Warriors

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from ugly 134-111 loss to Bucks

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from ugly 134-111 loss to Bucks

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OAKLAND -- The life of the Warriors’ win streak ended at eight games, and it came without mercy.

The physically imposing Milwaukee Bucks came into Oracle Arena on Thursday night and dropped the defending NBA champions 134-111 behind a display of authority seldom seen in the Steve Kerr era.

Warriors guard Stephen Curry left in the third quarter with a left adductor strain and did not return.

Klay Thompson seemed the least bothered by the activity, scoring a team-high 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field.

Here are three takeaways from a loss that hurt the Warriors (10-2) in more ways than one:

Curry and Durant were really, really bothered

Curry and Kevin Durant specialize in making opponents look dazed, confused and helpless. They were force-fed some of their own stuff. Milwaukee’s length and mass basically boxed Durant in, and he couldn’t get out.

Durant made several attempts to get going and never reached the level we’re accustomed to seeing. He forced a few passes and failed spectacularly. He totaled 17 points (6-of-15 shooting) and had nine assists but also six turnovers. In the ‘That’s Incredible’ dept., he also had two of his shots blocked.

The Bucks are too good for the Warriors to beat without Curry and Durant playing at their usual level, which leads us to ...

They really, really missed Draymond Green

This was one of those losses that shined a bright light on Green's value. His absence was glaring, and there simply was no way to offset it.

Green is the team's human seltzer tablet. He makes the Warriors fizz at both ends, and when they’re fizzing, the sizzling usually follows. The defense crackles with intensity, and the offense flows into a cascade of points.

In Green’s place, the Warriors started Jordan Bell. He was the most logical candidate, and he did not come close to delivering what was needed. He picked up two fouls inside the first five minutes and did not return until the third quarter.

Bell played 22 minutes and finished with four points, five rebounds, three assists and four fouls. Kevon Looney was more productive, with eight points, five rebounds and two assists in 21 minutes. Neither was able to being the energy generally supplied by Green, though, and it showed.

The Bucks are going to be a load

The Warriors generally have difficulty finding their best stuff against Milwaukee. Simply put, the Bucks are a bad physical matchup.

But this game was an announcement to the rest of the NBA. The Bucks are long, they’re hyperactive, and now, under coach Mike Budenholzer, they are confident. There is a swagger to this team that was evident from the opening tip.

It’s not easy to come into Oracle, where the Warriors were 6-0 this season, and smoke the home team. The Bucks did. And in doing so, they further validated themselves as no less than a top-three team in the Eastern Conference.

The Warriors will see them only once more this season -- unless, of course, there is a highly significant meeting in June.

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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