The Golden State Warriors are still trying to find the magic that earned them the NBA title last season and will be looking to get back on the winning track when they host the scratch-and-claw San Antonio Spurs on Monday in San Francisco.
Monday’s contest is the second of a road-home back-to-back and the third game in four nights for the Warriors, who head home after a 122-115 loss at Sacramento on Sunday.
Stephen Curry led Golden State with 27 points in the setback, with Andrew Wiggins adding 26, Jordan Poole hitting for 18 points, Klay Thompson scoring 17 and Draymond Green dishing out 11 assists. Golden State has lost six of its past eight games to fall into 13th place in the Western Conference 13 games into the season.
The Warriors led by 15 points in the first quarter but were down 64-62 at halftime. The game went back and forth in the third quarter, with Golden State up by as many as six before the Kings rallied to go up by seven points on the way to a 98-91 advantage heading to the final period.
A Green layup capped a Warriors rally and pushed Golden State’s advantage to 113-110. But the Kings scored the next nine points to take charge, snapping Golden State’s season-best two-game winning streak. The Warriors had 18 turnovers in the loss.
“We are not a team right now that can afford to let guys make mistakes,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. “We are just not good enough to withstand the mistakes we make. We had too many turnovers in the second quarter and made some mental errors in the third.
“Our guys fought and competed, but we just got beat by a team that played better than us.”
Thompson, who has been held out for the backend of the Warriors’ last two sets of back-to-backs, likely won’t play Monday.
The Spurs travel to the Bay Area after two off days and for the first game of a five-games-in-seven-days road trip. San Antonio’s most recent outing was a 111-93 win over Milwaukee on Friday at home. The victory was over a short-handed Bucks squad and snapped a five-game losing skid for the Spurs.
“We love the win,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “Our guys played great. (Milwaukee was) undermanned like crazy, but you go out and you play, whoever is out there.”
Keldon Johnson racked up in 29 points in the win, with Devin Vassell adding 22 points, Jakob Poeltl amassing 15 points and 10 rebounds, Jeremy Sochan and Doug McDermott scoring 10 points each and Charles Bassey grabbing 14 rebounds.
The Spurs led by seven points heading into the final quarter but put the game out of reach via a 16-5 run over the first half of the period. Johnson had seven points and Vassell hit for five in that decisive stretch.
San Antonio is a team with role players rather than marquee attractions and, according to Johnson, understands that it needs to share the ball to be at its best.
“We know when we go out there and look to the left, look to the right, we don’t have any ‘quote, unquote’ superstars,” Johnson explained. “We need each other to win and be successful. We have totally bought into that. No egos is something we accept, and we move the ball and play with each other.”
After Monday’s game with the Warriors, the Spurs play in Portland on Tuesday, in Sacramento on Thursday and in Los Angeles against the Clippers and Lakers on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
–Field Level Media