SAN FRANCISCO — The Warriors played down to their competition Thursday night at Chase Center, lacked energy and went ice-cold from behind the 3-point line. In the end, they got exactly what they deserved.
Steph Curry’s 39 points weren’t enough as the Warriors lost 121-117 in overtime to a now 17-win Indiana Pacers team that was without four of their top five scorers.
After leading by eight points at halftime, it felt like the Warriors would come out of halftime and have one of their vintage third-quarter flurries. That didn’t happen. They scored just 20 points in the third and continued to lack that extra oomph they were searching for all night long.
Pacers rookie Chris Duarte, who went one pick ahead of the Warriors selecting Moses Moody in last year’s draft, scored a team-high 27 points. Goga Bitadze, their first-round pick from the 2019 NBA Draft, came into the night averaging only 3.1 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. Stepping in for an injured Myles Turner, the former first-rounder scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
That is, before being ejected after Gary Payton II put him on a poster.
This was a night where the Warriors can again thank the Basketball Gods that Steph is on their side. If only he could have received some help. Klay Thompson missed all seven of his 3-point attempts, Andrew Wiggins went 1-for-3 from deep and Jordan Poole didn’t make any of his five shots from beyond the arc.
Here are three takeaways from a Warriors loss to forget.
Saved By Steph
Curry’s 39 points were his first 30-point performance since Christmas. It was his highest scoring night since he put up 46 on Dec. 23. In fact, his huge night snapped a streak where he failed to score at least 20 points in three straight games.
If it weren’t for Curry, the Warriors would have had no chance. Steph his six 3-pointers. The rest of the Warriors made three. As a team, they went 9-for-42 on 3-pointers, good for a gross 21.4 percent.
The Pacers made 15 3-pointers and made 42.9 percent of their 3-point attempts.
Curry made all nine of his free throws, but he’s still looking for a whistle on this one.
Kevon Looney Shines
Steve Kerr loves Looney for all the little things the veteran center does. His impact often goes well beyond the box score. But in this case, Looney’s stat sheet was one to smile at.
Looney scored 13 points and finished with a game-high 15 rebounds. He also had three assists and two steals, but his five turnovers were the most by either side and played a big part in him being a minus-9 in plus-minus.
Thursday night was Looney’s fourth straight game with double-digit rebounds, which is a new career high for him. He became the first Warrior to have at least 10 rebounds in four straight games since DeMarcus Cousins did so five straight times in February of 2019.
Andre Iguodala’s Impact
Iguodala won’t play every game for the Warriors, and Kerr already has said longtime veteran won’t suit up Friday night against the Houston Rockets. He’ll be missed.
Iguodala played a season-high 31 minutes and was a game-high plus-16. He scored four points, had four assists, four blocks and five rebounds. The Pacers had three 24-second shot clock violations and Iguodala was on the court each time.
Led by Iguodala, the bench stepped up for the Warriors in the loss while the starters didn’t. Nemanja Bjelica was the only bench player who didn’t have a positive plus-minus, and all five starters finished in the negative.
The Warriors will be shorthanded against the Rockets, and will need someone else to make an Iguodala-like impact. Houston only has 14 wins this season, but that clearly doesn’t always matter.