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sport / / NBCSBA (Poole): Warriors being slapped by cold hand of reality at home

o NBCSBA (Poole): Warriors being slapped by cold hand of reality at homeRobin Miller

NBCSBA (Poole): Warriors being slapped by cold hand of reality at home


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From: robin.mi...@invalid.invalid (Robin Miller)
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Date: Sat, 23 Mar 2024 22:47:20 -0400
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 by: Robin Miller - Sun, 24 Mar 2024 02:47 UTC

Warriors being slapped by cold hand of reality at home

By Monte Poole

• Published March 22, 2024

SAN FRANCISCO – Couldn’t shoot, couldn’t defend, too often treated the
ball as if it were worthless. For 16 minutes in the heart of the game
Friday night, the Warriors were at their messiest against the one team
they’d never beaten at Chase Center.

And still haven’t.

They once again bowed to the Indiana Pacers, who extended their perfect
record (5-0) in Golden State's home building by seizing the game late in
the first half and never giving it back, pinning a 123-111 loss on the
Warriors that leaves their postseason hopes at cliff’s edge.

“Ain’t nobody going to feel sorry for us,” Chris Paul said.

A deep NBA playoff run by the Warriors appears ever more farcical.

The No. 6 seed in the Western Conference, still coveted, is fading from
out of view.

Even a successful NBA play-in tournament, which they’ve never wanted but
now would accept, seems a stretch for these Warriors, who would be “on
the bubble” if there were a selection committee.

After a February revival that inspired such belief in themselves and
faith among the fan base, March has brought the backhand of reality.
Golden State is 5-6 this month, has lost five of its last eight games
and will depart Saturday for a five-game road trip having posted
consecutive 1-2 homestands.

“Before you go on a long road trip, [you have] the opportunity to
protect your home court,” Stephen Curry said. “We talked about that so
many times. We didn't do it.”

The stumbles at home might be the hardest part to swallow. This season
crested on the road last month and collapsed this month on their home
floor. The Warriors are 2-4 at Chase this month – with three of the
losses to teams either below .500 or severely compromised by injury.

“We’re a better team on the road this year, for whatever reason,” coach
Steve Kerr said. “I don’t think it matters where we play. We haven’t
been able to control our home court, so maybe we’ll go out on the road
and find some momentum.”

That’s a glass half-full approach, to be sure, and one that befits the
coach. But this was a night in which a painful statement rang out.

The Warriors, in playoff mode, scrambling in search of momentum, took a
10-point lead late in the second quarter and the Pacers absolutely
torched it.

They closed the half with a 12-3 blitz, punctuated by a 33-foot Tyrese
Haliburton triple, and they crushed all hopes for the Warriors with a
19-4 run over a five-minute stretch that yielded a 99-83 lead with 1:18
left in the third quarter.

“Their point guard play was fantastic,” Kerr said. “Between Haliburton,
[Andrew] Nembhard and TJ McConnell, they just pushed the ball down our
throats and got out in transition. I thought they were the more physical
team as well.

“When we had that lead, they made the push at the end of the second and,
also, at the beginning of the third. It just didn’t feel we were getting
to the loose balls. They were out-competing us there for a little bit.
And then we lost our poise a little. We started turning it over. Their
physicality and their speed took us out of rhythm.”

Golden State’s third quarter was among its most wretched this season,
from the six turnovers to the 30.8-percent shooting from the field,
including 23.1 percent from beyond the arc. The Warriors lost the
quarter 36-21, with Pascal Siakam and Haliburton combining for 20 points.

The Warriors are three games above .500, 1.5 games behind the Los
Angeles Lakers and only two in front of the Houston Rockets in the
Western Conference. This season only becomes more challenging – largely
because they lost four of their last six home games.

“That's the math of it,” Curry said. “But that's going to sting because
[we] missed huge opportunities to build true momentum and kind of settle
ourselves in the standings a little bit. It just presents more issues of
how we need to bounce back, whether we’re going to be playing for
something in a couple weeks or not.

“Nothing's guaranteed and I think we have enough pride to bounce back.
And I think we want it bad enough, and we’ve got to go show it.”

There have been many agonizing losses this season, but this was not
among them.

This was the Warriors, with the standings staring them in the face,
failing to measure up to a team that, until further notice, owns their

sport / / NBCSBA (Poole): Warriors being slapped by cold hand of reality at home


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