What We Learned As Warriors Lose 10th Consecutive Road Game originally appeared nbc sports birea
When the Warriors left the Bay Area this week for their most important road swing of the season, they talked about packing up their defense. Two games into the trip, they are still waiting for its full game.
It was there in the opening minutes and reappeared for most of the fourth quarter on Friday night but not enough to prevent a 127-119 loss to the Hawks in Atlanta.
The Warriors have lost 10 consecutive road games, with their last win coming on January 30 at Oklahoma City.
Six Warriors scored in double digits, led by Stephen Curry with a game-high 31 points. Kevon Looney posted a double-double with 18 points and 16 rebounds.
Here are three observations of Golden State’s second consecutive loss:
death by turnover
The Warriors attempted a spectacular comeback in the fourth quarter, and they did it mostly behind a spirited defense that limited the Hawks to 23 points, their lowest output for any quarter.
But that couldn’t stop them from underreporting their good job with turnovers.
That hurt them early, when Atlanta scored 11 points from giveaways in the first quarter – and it cut short their effort for a comeback victory.
Golden State committed three turnovers in the final six minutes, twice with Bowling opportunities to tie the game or take the lead. He was fouled for errant passes, offensive fouls and some failures to return on defense.
While the Warriors’ 3-point shooting was a big part of their downfall, they will lament the fact that the Hawks scored 21 points off their 17 turnovers.
A new dimension to split personality
The Warriors have been a completely different team on the road (disappointing) than at home (spectacular) this season. They are now spawning a new trend in a similar vein:
Awesome in the opening minutes, brutal in the latter.
After forcing the Hawks to miss seven of their first nine shots and jumping out to a 16–4 lead less than four minutes after tipoff, Golden State stuttered in the final eight minutes of the first quarter and scored 35–4. Got out of -15. The Warriors’ six turnovers during that stretch cost Atlanta 11 points.
Down by eight to open the second quarter, the Warriors spent the rest of the night trying to catch up and never did.
It comes two nights after Golden State snoozed and smoked the Clippers 27-15 in the final nine minutes of the opening quarter after an 8-1 lead in the first three minutes over the Clippers in Los Angeles.
Sometimes, even the best of intentions go awry quickly.
Jordan Poole’s Wild Inconsistency
Jordan Poole is both an amazing player and a terrible player. A scoring whiz machine and a turnover machine. A speed demon with fat feet.
One of Golden State’s troubling issues this season has been JP’s inconsistencies, which are very real and have left plenty of traces of the team’s search for effectiveness lately.
Poole was a central figure in the first quarter collapse, posting a minus-15 playing six minutes, during which Atlanta outscored Golden State 23–8.
Poole is a cumulative minus-50 in his last six games, having finished in the plus range only once. In the five games before that, he was a cumulative plus-67, each finishing in the plus-range. In the five games prior to this he had never posted a plus total and was a cumulative minus-40.
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The Warriors are projected to be 8-8 in those 16 games.
It’s hard to imagine the Warriors achieving anything close to momentum if JP can’t switch between spells of brilliance and futility.