Bobcats shred lifeless Warriors in rout
ORACLE ARENA — The Warriors looked like they couldn’t do anything Tuesday night.
Charlotte forced turnovers, held the Warriors to their lowest shooting night of the season (31.2 percent), and dominated defensively in route to a 91-75 blowout.
The sellout crowd started to file out of the arena early in the final quarter as Ramon Sessions drove the ball for an uncontested layup to give the Bobcats a 22-point lead with 8:06 left to play.
Warriors head coach Mark Jackson shook his head in disappointment, and told SFBay that this was a game his team should have won, and that lately there have been too many of those:
“We have to find a way to get out of this. Right now we are taking the life out of our building and we are letting our offense affect our play.”
Even with big man Jermaine O’Neal returning from wrist surgery, a healthy Andrew Bogut and David Lee taking a pain-killing injection for an injured shoulder, the Warriors suffered down low as the Bobcats scored 46 points in the paint.
After the game, both O’Neal and Lee admitted they weren’t at 100 percent, but neither was willing to let that stand as an excuse. O’Neal said it felt good to get back on the floor, but that it came on the night the Warriors played their worst minutes of the season:
“On nights like tonight when you can’t score a basket, you have to be able to slow guys down, and we just didn’t do it tonight.”
Golden State had another one of its now-familiar slow starts, shooting just 6-of-25 from the field in the first quarter and heading into the second frame trailing Charlotte 26-13.
What was a bad first quarter turned into a nightmare of a first half. Charlotte continued to spread the floor and have their way as nine members of their roster put points on the board and they took a double-digit lead.
Even with glimpses of the Warriors clamping down defensively, they stayed cold on offense finishing the first half shooting just 30.4 percent and turning the ball over 10 times.
Scoring just eight points, Lee snapped his 123-game streak of scoring in double figures. He told SFBay that the team needs to learn to deal with frustration:
“We were a frustrated basketball team tonight. I think we let shots not going in affect us.”
More of the same continued into the second half and Charlotte extended their lead to as many as 18 points with Al Jefferson scoring 11 of his game-high 30 points in the third quarter.
A glimmer of hope shone as Marreese Speights hit a near half-court shot as the third quarter buzzer sounded. But just as soon as that glimmer of hope came, it went away. The Warriors never gave themselves a chance and finished the night with only the most loyal of fans sticking around to watch.
Speights was one of the first players to leave the arena and took to twitter to air his frustrations on the night:
Ugly ugly ugly game we got to get better no excuses!!! #dubnation!!!!
— Marreese Speights (@Mospeights16) February 5, 2014
The Warriors, now 29-20 overall, play the Chicago Bulls (24-24) at Oracle, Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
By earning their 22nd win of the season, the Bobcats exceeded their win total from last season (21). … Golden State shot a season-low 31.2 percent, the worst the Warriors have shot since hitting only 27.5 percent from the field on Nov. 12 2004, in a 29-point loss to Memphis. … Stephen Curry recorded his 20th double-double of the season, tallying 17 points and 11 assists in the loss, the 17 points represent his lowest point total ever against the Bobcats and snapped a nine-game streak in which he scored at least 20 points. … David Lee returned to the lineup after missing Friday’s game against Utah with a left shoulder sprain/left hip strain, but scored just eight points, snapping a streak of 123-straight games in double figures. His double-digit scoring streak was the third -longest such active streak behind only LeBron James and Kevin Durant.