The Golden State Warriors’ struggles against winning teams continued in their 111-107 loss to the Boston Celtics.
Stephen Curry led the way (as usual) with 38 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists, while Juan Toscano-Anderson contributed 15 in the loss.
The Dubs fell to 3-9 against teams above .500 but were right there with the Celtics until running out of gas late in the fourth quarter. Golden State led 94-91 with 7:32 left but was outscored 20-13 the rest of the way.
It didn’t help that an already shorthanded Warriors squad dealt with a significant blow early on. Already without rookie James Wiseman, Golden State lost big man Kevon Looney to an ankle injury before the half. Without Looney, Boston was able to take over on the glass, snatching up 12 offensive rebounds — including 6 in the final quarter — which led to a strong final 12 minutes for the Celtics. Boston finished the game with a 51-36 rebounding advantage.
Golden State will be without its top two centers for some time but head coach Steve Kerr said the team will take some time to figure out how to fill out the rotation.
“No update other than sprained ankle. I don’t expect him to play in the next couple of games,” Kerr said. “It was a significant enough sprain that it looks like he’ll be out for a little bit, but we won’t know more until tomorrow. I don’t have anything else to say about roster stuff, I haven’t given that one bit of thought.”
The Dubs were able to keep it close until the end but couldn’t make enough plays to overtake Boston in the final minutes.
Things started off great for the Warriors. Curry was on fire out the gate racking up 17 points over the opening 12 minutes. Kelly Oubre Jr. chipped in 7 points in the opening frame as Golden State held a 35-24 lead after the opening quarter.
As has been the case often against playoff-caliber teams, the second-unit couldn’t keep the opposition at bay.
The Celtics went on a 15-5 run with Curry on the bench for the first 6:05 of the second quarter to get back into the game. During the period, the Dubs were ice-cold, shooting just six-of-19 from the field and were outscored 28-17 over the 12 minutes.
Here are three takeaways from the defeat to Boston.
Curry continues to amaze
Steph has silenced any doubters who questioned how he would respond after missing basically all of last season. Curry led the team in scoring for the 17h time in 21 games this season, which shows the lack of depth behind him.
The 32-year-old gives the Warriors a shot to win every night. Never mind being the best shooter in the history of the game, Curry’s elusiveness is also second-to-none.
RAZZLE— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) February 3, 2021
DAZZLE@StephenCurry30 || #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/jZmgrTd6TR
The two-time NBA MVP is still among the best players in the NBA. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have much help on the offensive end, but the Dubs were forced to scramble once Klay Thompson went out with injury.
Draymond Green’s offensive struggles continue
Green’s skill set is so valuable to this roster. He is the general on the defensive end of the floor and provides the Dubs with a much-needed setup man to play behind Curry. Green finished the game with 11 rebounds and 7 assists, but his shooting number were dismal.
Draymond went just one-of-seven from the field and missed all three of his attempts from beyond the arc. The 30-year-old’s shooting stats have been awful this season.
Green connects on just 34.9% percent of his field-goal attempts and shooting a paltry 21.2 percent from the 3-point line. He has developed some chemistry with Wiseman, and you could see his instincts kicking in on a couple of turnovers that Green had while trying to find Looney.
Green finished with five turnovers in the game. He needs to stop forcing things, especially on the break. If he was throwing this pass to Wiseman, it probably results in a bucket.
Draymond is one of the glue guys on this team. I don’t know how much he could improve his jumper at this stage of his career, but Golden State needs more from him in terms of scoring.
The second unit continues to struggle against upper-echelon teams
The bench looked more stable on the offensive end after Looney was inserted into the starting lineup in favor of Looney. Toscano-Anderson benefitted from Looney’s injury and played well during his season-high 27 minutes.
But if you take Toscano-Anderson out of the equation, the second-unit combined to go six-of-14 for just 20 points. Curry got some extra time in the fourth quarter, but the lack of playmakers is evident.
Golden State fell to 11-10 on the season with the loss and will be back in action Thursday against the Dallas Mavericks.