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3 takeaways from Golden State’s freezing cold shooting night

© D. Ross Cameron | 2022 Jan 20

Stephen Curry was the only Warrior who could make a shot outside of the paint on Thursday night in the Chase Center. 

The Warriors not named Curry missed their first 13 3-pointers. The non-Currys finished 3-for-26 (11.5%) from deep; shooting poor enough that it invited a painfully depleted Indiana squad to hang around. 

It was fitting that the Warriors missed four potential game-tying 3s in the final 30 seconds of overtime. 

Curry’s magnificent 39-point, eight-assist performance went to waste as the Pacers, bereft of their four best players, out-shot Golden State to a 121-117 win. It was the first night of a back-to-back for the Warriors (32-13), who shot 21.4% from behind the arc and failed to even try a fifth last-second shot. 

Here are three takeaways from Golden State’s freezing cold shooting night.

Warriors play down to short-handed Pacers

The Pacers were missing their best four players on Thursday, making this more of a scrimmage than a regular season game. 

Domantas Sabonis (ankle), Malcolm Brogdon (Achilles soreness), Caris LeVert (calf soreness), and Myles Turner (ankle) each sat against the Warriors. So Indiana started three undrafted players around ascending rookie Chris Duarte and promising forward Goga Bitadze. 

The Pacers allowed multiple offensive rebounds off missed free throws. At times it looked like they were trying to learn how to play alongside one another on the fly. 

But the Pacers still competed, as Rick Carlisle teams tend to do. As the Warriors shot 3-for-16 from 3 (18.8%) in the first half — all three of their makes coming out of Curry’s hands — Indiana trailed by eight. Then Duarte’s burst to start the second half tied the game, and both teams traded leads through the third quarter. 

The Pacers got lackadaisical with the ball in the fourth, and it looked like their talent drain was starting to catch up to them. Nemanja Bjelica swatted a flailing attempt. Gary Payton II snagged a pick-six — capped by a reverse dunk — and nearly stole another errant pass. GSW forced a shot clock violation. The Warriors scored six unanswered.

But Indiana never went away. It seemed like the Warriors were doing everything they could to make it interesting. Golden State kept clanking and clanking until the very end. With the Warriors down three in overtime, Juan Toscano-Anderson bricked a wide open look, Jordan Poole airballed one and hit the top of the backboard with another, and Curry couldn’t convert from the top of the key. 

A milestone for Dubs fans

Thursday marked the Warriors’ 400th consecutive sellout the ninth-longest streak of all time — and third-longest active run. 

Golden State’s sellout streak began in December of the 2012-13 season, when Draymond Green averaged 2.9 points per game as a rookie. 

In the 200th straight sellout, Klay Thompson scored 60 points on 11 dribbles. He also scored 37 points in the third quarter against Sacramento in a sold-out Oracle Arena.

Between January of 2015 and March of 2016, the Warriors won an NBA-record 54 straight home games. After that run, in spring of 2016, Golden State won its NBA-record 73rd win of the season at home. 

The streak spans two arenas in two cities which have now hosted a total of 7,751,076 fans, per Elias Sports Bureau. That’s more people than the population of the state of Arizona. 

The streak has seen a budding contender turn into a dynasty. Young talents become all-time greats. 

With GSW’s loss over a short-handed Indiana, the Warriors are now 300-100 at home during this sellout streak. They didn’t see anything legendary — aside from perhaps Gary Payton II’s dunk — on Thursday, but Dubs fans have had plenty to cheer about.

Dubs could use another big man 

Nobody, including Steve Kerr, seems to know when James Wiseman will be cleared for contact, let alone return to NBA action. Draymond Green still has at least another week before being re-evaluated for his L5-S1 disc injury, which could be potentially serious. 

Kevon Looney, who recorded double digit rebounds for a career-best fourth straight game, has been playing out of his mind. But Looney’s being relied upon too much,  and both he and Nemanja Bjelica are each 6-foot-9. 

Especially while Green remains sidelined, and for whenever the Warriors will presumably want to ease him back in, extra help in the frontcourt could be useful. 

It was clear on Thursday, when the Warriors had trouble keeping Goga Bitadze and Isaiah Jackson off the glass and out of the box score. Indiana’s centers combined for 28 points — almost all of which came on dunks or layups — and 15 rebounds (seven offensive). 

Not all of those issues are specifically due to the frontcourt. Forwards and guards also need to chip in with boxing out, crashing the glass and preventing dribble penetration that forces help defense. But the Warriors tried to close the game with a frontcourt of Andre Iguodala, Andrew Wiggins and Juan Toscano-Anderson — an indication GSW could use some plus-sized reinforcements. 

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported before Thursday’s game that Paul Millsap and the Nets are working to find him a new home. The veteran nearly chose the Warriors in free agency. If he can’t crack the Nets’ top-heavy lineup, there’s a good chance he wouldn’t have much of a role in GSW’s deep roster. But perhaps as a temporary Green fill-in, he could work.

 

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