OAKLAND -- The weekend at Oracle Arena was supposed to extend the momentum generated by the Warriors after walloping the Pacers on Thursday in the homecoming game following a successful road trip.
Coming in were the Mavericks and the Pistons, with the former betting on the future and the latter scraping the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff pillow fight.
Sweep, right? Well, sort of.
Dallas swept the Warriors into a state of disbelief Saturday with a 126-91 rout of the champs, who recovered nicely on Sunday by sweeping Detroit off the floor with a 121-114 victory.
Here are some of the positives and negatives culled from the back-to-back set:
Rest season is underway
It’s that time of year where coaches and trainers have one eye on the present and the other on the future. Rest nights are hereby given to selected players.
Stephen Curry, Andrew Bogut and Shaun Livingston got theirs on Saturday, with DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Iguodala getting theirs on Sunday.
The Saturday plan was a rousing success. Curry, Bogut and Livingston likely would not have made much difference against Dallas, but they were superb against Detroit. Curry scored a game-high 26 points, shooting 5-of-10 from deep while playing 35 minutes. Bogut scored eight points (4-of-5 from the field), adding five rebounds, three assists and three blocks in 24 minutes. Livingston was 4-of-4 from the field with two assists in 16 minutes.
This is something Draymond Green doesn’t mind you noticing -- as long as you don’t mention it: His broken 3-ball seems to be on the mend.
Green made one of the Warriors’ four 3-pointers against Dallas and then drained a big one to beat the halftime buzzer against Detroit. He was 2-of-5 from deep for the weekend, which may seem modest -- until you realize he’s been hovering well below 30 percent this season.
Green over the last six games is shooting 50 percent (8-of-16) from beyond the arc. That’s a clear sign of progress. When his 3-ball is a threat, the Warriors are indefensible.
The spine remains intact
Displaying precious little determination and zero rhythm, the Warriors were barely in the building for the loss to the Mavericks. Never has a blowout been more richly deserved.
Did they even care? Based on that performance, it was impossible to say.
It bothered them enough that they bounced back. After an autopilot first quarter Sunday, they came after the Pistons with a vengeance, going up 14 at the half and taking a 20-point lead into the fourth quarter. The Warriors tend to respond loudly after being pantsed. They brought their backbone and it showed.
The ghastly truth
As much as the Warriors would like to, as coach Steve Kerr put it, “flush this one down the toilet,” we cannot overlook the headlong dive into humiliation on Saturday.
How to lose to a team on your floor to a team 16 games below .500? The numbers tell the truth. Outrebounded 49-36. Shoot 4-of-30 from deep, while the opponent is 21-of-49. Have Klay Thompson hang a minus-39, Draymond Green a minus-29, Cousins a minus-27 and Kevin Durant a minus-26. Quinn Cook, starting for Curry salvaged a minus-24.
The Warriors looked like a bunch of guys hitting the gym after 16-hour shifts at the warehouse. This one was about as close to inexcusable as anything they’ve offered in recent years.
Loon in tune
Amid the ruins of the loss to the Maverick was a single jewel. Kevon Looney scored 12 points in 13 minutes on 5-of-6 shooting. He didn’t stop there.
Listed as questionable for the game against Detroit with a right forearm contusion, Looney was cleared to play and delivered once again, scoring 11 points in 13 minutes on 4-of-5 shooting from the field.
When a backup center comes off the bench in back-to-back games and scores 23 points in 26 minutes on 9-of--11 shooting from the field, he’s exceeding any realistic expectation.