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3 takeaways after Warriors lose to Thunder, drop 7th-straight road game

© Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors cannot find a win on the road. Once again, they started slow, cut into the deficit and even grabbed a slim lead.

But it wasn’t sustainable, and their defense collapsed. It was another hard to swallow road loss, in 137-128 fashion, against a young Thunder team that seemed unable to miss from three.

Defense? We’re talking about defense?!

This game was a brutal watch for anyone who’s a fan of defense. It had all the markings of a typically awfully Warriors road game. Golden State came out slow, turned it over constantly and immediately fell into a double-digit deficit.

Neither team had much interest in playing defense in the first quarter, and there was a general ease for Oklahoma City in putting points on the board.

That continued for the entirety of the night.

It was like the Lakers game a couple days ago. The Warriors would close the gap, make it a tie or nearly tied game, then the Thunder would explode offensively.

Both teams were lights out from the field, shooting roughly 53 percent each, but the Thunder were unconscious from three (45.9 percent to 39.2 percent), and the Warriors turned it over at an unsustainable rate (21 turnovers to Oklahoma City’s 18).

Oklahoma City looked younger and stronger. They out-rebounded the Warriors by eight, leading to extra attempts that the Warriors couldn’t afford.

The late third quarter was a nightmare. An abundance of moving screen calls got the Warriors in a rut. And with Looney (and Curry) out of the game, the Thunder started abusing inside passes and drives from Josh Giddey to Dario Saric. Saric had his way inside at the end of the quarter, scoring seven points in a two-minute stretch.

It put Golden State down by 11 with 1:37 remaining. They made an even later stretch to close the gap, but by the end of the third, they trailed 105-99.

They entered this game 0-18 on the road when trailing entering the fourth quarter. That’s now an 0-19 record.

The Thunder, who forced the most turnovers in the league, immediately went on a 17-2 run to start the fourth, and capitalized off Golden State’s sloppiness.

It might have been a different result if the Warriors could have been decent outside of Curry in the fourth. Instead, they went on a more than four-minute field goal drought highlighted by a handful of missed threes from Jordan Pole and Klay Thompson.

Poole, in particular, was dreadful, putting up 11 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists with a couple of turnovers and going just 1-of-7 from deep. He limped off the court late after he appeared to knock his knee with a Thunder player.

Without any physicality or size inside — and often effort — the Warriors continued to get crushed defensively on the road.

Steph was nearly perfect

You could understand if Curry had to shake off a little rust. He’s missed an abundance of games this season due to injuries.

But he’s been excellent in his return. That’s understating it, even with what we know about Curry.

Entering the fourth quarter, he had 29 points on 7-of-8 from three. He immediately hit a driving layup and a deep three to force a timeout from Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault.

But the game got away from them, and when Curry checked back in with just a bit less than five minutes remaining, Golden State trailed by 13.

He hit a couple of threes in the waning minutes, as did Thompson and Kuminga, to cut it to as close to six points.

But without any defense, it was still too much for him.

It’s wild to look at his performance and think the Warriors lost. He had 40 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists, but with 6 turnovers. He was an outrageous 14-of-23 from the field and 10-of-16 from three.

It’s his 23rd time with 10 threes in a game. Thompson, with nine games, is second.

Other stuff: Late-game shenanigans, DiVincenzo and Looney

  • Light the lantern: The last few minutes of the game were just dumb. Stupid. Silly. Much of that was the result of the Warriors playing unserious basketball for most of the game, and then giving themselves a late chance. The Warriors had a late challenge that was successful, then promptly fouled on a 50-50 ball that looked clean. A couple minutes later, Curry pulled up for a three down seven points, and was fouled. The Thunder challenged, won, then won the tip at mid-court, effectively icing the game.
  • Kevon Looney looked like he was really hurting on Tuesday. He came in to the game with a lingering back injury. He played just 11 minutes and didn’t look like his usual self, turning it over three times and finishing with 4 points and 5 rebounds.
  • Donte DiVincenzo is a menace: There are so many times when the only player who looks like he actually cares about winning on the Warriors is Donte DiVincenzo. He is constantly wreaking havoc on the defensive end, especially in the passing lanes. He had a rough start, but finished with 7 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals with a couple turnovers. His effort is monumental, and is the only thing that keeps them in games.
  • No fringe guys: The likes of Ty Jerome, Moses Moody and Anthony Lamb were not available. Lambi is over his 50-game two-way limit and is done unless his contract is converted to take up the 15th spot on the roster. He and Moody played a G-League game earlier in the day.

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