Warriors close out the year with another loss

San Francisco – The Warriors haven’t pushed the panic button yet, but they certainly have some concerns. Golden State recorded their third straight loss and second consecutive at home. Despite a great rebounding night, the Warriors closed out the last game of the year with a 132-122 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. 

“We’re looking for a boost defensively,” said Steve Kerr. “The last couple of weeks with that starting group, the defensive numbers really weren’t great. I liked the energy shift I got from it a couple of weeks ago but defensively that lineup wasn’t holding up. So, we were looking for better defense from the start and wanted to get Steph (Curry) more involved as well and we felt like getting Chris (Paul) on the floor would maybe unlock Steph a little bit. But the defense struggled all night, they scored 132 points, and we just couldn’t stop them.”

Golden State used its 11th different starting lineup of the season. Tonight, they allowed 130-plus points for the fourth time this season (1-3 in those games). The chemistry isn’t there and it’s obvious Draymond Green’s absence is missed. He created space on the floor for Stephen Curry to shoot freely and was the floor general. 

“I mean when you lose you search for why you’re losing, right, like and for the teams that are struggling like we are to find consistency, you try to pinpoint whatever it is that is correctable or a solution to the problem.,” Curry said. “So right now, I don’t necessarily think it’s agendas or kind of emotions getting in the way. I need to shoot the ball better. I know that everybody could speak to something that they could probably do better to help us win and that’s the situation we’re in. So, we find it we’re going to be sitting right here in this situation.”

Curry scored a team-high 25 points and grabbed two rebounds (4,312 career), moving into sole possession of 10th place on the Warriors all-time rebounds list, breaking a tie with Clifford Ray (4,310). He continues to struggle for the second game with his offense. Curry’s threes aren’t dropping like they used to, his fast break attempts have failed. 

“I’ve been in a situation before where you start off hot and cool off a bit,” explained Curry. “Again, I hold myself to a high standard and know I need to shoot the ball better, play better, more consistent, provide that punch that scares teams and gets us going. We’ve stayed somewhat competitive even with my numbers down, but I think confidence always remains high.”

Trayce Jackson-Davis made his first career start and scored a career-high 17 points. Jonathan Kuminga recorded 16 points, extending his career-long double-figure scoring streak to 12 consecutive games. Chris Paul tallied a season-high 24 points, becoming the 37th player in NBA history to score 22,000 points. He made a season-high six 3-pointers, one shy of his career high, on a season-high nine attempts from 3-point range.

Both Jackson-Davis and Kuminga played well at the start before getting into foul trouble. Kuminga was aggressive in the paint and fought for rebounds was outdated and outnumbered by Dallas. Luka Doncic had 39 points, 10 assists and 8 rebounds. Collectively the Mavericks used the 3-ball to dominate their game. Grant Williams had 18 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 16 coming off the bench.

“They’re a team that’s gonna go on a run and how do we handle the run,” said Jason Kidd. “We had a 16-point lead, and they made a run, I thought the guys stayed together then. I thought Grant (Williams) was great, our bench, DP (Dwight Powell), those guys played well. Timmy (Tim Hardaway Jr.) played well. Josh gave us a big push off the bench.” 

Gary Payton II returned to the lineup after missing the last 13 games with a right calf strain.

Photo by GSW/Twitter

Malaika Bobino

Malaika Bobino, an Oakland, California native, is a Bay Area sports journalism powerhouse and influencer. With nearly two decades of experience at both the Oakland Post and the Huffington Post, she is always on the front lines of the iconic Bay Area sports scene. Bobino covered the Oakland A’s postseason trips, all three of the San Francisco Giants World Series, was present for all three Golden State Warriors three NBA Championships and covered the 49ers last two Super Bowl appearances

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