What we learned as sloppy Warriors blown out by Lakers originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
LOS ANGELES — The Warriors came out the NBA All-Star break the same team they were going into it: One that makes way too many mistakes for what they can afford, with that resulting in a 124-111 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night at Crypto.com Arena.
With Steph Curry still sidelined as he rehabs his left lower leg injury and Andrew Wiggins away from the team because of a family matter, the Warriors needed to play a clean, smart game against the new-look Lakers. That didn’t happen. The Warriors continued to rely on 3-pointers far too much, were terrible at times on defense and once again watched their opponent shoot many more free throws than them.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 22 points, going 8 for 19 from the field and 4 for 11 on 3-point attempts. The real, and maybe only, bright spot belonged to Kevon Looney.
In a bit of a surprising move, Looney came off the bench but displayed his value as he always does. Looney played 20 minutes and scored 10 points, going 5 for 7 from the field and grabbed 15 rebounds. He now has at least 13 rebounds in four straight games.
Here are three takeaway from an ugly loss as the Warriors fell to 29-30 on the season.
Early on, it looked like it was going to be a long, frustrating night for Poole. He missed his first five shots and was swatted away by Anthony Davis when trying to drive in the first quarter. Then came the second quarter, as Poole’s scoring hit hyperspeed.
Poole went into halftime with 15 points, and scored 13 of them in the second quarter. It was all about Poole’s stretch from the 1:32 mark to 48 seconds remaining to cut the Warriors’ deficit to three points going into the intermission. Over that span, Poole caught fire by completing a flashy 3-point play and drained back-to-back 3-pointers.
What also stood out was Poole’s ability to get to the charity stripe. Though he was 3 for 8 from the field and 2 for 5 from deep in the first half, he was a perfect 7-for-7 shooting free throws.
But Poole then missed all five of his shots in the second half, finishing the night with 16 points on 3 for 13 overall and 2 for 7 beyond the arc. Poole also added four assists, two steals, one rebound and two turnovers.
The Warriors’ final roster spot very well could come down to converting one of their two-way players: Ty Jerome or Anthony Lamb. On Thursday night, one clearly outplayed the other.
Lamb played seven minutes in the first half and had nothing to show for it. He was held scoreless while missing all four of his shots, including three 3-pointers. All were good looks, none went through the net. Lamb also was a minus-4 during his first-half opportunities.
If he isn’t hitting open shots, Lamb doesn’t give the Warriors much value.
Jerome, however, joined Kevon Looney as the first two players off the bench and took advantage of his time. The point guard scored nine points through the first two quarters, as he continued to display his smooth floaters around the basket and in traffic.
Overall, Jerome played 30 minutes and scored 20 points off the bench. Lamb played 24 minutes, had five rebounds and four assists but didn’t score any points as he missed all six of his shots.
Same old, same old
Steve Kerr on Wednesday mentioned the Warriors must improve their transition defense and finally put an end to the difference in free throws taken. So much for that. Whatever was said didn’t translate to the court.
The Lakers had 29 fastbreak points compared to the Warriors’ eight. The Warriors went 17 for 21 from the free-throw line, while they watched the Lakers go 24 for 34. Then there’s the 3-point issues.
For a team that loves shoot threes over and over again, the Warriors seem to forget they need to defend that part of the court too. Mirroring the cold hail and rain across California, the Warriors shot a lowly 28.6 percent (14 for 49) on 3-pointers. They also allowed the Lakers to shoot 53.3 percent, going 16 for 30 from deep.
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Simply said, there were a whole lot of issues for the Warriors that stood out. Time is running out, and a reality check might have to be in store.
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