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Warriors Start Critical, Daunting Stretch by Getting Routed at Oklahoma City

Game story for tomorrow’s paper

OKLAHOMA CITY– Perhaps it was a good thing the Warriors started one of their roughest stretches of the season against arguably the best team in the league. Getting blown out by the Oklahoma City Thunder 110-87 on Friday may be the message the hot and cold Warriors’ needed.

“It’s a wake-up call for how we need to play in games,” point guard Stephen Curry said. “We understand the situation. It’s not like we’re going through the motions, not knowing how important each night is. We’re creeping backwards now from the playoff chase.”

If that message doesn’t sink in, the thumping at the hands of the Thunder may turn out to be the first in several road beat downs. Golden State (11-16) has lost two straight. Saturday’s game at Memphis is the second of three straight against teams currently in the top eight of the Western Conference.

Oklahoma City marked the first of a stretch in which the Warriors play eight of nine on the road. Six of those nine games are against winning teams. The last four of that stretch is played over six days.

If the Warriors are to turn around their season, it’s going to take better plan than they’ve displayed the last two games. Friday against Oklahoma City, Golden State lost control of the game by allowing 38 points in the second quarter. The Thunder, led by 23 points, 10 rebounds and six assists from Kevin Durant, never looked back.

Thunder sixth man James Harden scored 15 of his 25 points in the second quarter. He scored eight during a 20-9 Oklahoma City run that turned the Warriors’ 30-24 lead into a 44-39 hole.

The Warriors gave up 37 second-quarter points in Wednesday’s improbable home loss to a short-handed and fatigued Portland squad.

“Second straight game the second quarter hurt us,”Jackson said.

The Warriors trailed 58-48 at the half after shooting 38.8 percent. But instead of turning it around in the third, things got worse.

Golden State made just 4 of 20 from the field in the third quarter and turned it over five times. The Warriors went more than three minutes without a point, and nearly seven minutes without a field goal.

Robinson ended that drought with a driving layup, and the Warriors trailed 76-65 with 3:04 left. If they close the quarter well, they’re still in the game and have a chance to steal it.

Didn’t happen. Robinson’s layup was Golden State’s last points of the quarter. Oklahoma City closed the third with an 8-0 run to put the game away. Golden State finished at 34.9 percent shooting – and that’s with forward David Lee totaling 23 points on 8 of 17 shooting.

“We’re going to have to play harder, smarter and we’re going to have to make shots,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “We have to play Warriors basketball. We’ve got to be consistent for 48 minutes, especially on the road.”

* Curry and guard Monta Ellis had another subpar performance Friday. Both finished 4 of 13 shooting with 11 points and four assists. Curry had four turnovers and Ellis two.

“It helps when we’re both scoring and shooting the ball and playing at a high level,” Curry said. “But we didn’t have it tonight. It’s on us to play better.”

Neither had a noted impact on the game, leaving forward David Lee to carry the offensive load for the third straight game. Wednesday against Portland, Ellis and Curry totaled 12 points. In Monday’s win over Phoenix they combined for 27 points on 8-for-30 shooting.

“I don’t worry about them making shots,” Lee said. “Monta and Stephen are both great players. They are both going to do just fine for us. They were just a couple of off games for both guys. Monta has been a little sick and Steph has had just a couple off ones. I’m sure they’ll play great tomorrow night. They will both have 30 and we will be talking about how good they are. I have faith in those guys.”

* Warriors rookie swingman Klay Thompson played 23 minutes off the bench Friday, and he had more to show for it than 11 points and three turnovers.

After the game, Thompson’s right shin was so swollen it appeared to have an empanada under the skin. He sustained the injury late in the fourth quarter on a charge call. He limped out of the game with 16.5 seconds left. He said it won’t keep him out of Saturday’s game at Memphis.

“It doesn’t hurt,” Thompson said.

What probably hurts more? Being left off the Rising Stars Challenge – again.

Several Warriors were shocked when Thompson was left off out of the initial pool of 12 selected earlier this month. But, taking advantage of Lin-sanity, the NBA added New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin to the Rising Stars Challenge, an annual All-Star Saturday event showcasing some of the league’s young talents.

And Thompson was overlooked again.Miami’s rookie guard Norris Cole was added.

“I don’t know what to say to that,” second-year forward Ekpe Udoh said. “Wow. I don’t even know what to say.”

* Udoh was credited with four blocks Friday, though it might’ve seemed as if he had twice as many. Udoh now has 20 blocks over his last eight games (2.5 per average).

 

Marcus Thompson

  • Niners in 2012

    I feel bad for the players. It’s got to be deflating for them to get ignored by the NBA for the Olympics, All-Star weekend. The Warriors will never get respect until they start winning. I doubt Lacob will care as long as he’s still selling out games eventhough we suck.

  • gizzm

    Curry played his best ball playing Nellieball, he just isn’t a keep-at-all-costs player. Deal him . Deal Monte. It really doesn’t matter anymore.

  • Jason BT

    Warriors are doing what they are supposed to do, losing to get the 7th pick or better.

    As for the Knicks, Melo is damaged goods. The guy is injured half the time. Denver knew this before they unloaded him. Melo = bust And Lin ain’t the answer. The Knicks are who we thought they were. If you want to go ahead and crown their butt then crown them. But the Knicks are who we thought they were! A sub .500 team.

  • Young

    Why doesnt the defensive minded coach (self described) play the best defensive player D. Mcguire? You know Okl only has 3 scores why not stop one of them from scoring by putting D. Mcguire on them???????

  • dan

    The W’s unforutnately don’t have good defenders. Playing 2 undersized SG won’t work. Udoh is a pathetic rebounder. They have no PG.

    Blow it up and start from scratch. Trade Monta, Curry and everyone if possible. Let’s face it, the W’s won’t get equal values but so what. Curry is not the right guy to build around.

  • Yoda

    You don’t build around Curry as your centerpiece, but he’s a far better choice to play the third best player role than anyone else on this team. Match him up with a serious low post offensive threat (and someone inside who can cover for him some on defense) and his game would improve tremendously. Monta’s on the other hand would deteriorate since he needs the ball in his hands and the lane open to be worth anything.

    This team is stuck until they blow it up.

  • marquee jackson

    Trade Ellis for Pau Gasol. Lakers need a Guard and are not happy with Gasol. Kobe likes Ellis. They make about the same $$. Should not be an issue.

    Dubs just need a change. Its been the same for years and we are not going anywhere fast. Lakers can toss in Luke Walton to balance out the $$.

  • JM95054

    Dan is correct. We dont have a PG. Curry is not a PG at the pro level. He can’t consistently beat his man driving and dishing. The last time we went to the playoff, we had BD driving and dishing. A good pg makes his teammates better. BD made guys like Barnes better. Barnes owe his NBA career to BD. I heard that BD is down to 205lbs from 235lbs last season. We should bring him back here. BD will create all kinds of open looks for Curry.

  • Dwight

    I would love to come to Oakland! Trade for me please.

  • Dave

    Blow what up? There really isn’t anything to blow up besides Curry and Monta.

  • Dave

    If you want to start getting Tropical deal with Curry and Monta. Lee is the only one who has been impressive and playing well.

    Let’s get tropical.

  • Dave

    Blow up the backcourt. “The best backcourt in the business” according to Mark Jackson.

  • robert rowell

    lee is the highest paid player in the team and lately, he’s been playing like it for the most part. but unfortunately, this team was assembled much like how a child would build something out of paper maiche, just a bunch of bits thrown together with no regard to shape or form and a lot of glue drippin on the floor.

    this team has the exact same record as smarts team last year. that’s what I call improvement.

    let’s get Tropical.

  • JM95054

    Agreed with Robert Rowell here on #12.

  • Dave

    I don’t expect the record to improve from last year. Lee is healthy and playing like his old self again. But he is only one guy. Curry and Monta have regressed and or have missed games. Biedrins has gotten worse. The record will be worse than last year. That is a given.

  • Dave

    The only hope left is for players like Lee to keep playing for pride. And hope for a top 7 lottery pick. And for Jerry West to become GM.

  • dan

    The W’s management must recognize that Curry is not a PG, never will be. If Lacob, West and the gang continue to insist on playing Curry at point, the W’s are doomed to fail for years to come especially if they lock him up with a max contract. I am not bashing Curry because he is a nice complimentary player on a good team but making him the leader of your squad is suicidal and stupid.

    In my opinion, Curry is Mike Bibby Jr. Too slow. Can’t drive and dish. Court vision is very suspect. Ball handling is very suspect.

    I don’t follow college ball much but if they can dump Ellis and Curry for a high pick, I would do it immediately. This team needs to be rebuilt the right way. Will Charlotte give up their pick for Curry ? Dump Ellis for a SF.

    Next, they must get rid of DWright immediately. I would play Chris Wright starting today. Dump Udoh too. For Pete’s sake, get a real rebounder.

    I have to laugh when Riley said he is looking for a big man. How in the H#ll do you get a big man ? You can win with good forwards and quick/fast PG as OKC is proving it.

    The NBA has become a guard/forward league although you still need 6’10 physical guys up front to rebound and bang people around. Miami is winning with no C. OKC is winning with no C. Dallas is winning with no C. Portland has no C.

  • Ewok

    Something that is being discussed not in the open is now being discussed in the open.

    Let me quote, actually paste Steve Kerr’s statement as reported at Sfgate report,

    “You hate to say that they need to start losing games, but they need to start losing games,” said Steve Kerr, the former Phoenix general manager and current TNT analyst. “They need more talent, so they’ve got to find a way to keep that pick.

    “If they’re patient and let this thing happen, this is a gold mine.”

    This statement, coming from a former NBA General Manager, must be the only direction we can get things easier. We have talent, but we don’t have that one talent where we revolve the team around. That having said, Biedrins, has surely become the biggest bust in this franchise.

  • Ewok

    I think this team is good but not the “good” that will translate to wins simply because this team is missing a piece. So for every game we have for the rest of the season, we will be handicapped unless we are able to create a “Lin Miracle” to our favor but in terms of another guard, but a big guy.

    The problem of this team as i see it, is the center. It seems Biedrins can only play in transition but not half court and he has a hard time adjusting. He is performing worse than a rookie.

    Because of this, Ekpe Udoh who is a natural 3 and 4, has to play center, of which he is doing a descent job, but nevertheless, he is out of position. I suspect if he is allowed to play his natural position, he will be very special considering his ability to defend and block shots. Having said that, we are not a threat to any team in the league on the center position and that can generally break a team on the 4th quarter.

    So everytime the Warriors play, its like 4 players against 5 all the time. With our 4′s playing the other team’s 5′s. This needs to be corrected.

    The wear and tear is beginnning to show. It will start on the backcourt, then eat up the three and four positions so i have a feeling by the end of this very condensed season, we will no longer have an effective team due to injuries and burned out players.

    The answer to our problems? Andre Drummond of UConn. Watch this guy on Youtube and you will simply find out why.

    We don’t need to trade. We just have to get a talented, gifted guy who plays center with a degree of dominance and passion. As a matter of fact, if we could at least get a mediocre center who has the the right fundamentals, smartness and motivation, this team will be playing good.

    We have to get a good pick in the draft most definitely.

  • Niners in 2012

    TANK BABY!!! I’m all aboard. Terrific draft class. We need to keep the pick.

  • the stupidity continue

    @_@

    this is what happen when they are thinking from their a$$
    (Wlosers)

  • Nelly Lover

    The Ws won these close games with Nelly coaching. His last season there was no David Lee, only D League big men. Too bad Smart convinced Lacob that he could make a player out of Biedrins, but only as coach. Maybe Nelly would be willing to coach the last two minutes of close games as a consultant. He can do it from Maui using his cell phone.

  • moreaufan2

    Drummonds seems like another Oden to me, soft but can dunk like crazy on people

  • moreaufan2

    They have to trade curry. monta to the Point, and Klay comes in at the two, he needs more minutes right now

  • moreaufan2

    more ball movement, hard cuts to the rim, more often
    need to play more agressive Dfense. trap guys and things like the Bulls do, theyare in great shape