The final score isn’t indicative of how competitive this game was.
With things tied up at 93-93, the L.A. Clippers went on a 15-8 run over the final 4:58 and beat the Golden State Warriors 108-101.
For the first time this season, Stephen Curry wasn’t the leading scorer for the Warriors. He had his worst outing through the first eight contests, going 5-of-17 from the field and finishing with just 13 points. Andrew Wiggins and Eric Paschall each had 19 points in the loss.
This matchup was very winnable for the Dubs, but there were some encouraging signs in the defeat.
Here are three takeaways from the Dubs’ loss to the Clippers.
Overcoming the slow start
Despite being the more-rested team, Golden State team came out ice-cold against an L.A. squad playing for the second consecutive night.
The Warriors shot just six-of-24 from the field over the opening 12 minutes and fell behind by eight points late in the first quarter. It looked reminiscent over the first three Warriors’ losses, where they were down by an average of 12.6 points going into the second quarter and never recovered.
That didn’t happen this time. With Curry on the bench, the rest of the players held things together. Although they didn’t come all the way back to get the win, it was an encouraging sign for head coach Steve Kerr’s group. The Clippers will be one of the best teams in the league this season, and the fact Golden State didn’t crumble after its early struggles show this team is finding its way.
Eric Paschall will continue to see an increase in minutes
After a tough start to the year, the second-year pro has been much better since Draymond Green’s return. Paschall is averaging 14 points and 4.2 rebounds over his last four games and was one of the main reasons why the Dubs stayed close against L.A.
Paschall plays much bigger than his 6’6, 264-pound frame. He routinely attacks the offensive glass against much bigger opponents and is sound positionally on the defensive end. The 24-year-old was ferocious when attacking the rim against the Clippers, hitting five-of-eight attempts from inside the paint.
Paschall is a quality team-defender who could develop into playing a P..J. Tucker like-role for the Warriors as the season wears on. He’s strong enough to play as a small-ball 5 and should see some more minutes as he continues to find his footing.
Head coach Steve Kerr complimented Paschall following the game.
“We’ve got shooters in that lineup and we’ve got Eric Paschall to play through,” Kerr said. “He looks very well suited to that role ... he’s an offensive force, and with that group he’s got shooters around him and we’re gonna get him the ball.”
Second-unit is holding its own
Golden State’s bench was looked at as a weakness coming into the 2020-21 NBA season, but the unit hasn’t been a let-down at all. The Warriors’ bench is contributing 41.2 points per game, seventh-most in the NBA. The bench combined for a season-high 47 points in the loss, showing they can play with the big boys.
With Curry struggling, the second-unit went toe-to-toe with Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and a deep Clippers squad. As is customary, Steph sat out for the first six minutes of the fourth quarter. Kerr instilled a three-quarter-court press that fell back into a zone, and the bench guys performed at a high level to keep things close, cutting the deficit from six to two points before Curry returned.
They didn’t get the win, but this was the first time in four losses that the Dubs were in it until the end.
What are your main takeaways from the game?