Warriors bullied by 3-pointers, rebounds in 38-point loss to Knicks
NEW YORK -- Historically, the Warriors are known as the NBA's jump-shooting team, especially from beyond the arc. New York basketball is all about grit, toughness and doing the dirty work. In the Warriors' ugly 132-94 blowout loss Tuesday to the New York Knicks, a major difference-maker was Golden State going cold from deep.
What was more concerning was the Warriors' lack of being able to defend the deep ball. The Knicks were letting it fly, and consistently with wide-open space.
"I thought we weren't physical enough in the first half," Steve Kerr said after the loss. "As a result, they were getting to loose balls and rebounds, offensive rebounds. A lot of their 3-point shots were really clean looks. ... Overall, they shot the lights out and outrebounded us, took care of the ball, did everything better."
Warriors center Kevon Looney agreed the Knicks' physicality played a major part in the loss. The Knicks wound up grabbing 47 rebounds to the Warriors' 29, including 14 offensive rebounds -- 10 more than the Warriors.
By halftime, the Knicks already had eight more rebounds than the Warriors and five more offensive rebounds.
"A lot of them were second-chance points," Looney said. "They got a lot of offensive rebounds, they're one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the NBA. That's what we expected. We had to match their physicality to start, and I don't think we did a good job of that.
"When you let guys get a rhythm early, it's tough to turn the water off. That's what it was."
To Looney's credit, the second-chance points certainly were eye-opening as well. The Knicks finished with 16, and the Warriors converted only six.
Entering Wednesday night's slate of games, the Knicks were tied for 20th in the NBA in 3-pointers, making only 11.2 per game. By halftime they had already hit that mark, going 11-for-24 from long distance. On the other side, Warriors had been allowing 12.8 3-pointers per game.
That ranked 21st in the league. Or better said, tied for the 15th-most per game with the New Orleans Pelicans and Denver Nuggets.
Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley led all players with five 3-pointers, missing only one of his attempts after making his first five tries. Over his previous four games, Quickley was a combined 3-for-18 from deep.
To open this six-game road trip, the Warriors outscored the Milwaukee Bucks by 24 points on 3-points, making 20 to the Bucks' 12. But the Bucks were more efficient and crushed them on the glass and in the paint with their size. The Warriors were then outscored by two threes in their loss to the Indiana Pacers, a game where they turned the ball over 24 times, which amounted to 33 points for the Pacers.
In their first game after Steph Curry's left shoulder injury, the Warriors drained two more 3-pointers than the Philadelphia 76ers, but also committed two more turnovers in the loss. The major difference there, as it has been so often this season, was the free-throw line. The Warriors were called for eight more fouls than the 76ers in the loss, and Philadelphia made 14 more free throws.
Snapping their three-game losing streak with what Draymond Green called a "blueprint win" over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night, the Warriors had a 15-point advantage on 3-pointers and handed out 10 more assists. But in the Big Apple, the Warriors reverted back to a recipe that dropped their record to 15-17 on the season and 3-15 away from Chase Center.
The Warriors always are going to have high turnover numbers. Kerr has acknowledged that many times in the past. Only the Houston Rockets (16.6 per game) turn the ball over more than the Warriors (16.4). Against the Knicks, the Warriors turned it over 20 times.
New York took advantage of each one, scoring 36 points off Golden State's turnovers. The Warriors were scored only 10 points off 12 Knicks turnovers.
Carrying the load offensively with Curry and Andrew Wiggins out, Klay Thompson had five turnovers -- after the first two quarters. Thompson also was held to 11 points on 5-for-12 shooting and 1-for-5 on 3-pointers. Jordan Poole, who led all scorers with 26 points, was right behind Thompson with four turnovers.
"I thought we got a little loose in the first half," Kerr said. "We needed Jordan to have a big game, and we needed Klay to score. I thought both guys got a little bit out of control in the first half, just trying to do too much.
"They knew the scoring burden they were going to have to take on. It's kind of what I talked about after the game the other night -- less is more for those guys, because they draw so much attention. If they can just get off the ball, other things are going to open up. There were just a few possessions in there where I thought they were trying a little bit too hard and ended up with turnovers, but you can't fault the effort."RELATED: Three things Looney can never forget from Steph's 3-point record
With Curry out for at least a few weeks, the Warriors have to play clean basketball. They can't let weaknesses become strengths for the opposition. Turnovers will come, but they can't come in bunches.
The Knicks now have won eight straight games, and the Warriors weren't able to start a win streak of their own. They were beat at their own game, with the greatest 3-point shooter of all time watching from the bench in the building where he broke Ray Allen's career record a little over one year ago.
The margin for error is miniscule without Curry. The Warriors' 38-point loss was the latest example.
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