Sluggish offense led to a season-low in points for the Golden State Warriors Sunday evening as they fell at home to the Kings 100-79.
Their previous lowest scoring game of the season was 87 points in a 6-point loss to Charlotte Hornets Nov. 2. This time, it was a far worse performance from start to finish.
The Warriors (5-23) have the worst record in the league, and Sunday was evidence of how far and quickly they have fallen.
The Warriors actually caused 29 turnovers, the most this NBA season and still lost by 21 points. A box score that surprised Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr.
“We made a million mistakes ourselves. I’ve never seen a box score like this … it’s almost impossible. It shows you how poorly we played. Our decision making was awful. One turnover after another … it’s an embarrassing loss tonight.”
Draymond Green said the turnovers kept the Warriors in the game, but he could not believe the Warriors still lost while causing more turnovers.
“I’ve actually have never seen that. What did they finish with 29 turnovers? We lost by . I ain’t never seen that shit before.”
The last time a team caused 29 turnovers and still lost was in 2001 when the Warriors lost to the Jazz 111-101. The Warriors forced 36 turnovers and Karl Malone scored 39 points.
After a low-energy first quarter, where the Warriors shot 33 percent with four turnovers, Golden State trailed 26-18.
Golden State played a much active second quarter and stayed in the game in large thanks to Damion Lee, who was active on both ends of the floor.
Lee drew charges and had active hands on the defensive end, which led to 14 Sacramento turnovers at the half (11 in the second quarter). Lee was rewarded with tough makes in the paint and had a team-high 10 points at the half.
Lee did everything he could in his ability to get the Warriors back in the game, but he said their defense allowed the Kings to get in offensive rhythm.
“They got into their sets … they got some mismatches. So, them doing that and spacing the floor and knocking down threes, I feel like that helped them as well.”
The Warriors would not hear much from Lee after that, as he finished with 13 points. The Warriors had 15 points off turnovers to keep in striking distance.
The problem was the Warriors committed 11 turnovers of their own before the break and, with an offensively-challenged team, Golden State was down 51-42 at halftime.
The Warriors offense was stagnant, shooting 43 percent from the field, including 2-for-11 from long range.
In the second half, the Kings (12-14) started to gain distance. The Warriors were punished on the glass as the Kings were able to snatch offensive rebounds and make easy put back lay-ups and dunks.
Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic would often penetrate the paint and find Marvin Bagley III for several dunks. The Warriors interior defense was nonexistent, as the Kings had 38 points in the paint after three quarters.
Bogdanovic finished with 25 points on four-of-five three-point shooting. Kerr said the team needs to work on recognizing opposing personnel:
“That’s a big issue for young players … You have to make good decisions on the fly and those decisions have to be based on your awareness and knowledge of your opponents. That’s something that we have to continue to work on.”
The Kings finished with a season-high 60 percent shooting from the field.
The Warriors committed seven turnovers in the third and Green would set their offense with little time remaining, too late to get off any sort of quality shot.
A defeated Green, who has enjoyed success for most of his NBA career, blamed this lost on one simple reason and it is clear that this season is full of frustration for the three-time champ:
“That we sucked. In every way, shape and form.”
Kerr received a technical foul after the refs missed a travel call against the Kings.
Willie Cauley-Stein finished with a team high 14 points, 5 rebounds and 6 steals, one shy of his career high. This was Cauley-Stein’s first time playing against the team who drafted him with the sixth overall pick in 2015. He said:
“I went to battle with those dudes for four years, so that comradery you have with them doesn’t ever change. It was refreshing to play against those dudes and to see them again.”
Eric Paschall did not play Sunday afternoon, his second-straight. The team’s leading scorer was kept out with a sore left hip.
With Paschall out, Kerr would make his 13th starting lineup adjustment this season. The Warriors used 20 separate lineups all of last season.
It was the first time these division rivals met this season. The Warriors had won five straight against the Kings, but that’s when the Warriors had the services of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant.
The Warriors look to regroup in whatever way they can as they head up to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers (10-16) Wednesday.