Safe to say the Warriors are a little different without Kevin Durant. Playing their first game minus Durant, who injured his left knee on Tuesday, the Warriors’ offense went missing, and they ended up losing to the Chicago Bulls 94-87 on Thursday.
The 87 points were a season-low for the Warriors, and it was just the third time this year they have failed to score 100 points. Plenty didn’t go right for the Warriors, and we talked about all of them afterward.
The Warriors (50-11) have now lost consecutive games for the first time in 146 games, dating back to April 2015. For the third straight game, the Warriors couldn’t get anything going from 3-point range. They went 6-for-30 from beyond the arc (20 percent) and are now 20-for-87 (22.9 percent) from out there on their five-game road trip.
Stephen Curry went 2-for-11 from 3-point range and Klay Thompson went 1-for-11 from beyond the arc. Curry is 4-for-31 from 3-point range on this trip (12.9 percent) and Klay Thompson is 7-for-33 (21.2 percent) from there.
Why is Curry’s shooting percentage drastically down from last season? Why aren’t the Warriors shooting as well as a team from beyond the arc? More questions than usual right now.
The Warriors led 85-84 with three minutes left, but their offense went bone dry and then, topping it off, they couldn’t get a stop. After Jimmy Butler put the Bulls up one with a pair of foul shots, the Warriors would come completely unglued on offense in crunch time, which has been a periodic theme this season.
The Warriors went 1-for-8 from the field from that point on, including 0-for-5 from beyond the arc. Perhaps the worst 3-pointer of that stretch was provided by Curry, after Dwyane Wade’s bucket made it 88-85. Without making a pass, Curry came down and launched from distance early in the clock. The shot missed, Chicago got the rebound and proceeded to milk 20 seconds off the clock.
If there was one adjective to describe much of the first half — Golden State’s first one since finding out Durant would be out at least four weeks because of a left knee injury — it would be: uneventful.
Without Durant, the Warriors lacked offensive firepower and their ability to seemingly score by accident. They didn’t get out in transition like they normally do and they didn’t have anyone who was overly aggressive at the offensive end.
There was some thought that recently acquired Matt Barnes might be in the starting lineup for Durant. But once again, coach Steve Kerr went to rookie Patrick McCaw, who has been getting starts when the injury bug strikes. It was McCaw’s fifth start, and it allowed the Warriors’ bench to stay intact.
Of primary concern to Kerr right now is to make sure his veterans — Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and David West — are healthy come playoff time. To that end, Kerr doesn’t want to overtax his veterans with Durant’s lost minutes.