A last-second shot from Harrison Barnes rimmed out and the Warriors suffered a 121-120 loss on Friday night at Oracle Arena. Minnesota’s Kevin Martin sank what turned out to be a game-winning shot with 8.4 seconds left in the game, marking the fifth lead change in a back-and-forth fourth quarter. Stephen Curry had 33 points and 15 assists and David Lee had 23 points as the Dubs lost their third straight home game. Klay Thompson had 18 points Andre Iguodala scored 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of free throws that put the Dubs ahead right before Martin knocked down his game-winner. The Warriors will look to get back on track on Sunday when they host the Trail Blazers.
On tonight's win:
“I think we are not defending at a high level to start the game. We’ve been bad and that’s on our starters. We have to do a better job. Tonight we gave up 36 points in the 1st quarter, 28 in the 3rd quarter – we haven’t been ready and it’s disappointing. The proof is in the pudding. The history of this franchise and the history of this basketball team – you are not going to get anywhere attempting to outscore people. That’s not who we are or who we are going to be. We’ve lose three games with us scoring 121, 120 and 116 points. We are not going to win games scoring the basketball. You can fall in love with your ability, but we’ve done a poor job of defending lately.”
“We’ve done a bad job – everybody on the floor, breakdowns. There is not one guy that is doing their job defensively. Everybody in uniform has been bad defensively for us and it’s disappointing right now.”
On their final shot attempt:
“It was a pick-and-roll action with Steph (Stephen Curry) and David (Lee). We got a great look, but I’m not concerned about that. We had a great look.”
On the team's slow starts:
“The teams I’ve been on, the way you can tell if the scheme is good or bad is if you get after it 100%. You can’t tell if the scheme is wrong if you don’t execute it. We are falling asleep. There are times where a guy falls asleep and Kevin Martin hits a jumper, you fall asleep and Kevin Love slips in, or you fall asleep and don’t square up (Ricky) Rubio. It’s not all game long, but it allows a team to establish a rhythm. There is a price to pay at the end. You look up and three guys have 20 something and the other guy has 16 and the other guys are in rhythm. As a young basketball team you can think coming home can make a difference. You have to play the same way we played on the road to win those games and we are not doing that right now.”
On losing five of the last seven games after winning 10 straight:
“Former great coach Pat Riley told a team I played on ‘You have to have the disease of greed and you have to want more’. You can’t be satisfied. At times we are satisfied or at times we think we are good enough to go through the motions and win ballgames. We do not have Kevin Durant or LeBron James. The way we win games is collectively, getting it done defensively, and having special nights by individuals. At times we are not getting after it and not staying true to our identity and that is a defensive minded team.”
On the final play:
“It started out as a pick-and-roll with me and D-Lee (David Lee) to see how they played it. They switched and I tried to go one-on-one with the big and that’s what happened. I got to sizing him up and trying to get to a spot to get a shot off, saw two guys in my way and knew somebody was open, made a decision to try to find an open guy. HB (Harrison Barnes) was wide open, great shot, one that we’ll take, and obviously if it goes in things are different, but it didn’t and it’s a tough loss for us for sure. I think we handled that last play well but we can’t be in a situation like that at home, that’s the biggest takeaway from this game.”
On not giving up so many points:
“It’s not winning basketball and we’ve got to figure it out. There’s not much else to really say about it, just we’ve shown we can do it and good teams do it every game. Three losses in the last four or five games where we’ve scored over 115 points, so scoring the ball is not a problem. Defensively we’ve shown that we can do it this season, so we’ve got to get back to that effort. I don’t know what it is but we’ll figure it out.”
On Sunday's game against Portland:
“It’s big, you’ve got to establish yourself. Obviously the records will be what they are but you remember the impressions you leave on teams throughout the course of the season. They came in here earlier this year in a pretty testy game so we’ve got to be up for that challenge to make a statement against one of the top three teams in the West on our home floor, a team that we may see down the road. It’s even more important, especially after tonight.”
On the talent level in the NBA:
“I don’t know if we’re just content with outscoring other teams. At times we can play to the level of the competition on paper. But we’re in the NBA and some guys are going to have great nights, some guys are going to have bad nights, but at the end of the day there’s a lot of talent out there on both sides and on paper we look like a great team so we can get comfortable with thinking we’re going to pull it out at any given moment and we’ve got to do a better job of just having that killer instinct no matter who’s coming to play.”
“Just about the level of basketball you play. It can’t be a rollercoaster ride, playing really great teams well and then something doesn’t go your way, you get a loss and you play a lesser and lower your level of play, then it doesn’t go your way and you lose the game. That can trend, we’ve just got to break that habit.”
Friday’s matchup will be the second of three meetings between the Warriors and Timberwolves this season. Golden State has dominated the matchup in recent years, having won seven-straight contests, including a 106-93 victory in Minnesota on November 6. Losers of four of their last six, the Dubs will look to get back on track against a team they know how to beat. BUY TICKETS
LAST TIME OUT
The Warriors attempted to come back on the team with the best record in the NBA but in the end a 20-point deficit was too much to overcome in Monday’s 102-94 loss to the Pacers at Oracle Arena. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 24 points and nine assists and both David Lee (20 points, 12 rebounds) and Andrew Bogut (10 points, 13 rebounds) had double-doubles in the defeat. Klay Thompson added five 3-pointers for 17 points, but the Warriors shot just 40.7 percent for the game and allowed Indiana to shoot 64 percent in the first quarter before tightening up the defense the rest of the way. GAME RECAP
We all knew he was going to be an All-Star, but Thursday’s announcement that Stephen Curry was voted in as a Western Conference All-Star starter, well, that’s just icing on the cake. Not only did Curry receive the most votes among guards in the entire NBA, he finished fourth overall in voting behind only LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Paul George. That’s quite an accomplishment for a player who was absurdly passed over for a spot on the team as a reserve just a year ago, and further evidence of his standing amongst the premiere players in the league today. Curry becomes the first Warriors player to start an All-Star game since Latrell Sprewell in 1995, and assures the second consecutive year Golden State will have a representative in the annual All-Star game. Congratulations to Stephen, as well as all of #DubNation who voted for him, as it would not have been possible without the best fans in the NBA.
PUSH TO START
It’s difficult to explain exactly why the Warriors have struggled to open games lately, but the fact remains that they have consistently put themselves in significant holes to climb their way out of, and it’s no coincidence that their record hasn’t been so great in those contests. On the defensive side, the Dubs have allowed 30 or more points in the first quarter of five of the last eight games. For a squad that prides themselves on the defensive end, that number is simply unacceptable. It’s possible the team has gotten too comfortable with the knowledge that they are capable of coming back against anyone after accumulating four comebacks of at least 15 points so far this season, but they would be unwise to take too much solace in that. This is, after all, the NBA, and when you spot the opposition a double-digit head start, you’re playing with fire. Starting games better, particularly on the defensive end, is the best way to douse those flames.
MINNESOTA SCOUTING REPORT
At 19-21, the Timberwolves are possibly one of the most talented sub-.500 teams at the midway point of the season in the history of the NBA. They have arguably the premiere power forward in the entire league in Kevin Love, who continues to put up ridiculous numbers on a nightly basis. With companions like phenom Ricky Rubio and big man Nikola Pekovic, it’s no wonder why Minnesota ranks second in the league in points, third in rebounding, and fifth in assists per game. Of course, if that’s all that mattered, they wouldn’t have a losing record. The team is susceptible on the defensive end, particularly on the road where they possess a not-so-great 7-13 record. Golden State matches up very well against them, as evidenced by their seven-straight wins over the Timberwolves. If the Warriors can contain Love to a reasonable degree and play solid team defense, they stand a good chance at pushing that streak to eight.
GSW:Andrew Bogut (right knee strain) and David Lee (left shoulder sprain) are questionable. Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery), Nemanja Nedovic (left hamstring strain) and Jermaine O’Neal (recovery from right wrist surgery) are out. Ognjen Kuzmic is on assignment with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the D-League.