Steph Curry is back, but the Warriors aren’t.
Curry scored 29 points on 10 of 19 shooting from the field and 4 of 8 on 3-point attempts. He also added seven rebounds, four assists and a steal. Those stats produced another losing effort.
After blowing a double-digit hole in the first half for the seventh straight game, the Warriors lost 131-110 to the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night at FedExForum. They fell to 34-33 on the season and 7-26 on the road.
The defending NBA champions have lost eight straight road games and three in a row after finishing a perfect 5-0 homestand. Golden State is on the verge of falling back into the play-in tournament, with two huge games on the horizon against the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns.
The Warriors defense stayed at home in San Francisco, allowing 48 points in the first quarter. They hadn’t allowed 48 points in a first quarter since 1983, and that’s the most they’ve given up in a quarter under the Steve Kerr era. Over the last three first quarters, they have yielded an average of 40.3 points.
Here are three takeaways from a disappointing loss to the Grizzlies.
We’ve seen a handful of three-guard formations this season. Steve Kerr opted to go even smaller on Thursday in Memphis. With Jonathan Kuminga unable to play due to a right ankle roll during warmups, Kerr started Steph Curry, Jordan Poole, Donte DiVincenzo, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
The experiment did not work at all.
This group played just over five minutes in the first quarter and were outscored 24-12. At halftime, their plus/minus numbers were a pain in the eye. Poole was minus-32, followed by minus-25 from Thompson and minus-22 for DiVincenzo before the numbers started looking somewhat normal.
Curry was a minus-5, scoring 19 points with five rebounds and three assists. Green was a minus-4 with eight points, five assists and three rebounds. The Warriors trailed by 18 points.
Kevon Looney then started the second half in place of DiVincenzo. Making that move paid off. The Warriors ran a 13-2 run to start the third quarter and edged the Grizzlies 33-22 in the period. For the umpteenth time this season, it was too little, too late.
Donte’s day to forget
DiVincenzo this season hasn’t just been a steal for the Warriors, he’s been one of the best deals in the entire NBA. He’s shooting better than ever, has shown his versatility and is a perfect match for the Warriors. However, every player has a day to forget.
It was DiVincenzo’s.
He played 21 minutes and was at 25 under. DiVincenzo scored two runs, going 1 of 5 overall and missing all four of his threes. In fact, it was his second brutal performance in a row.
The wing was 10 under on Tuesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He scored seven points, passing 2 of 8 from the field and 1 of 6 deep in the loss, as well as five fouls and three turnovers.
Was the loss on DiVincenzo’s shoulders? No way. This is a two-game sample, and it won’t make Kerr lose confidence. However, DiVincenzo will be happy to return to San Francisco and put those two games behind him.
Dillon Brooks tried. Draymond kept his cool. Social media loved every second of it.
With 15 technical fouls, including one away from a one-game ban, Green was not going to take the bait. Here is the surprise. Curry was the one chewing up Brooks as much as anyone else.
The only technical foul was not called on any of the big names. JaMychal Green rather deserved the honor. Battling on the blocks on the free throws, Green swung his left elbow twice, catching Santi Aldama in the jaw and being called for a tech.
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These two teams won’t have to wait long to see each other again. Their next contest is just nine days away, still in Memphis, on March 18. Prepare your popcorn.
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