows it won't be easy for everybody and that the logistics present challenges, but is willing to sacrifice for the greater good. So don't expect to hear any complaints from Iguodala when it comes to the food or accommodations in Orlando.

At 36 years old, it probably will take Iguodala a little longer to get himself to where he needs to be physically. But he made sure he put in the work while the season was suspended.

"The body is solid," Iguodala said. "Just looking over the little nicks that may come up from being off so long ... everyone was getting after it throughout this time."

[RELATED: Spoelstra credits Iguodala's Warriors tenure for leadership]

Iguodala averaged just 4.4 points in 18.5 minutes over his first 14 games with the Heat. But you definitely should expect his production and value to increase when the playoffs begin in mid-August.

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Why Kendrick Perkins gives Draymond Green 'D' grade for 2019-20 season

Why Kendrick Perkins gives Draymond Green 'D' grade for 2019-20 season

Kendrick Perkins gets paid to express his opinion.

And on Tuesday's episode of "The Jump" on ESPN, he voiced his thoughts on Draymond Green's 2019-20 campaign.

"Draymond disappointed me this season," the former NBA big man said. "I thought with the injury to Klay (Thompson) and the injury to Steph (Curry) he was gonna elevate his game offensively and shock the world. With him getting $100 million in the contract extension, I thought Draymond was gonna come out and prove a point.

"Also with them losing Kevin Durant, I thought we would see 'Defensive Player of the Year Draymond' ... (but) he took a few steps backwards. My expectations for Draymond Green were a little bit higher and he didn't achieve it."

The truth is that it was a very, very frustrating year for Draymond.

The three-time NBA champion missed 22 games with various ailments, yet picked up a league-high 14 technical fouls. He shot below 39 percent from the field and less than 28 percent from 3-point range.

But as noted before, yours truly forever will give Draymond a pass for what transpired. There wasn't much incentive at all for the three-time All-Star after Steph broke his hand Oct. 30 against the Phoenix Suns, as the Warriors had no chance of reaching the postseason.

The truth is that Draymond needed a break -- physically and mentally -- after averaging 37.7 minutes over 104 Golden State playoff games from 2015 to 2019.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

It's unclear why Perkins would expect the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year to produce big considering he didn't have Steph, Klay, KD, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston on the court with him.

"To everybody out there who want to talk s--t about this year -- I don't really give a f--k," Draymond said in April on the "All the Smoke" podcast. "In my opinion, I got better. I got better as a player, I got better as a person and a leader ... and that's gonna make me even better for next year.

"So, I appreciate everybody talking. I kind of needed them to relight that fire under my a--."

[RELATED: Beef squashed? Draymond, Barkley team up on TV show]

Draymond definitely pays attention to what is being said about him, his teammates and the Warriors. He uses the noise as motivation when necessary.

Needless to say, the three-time All-Star wants to send a message to the doubters.

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