“It’s basketball,” Russell said, “It happens.”
Russell is only half correct. It is basketball. However, it’s horrid basketball an this doesn’t just happen. Golden State once again lost a game that appeared to be winnable in the early goings. Here’s how the Warriors, despite forcing 29 turnovers, lost to the Kings tonight.
Warriors’ Own Turnovers
Golden State committed 11 of their 20 turnovers in the first half, and the Kings scored 29 points off of them. Turnovers have always been the Dub’s weakness, even when they were at the top of the league. However, the difference between then and now is they obviously had the talent to excuse the carless passes and the firepower to win anyway. Now, with a roster full of young players and fringe players, they do not have the luxury to do that anymore and expect to win or even to compete for that matter.
Prior to tonight’s game, the Warriors were averaging 15 turnovers per game over the last 10 games.
Struggles on Offense
The Warriors began the game with the right energy offensively. They were moving with purpose and getting easy baskets off of cuts. However, that momentum did not last long. Golden State finished the first quarter shooting just 33 percent from the field while Sacramento finished the quarter on a 17-5 run.
Willie Cauley-Stein lead the team in scoring with 14 points in 30 minutes of play. Damion Lee and Alec Burks chipped in with 13 and 11 respectively. The rest? Russell scored 8 points on 2-9 from the field, while Draymond Green, Glenn Roberson III, Jacob Evans scored 7 points a piece.
In the first quarter, the Warriors allowed the Kings to shot 62.5 percent from the field, and they ended the game shooting 60.3 precent from the field and 45 percent from three. The Dubs were lax in guarding the perimeter as they let Buddy Heild and Bogdan Bogdanovic torch them from deep. Not having the talent to consistently compete night in and night out is something that the Warriors can’t control now but what can control is their effort, which wasn’t evident tonight.