It might not be possible for Warriors fans to be more appreciative for Stephen Curry than they already are.
Then again, watching another embarrassing performance from their squad without the captain may have a way of making them even more thankful, especially on Thanksgiving eve. A 123-95 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder (11-6) and the four-game losing streak that comes with it will certainly do that.
The Warriors (12-7) have been a mess without Curry, both on the court, where they are 2-5 since he suffered a groin strain on Nov. 8, and off it. In the now seven games he has missed, the team has shot 35 percent from 3 and been outscored by a combined 46 points.
Steve Kerr said the team is struggling in every conceivable way:
“We have to get better in every dynamic. We didn’t rebound well tonight, we got crushed on the boards. We didn’t take care of the ball, 17 turnovers. We got to clean up all that stuff and keep fighting. We’ll find our way out, we got better days ahead, but right now we are in a tough go.”
Golden State has also lost a fourth-straight game for the first time since February 9, 2013. It was more of the same as the team wasn’t a threat at all from deep, shooting just 7-of-29, lowering its shooting percentage from deep to an arctic 23 percent over the last three games.
Kevin Durant said that the offense has been the one thing he’d point to that the team is struggling with over these last few games:
“We just aren’t scoring the ball well. It’s tough for us to find the rim right now. Ninety-five points, we don’t really want that. We haven’t been shooting the ball well, all of us. I think our defense was solid to start the game, but after a while those shots don’t fall, and it leads to other things.”
But it wasn’t just 3-point shooting, the Warriors’ whole offensive system — or lack thereof — was a struggle.
Anyone not named or Klay Thompson was allergic to making any sort of decisive offensive move.
Durant and Thompson had 54 of the team’s 95 points and put up 44 of the 83 Warriors shots.
Only Damion Lee joined them in double figures with 13. He was also the only other player to look like he wanted to shoot. Lee has seen an uptick in playing time since Alfonzo McKinnie has been on the shelf with a bothersome left foot and has now scored in double figures in two of the last three games.
In fact, when he scored his first points of the game — two minutes into the second quarter — he became just the fourth Warriors player to score a bucket.
It was that kind of game.
Quinn Cook who drew the start after coming off the bench the last two games put a lot of the blame on himself for not being aggressive:
“Tonight, I got to be better, I got to relieve some stress off of Klay and Kevin. Eight shots isn’t enough. They were forcing me to get the ball out of my hands, trapping my pick-and-rolls. We have to be better and we’ll figure it out.”
Cook finished with just seven points and was a team worst minus-25, after averaging 15 points per game over the last four contests.
The Warriors were beat up on the boards all game as the Thunder out-rebounded them 61-42. Three of Oklahoma City’s starters grabbed 11 rebounds apiece, while Paul George added nine.
Meanwhile, Dennis Schroder ran circles around everyone on the perimeter. Schroder finished with a game high 32 points om 12-of-19 shooting and was easily the best player on the court, in either jersey.
While not having Curry certainly hampers Golden State, there’s really no excuse for looking this lost without him.
The Thunder didn’t even play a great game by regular standards. They forced shots, lost their top two shooting guards to injuries in the game, and still this was never in doubt save for a Warriors run to open the third quarter.
The only time the Warriors led was after a Jones alley-oop to open the game. And just like Jones, the Warriors did almost nothing from then on out.
There are no breaks for the struggling Warriors, as they have three games in the next five days. The first will be on black Friday against the visiting Portland Trailblazers.
For the first time ever the Warriors used a starting lineup of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Quinn Cook, Andre Iguodala and Damian Jones. The Warriors have been tweaking their starting lineup for the last few games with Jonas Jerebko and Jordan Bell also seeing starts. … After his hot start to the year Jerebko has cooled off recently. He’s shooting just 1-of-9 from 3 over his last four games, although he is rebounding well averaging 7.5 boards over that same time frame.