Warriors lose home opener 141-122 against Los Angeles Clippers

When the Golden State Warriors took the floor at Chase Center on Thursday night, they didn’t open the game with the offensive potency that’s been typical for them the past five seasons.

The Warriors started slow, and a lack of a sustained offensive spurt resulted in them losing 141-122 in their home opener against the Los Angeles Clippers. Steph Curry led the Warriors in scoring with 23 points on 8-of-20 shooting from the field. Curry also tallied four rebounds and four assists.

As the Clippers played stifling perimeter defense, Curry didn’t consistently get clean looks at the rim. The Clippers had at least one player heavily guarding him, and another was nearby ready to help defend if needed.

With the Clippers sending multiple guys at Curry, that resulted in Curry tallying a game-high eight turnovers. The eight turnovers were the most Curry had committed since a regular season game in 2016 against the Boston Celtics, when he had nine.

Despite the Warriors’ overall struggles on offense, guards D’Angelo Russell and Jacob Evans had good moments.

Russell scored the Warriors’ first 10 points, and he finished with 20 points on 6-of-16 shooting. Russell also had a team-high eight assists. Evans scored a career-high 14 points and shot 4-of-6 from three-point range.

The Warriors shot 39.4% from the field, and while their offense will take time to mesh, their play on defense should be of some concern.

During the first half, the Warriors hustled on defense and contested shots. The Clippers are the better team, so they still got buckets. But the Warriors competed on defense well despite their lack of talent on that end.

In the third quarter and onward, though, the Warriors’ didn’t defend well in multiple areas of the game. Whether it was defending in transition, in the paint or on the perimeter, the Warriors didn’t contain the Clippers’ offense.

Golden State gave up 46 points in the third quarter, and that was essentially the game. Lou Williams led the Clippers in scoring with 22 points on 5-of-11 shooting off the bench.

For context, the Warriors were without Kevon Looney for the second half. Looney was out during the preseason with a tweaked hamstring. He was only supposed to play 20 minutes Thursday, but he was held out for the second half because he was experiencing hamstring tightness, per ESPN’s Nick Friedell.

Along with Looney, Draymond Green suffered a right elbow contusion in the first quarter; Green played through the injury. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Green’s injury was a “nerve issue” per Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

Both Looney and Green are the Warriors’ leading interior defenders. With Looney out, it was easy for the Clippers to score buckets inside. Los Angeles finished with 58 points in the paint and shot 62.5% from the field.

This season will be a process for the Warriors. Only Curry, Looney, Green and Klay Thompson remain from the 2018 team that won the NBA Finals.

The Warriors will go on the road to play the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.

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