What we learned as tired Dubs lose on Pistons’ buzzer-beater originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO — Klay Thompson hunched over with his hands on his knees only a few minutes into the first quarter. Midway through the second, Kevon Looney looked gassed. The two main heroes of the Warriors’ double-overtime win over the Atlanta Hawks spoke, with their body language, for the rest of their teammates.
The Warriors were out of energy Wednesday night, two nights after playing 58 minutes of basketball, and it showed.
They fought until the very end, but they were a step, or steps, behind most of the time. That led to a 122-119 loss to the Detroit Pistons at Chase Center, ending their five-game winning streak.
A win would have placed the Warriors ahead of the Phoenix Suns and Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference. Instead, the Warriors dropped to 20-19 — ninth in the West — after only their third home loss this season.
Thompson looked to be playing hero again, hitting a game-tying 3-pointer with one second left. But Saddiq Bey had other plans, and drained a buzzer-beating triple of his own.
The Pistons, second to last in the Eastern Conference, now have 11 wins this season, and two are against the Warriors.
Thompson’s last-second 3-pointer gave him 30 points on the night, and Jordan Poole followed him on the scorers’ list with 24. However, the two each went just 3 for 10 from deep.
Here are three takeaways from a wild Warriors loss.
Two-ways came to play
While the Warriors played through heavy legs in the first half, their two-way players continued to be a revelation.
Anthony Lamb (nine) and Ty Jerome (six) were their leading scorers after the first quarter. At halftime, Lamb was Golden State’s leading scorer with 14 points, and Jerome added 11 of his own. Through the first two quarters, the Warriors’ bench kept them in the game — outscoring the starters 30 to 26.
For the final two quarters, Lamb and Jerome continued to give the Warriors huge minutes. Lamb wound up scoring 17 points, which is tied for his most in a Warriors jersey. He shot 6 of 9 from the field and made three of his five 3-point attempts.
Jerome’s bench-leading 18 points also were tied for his most as a Warrior. The reliable point guard went 7-of-11 shooting overall, and 3 of 4 from beyond the arc.
The Warriors’ bench scored 48 points between four players, including Moses Moody (eight) and Patrick Baldwin Jr. (five)
Klay saves best for last
Through the first three quarters of the night, Thompson looked like a player who could use a rest. He was short on his shot and being beaten by his man on defense.
Then in the fourth quarter, the four-time NBA champion turned up the heat.
He had scored just 13 points in the first three quarters while shooting 5 of 15 from the field and 0 of 5 on 3-pointers, one game after scoring 54 points and making 10 threes. The fourth quarter was a different story, though.
Thompson scored eight consecutive points to pull the Warriors back into the game at one point. His dunk with 7:33 remaining made it a 99-98 game, the Warriors’ first lead since it was 9-8.
Klay’s shot was back, too.
Thompson scored 17 of his 30 points and made six of his eight shots, including three of his five 3-pointers, in the fourth. Of course, his best shot was his last of the night.
The Splash Brother has been on a roll the entire homestand. This time, he was only one second away from lifting the Warriors to another win.
Draymond Green now has played 35 games this season. He also has been hit with 12 technical fouls. And his second tech of the game with 1:24 left resulted in a big-time ejection.
Green’s first tech against his hometown Pistons was for arguing with a ref. But his second was a bit controversial.
Yes, he and Isaiah Stewart found themselves in a pushing match. Context matters. Green ended up being the one to hold onto Stewart and appeared to be trying to de-escalate the situation. After consulting, the refs decided to give techs to both players.
One of the Warriors’ most important stars now is just four techs away from a suspension. There’s a whole lot of season left, too.
The Warriors never want Draymond to change. They also will have to hone him in at times so he’s available for as many games as possible.
Download and follow the Dubs Talk Podcast