OAKLAND -- Every game for the Warriors lately is a long crawl up a slippery hill, and they don’t have much to show for it besides the sweat from their effort.
They lost their fourth in a row Wednesday night, 123-95, to an Oklahoma City Thunder team that, frankly, did not play exceptionally well. It's the first four-game losing under coach Steve Kerr.
Though Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson showed visible signs of coming out of their shooting slumps, the Warriors simply did not do well enough in too many other meaningful areas to find success.
Here are three takeaways from the game that left a sellout crowd at Oracle Arena hoping for the return of Stephen Curry and Draymond Green:
Jones’ rebounding struggles were costly
The Warriors entered the season knowing rebounding could be an issue. It is, particularly with starting center Damian Jones.
Jones’ poor rebounding leaves coach puts the Warriors in quite the quandary. Kevon Looney is the best rebounder among the team’s trio of young big men, but he’s three inches and 20 pounds shy of Jones, who is 7-feet, 240 pounds.
Jones played 11 first-half minutes and did not grab a rebound. He played 10 minutes in the second half without grabbing one. He finished with zero for the game, which is woefully inadequate under any circumstance but is particularly so when Oklahoma City big man Steven Adams pulled down 11, with two teammates matching that total.
Coaches and teammates have implored Jones to bring more of rebounding mindset. Jones has vowed to improve. He hasn’t, and it was painfully evident in this game.
They punished themselves with turnovers
The Warriors have a tough enough time winning when they are without Curry and Green. It’s practically impossible when they are so insistent on helping their opponents, as they did Wednesday.
For the third time in the last six games, the Warriors gave their opponents at least 20 points off turnovers. OKC scored 24 points off 17 Warriors turnovers -- most of them off live-ball action.
Most every Warriors comeback attempt, and there were several, ended with a series of turnovers that led directly to Thunder baskets.
When you’re losing the battle of the glass -- 61-42 in this instance -- it’s profoundly important to limit turnovers. The Warriors didn’t and they paid the price.
Durant and Thompson are warming up
Durant scored 27 points on 11-of-22 shooting, the first time he has shot at least 50 percent since a Nov. 10 win over the Brooklyn Nets. Durant added a game-high 14 rebounds.
Thompson also scored 27 points, on 10-of-22 shooting, including 3-of-8 from beyond the arc. This was his best shooting performance since, yes, Nov. 10 against Brooklyn.
The problem on offense was, for the most part, their teammates. The rest of the Warriors combined to shoot 15-of-39 (38.5 percent). Damion Lee, with 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting, was about the only scoring support given to Durant and Thompson.