The Golden State Warriors fell to 6-7 on the season after a 128-109 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night. With Steph Curry still out with a knee injury and Draymond Green serving a five-game suspension, the Dubs were unable to compensate for their absences.
Among the Warriors veterans, centers Kevon Looney and Dario Šarić did the best job at picking up some of the slack. Dubs head coach Steve Kerr actually opted to insert Šarić into the starting lineup for Looney, hoping to give a group that relies so heavily on Curry another boost. While plenty went wrong for Golden State, that move seemed to have positive results.
Without Golden State’s leading scorer, Looney and Šarić combined to score 24 points on 10-for-19 shooting from the field. Looney, in fact, finished with a double-double (13 points and 11 rebounds) despite playing less than 20 minutes.
The other Warriors veterans, however, particularly Klay Thompson, left a lot to be desired. Thompson recorded just 5 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists in more than 27 minutes of action. Other starters like Chris Paul (15 points and 8 assists) and Andrew Wiggins (12 points and 6 rebounds) were passable, but Golden State needs them to step up in games like this.
Younger players like Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, and Brandin Podziemski continued to have some positive early-season flashes offensively. Kuminga led the Warriors with 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting from the field in just under 27 minutes. Podziemski scored a highly-efficient 13 points alongside 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Moody added 12 points and 4 rebounds in 23 minutes.
However, the Warriors were abysmal defensively. Oklahoma City was able to beat the Warriors on the perimeter throughout the game, and then overhelped off shooters. While the Thunder surely benefited from some good luck shooting from the outside (finishing 19-for-32 from three as a team), they also received a high volume of wide-open opportunities.
The Dubs cut the Thunder’s lead to just two points late in the third quarter, but Oklahoma City responded with another three-point barrage. This time, the Thunder had a double digit lead they would never again relinquish.
Making matters worse for the Warriors, Gary Payton II was forced to leave the game in the second quarter with an injury. Already missing two key players, Golden State is not in a position to handle further subtractions from the depth chart. They have now lost the first four games of a six game homestand and will try to come away with a win on Saturday, when they host the Thunder for a rematch. Opening tip is scheduled for 5:30 PM Pacific.