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3 takeaways as Warriors remain winless on the road

© Mike Watters | 2022 Nov 3

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney each had season-high scoring nights, but they came in the Warriors’ fourth straight loss. 

The Warriors coughed up a 16-point lead as they were unable to refrain from putting Orlando on the foul line. Jalen Suggs and Curry (39 points) went back and forth in the closing minutes, with the Magic guard forcing two turnovers and giving his team the edge. 

Thompson’s seventh 3 — off a perfect inbound pass from Ty Jerome — brought the Warriors within one with 29 seconds left. But with one chance to win it, Thompson’s one-handed push shot fell short. 

With the 130-129 loss, the Warriors (3-6) remain winless on their current road trip and 0-5 overall on the road this season. The Magic shot 31 more free throws in their second win of the year. 

Here are three takeaways from another Warriors loss. 

Defending without fouling

The three technical fouls are a different story, but the Warriors simply couldn’t help themselves from fouling.

It’s been a problem all year, but it was especially pronounced on Thursday. 

Golden State fouled inside, on the perimeter and going for rebounds. They fouled at the beginning of quarters, in the bonus and when it mattered most. 

GSW picked up three fouls in the first 54 seconds of the fourth quarter to give up its lead. Looney and Green each sat on the bench with five. 

Fouls by Curry and Green after turnovers late in the game prevented GSW from retaking the lead. 

In all, Orlando shot 46 foul shots to Golden State’s 15. 

The fouls are a symptom of not moving quickly enough laterally, being late on rotations and mental lapses. Not only do fouls give opponents free points, it forces Golden State to constantly play against a set defense. 

Fouling at this absurd rate should be fixable. But Steve Kerr can’t just push a button. 

Dealing with Jumbo Orlando

Jalen Suggs is the only member of Orlando’s starting lineup below 6-foot-10. And even he is 6-foot-5 — formidable for a point guard. 

Franz Wagner, Wendell Carter Jr. and rookie Paolo Banchero each stand 6-foot-10. And they’re flanked by the gigantic Bol Bol (7’2). 

“This is a massive team,” GSW head coach Steve Kerr said pregame. “It might be the biggest team I’ve ever seen.” 

Bol scored in the post over Draymond Green, using the size difference to his advantage. But that type of mismatch inside was rare in the first half. 

The Warriors, led by Kevon Looney, brought force to start. They actually outrebounded Orlando, both overall and on the offensive end at halftime. They nearly doubled them up in points in the paint.

But the script flipped in the second half. Orlando took the rebounding lead and earned a myriad of second-chance points. Much of the damage on the glass came when Looney and Green sat with foul trouble. 

The Magic won the rebounding battle by 11. Multiple possessions led to more Magic points and more Warrior fouls. 

Closing quarters

A game after the Warriors allowed a 20-3 run to end the first quarter that changed the calculus of their loss in Miami, they similarly tripped over themselves. 

Golden State led 18-8 when Chuma Okeke checked in. 

There were four turnovers, including Stephen Curry accidentally stepping on the midcourt line. Three needless fouls when the Warriors were already in the bonus. A delay of game violation. A couple ill-advised shots. 

The Warriors looked like they were in control. Then they just let Orlando back into it. 

Oh, and GSW let Okeke get off for 12 points in seven minutes. 

The Warriors were lucky to leave the first quarter with a 30-30 tie. 

Then in the third quarter, GSW had an even more embarrassing collapse when Orlando outscored the Warriors 21-8 to close the period. 

Golden State led by as much as 16 in the third and ended up taking a 98-96 lead into the fourth. Looney picked up his fifth foul with 3:42 remaining in the period, and James Wiseman struggled — as he has the entire season — in his place. Wiseman picked up an unnecessary technical and stomped back to the bench in frustration. 

The Warriors bled points in the paint as Banchero caught fire and cutters found themselves open down low. Suddenly, Orlando dominated the glass on both ends. Jordan Poole was nowhere to be found. 

The Magic won the third quarter 43-33. The Warriors’ defense was unacceptable. 

 

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