Saturday, February 24, 2018
Sports

Loss could be blueprint for Warriors' foes

So now it's official. Not only can the Warriors lose this season, they can even lose at home.

Boston pulled off the surprise late Friday, going into Oracle Arena and stunning the reigning NBA champions 109-106. Even with the loss, Golden State — still 68-8 — remains on pace to top the 72-10 mark set by the Bulls in the 1995-96 season for the best record in NBA history.

The result ended Golden State's league-record home winning streak at 54.

"It takes a lot out of you," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said, "especially when every game is the other team's biggest game. People are coming after us."

Stephen Curry scored 29 but missed a long 3-pointer which would have tied it with 5.3 seconds left. Golden State hadn't lost at home since Jan. 27, 2015, 113-111 to the Bulls in overtime.

"You've got to tip your hat to them," said guard Isaiah Thomas, who led Boston with 22 points.

Still, there are trends from the eight losses that might serve as a blueprint for teams trying to beat the Warriors in the postseason.

• Checking Klay: In Golden State's losses, Curry (who has played in seven, missing the other with an injury) has been his typical MVP-level self. But keeping the other "Splash Brother" in check has proved vital. Klay Thompson's numbers in Golden State's defeats have been, by his standards, plebian. He's shooting 39 percent in losses, 23 percent from 3-point range. Thompson's line in the loss to Boston: 6-for-16 from the floor.

• Don't let them get away: In 63 games they have led by 10 points or more, the Warriors are 63-0. Friday, Boston's biggest deficit was in the second quarter when it trailed by seven.

• Off nights (almost) required: The Celtics won on a night when the Warriors weren't having an "off" shooting night — 46 percent (38-of-83). Going in, Golden State was 56-1 this season when shooting that well from the floor or better. When shooting less than 41 percent, Golden State is 2-6.

• Slow it down: Many have tried. Most have failed. When the Warriors don't score 100 — though this rule didn't apply Friday — they're 1-5. When they reach the century mark, they're 67-3.

Game highlights: Kawhi Leonard had a career-high 33 points as the host Spurs beat the Raptors 102-95 for their franchise-record 64th victory. San Antonio also extended its NBA record home winning streak to start the season to 39 games.

Griffin returns: Blake Griffin returns to the Clippers today after a three-month absence, and coach Doc Rivers said Griffin will likely start against the Wizards.

Smart visits: Heat assistant Keith Smart, who has completed 30 radiation treatments to combat a rare form of skin cancer, visited with the team Friday, espn.com reported. Smart was the most outstanding player of the 1987 NCAA Tournament, leading Indiana to the title.

Pistons 94, Bulls 90

DETROIT (94): Harris 9-17 2-2 21, Morris 5-11 4-5 16, Drummond 5-10 1-10 11, Jackson 6-17 8-10 22, Caldwell-Pope 4-10 3-5 13, Johnson 0-5 0-0 0, Blake 1-2 0-0 3, Tolliver 2-4 0-0 6, Baynes 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 32-76 20-34 94.

CHICAGO (90): Dunleavy 1-3 0-0 2, Portis 3-5 0-0 6, Gasol 7-19 0-0 16, Moore 3-10 0-0 8, Butler 10-25 7-8 28, McDermott 1-5 2-2 4, Mirotic 2-7 0-0 6, Brooks 5-9 3-3 14, Felicio 1-2 1-2 3, Holiday 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 34-88 13-15 90.

Detroit 26 20 24 24— 94

Chicago 27 18 20 25— 90

3sDetroit 10-20 (Jackson 2-3, Tolliver 2-3, Morris 2-4, Caldwell-Pope 2-4, Blake 1-2, Harris 1-3, Johnson 0-1), Chicago 9-25 (Gasol 2-3, Mirotic 2-4, Moore 2-5, Holiday 1-2, Brooks 1-3, Butler 1-7, McDermott 0-1). ReboundsDetroit 60 (Drummond 11), Chicago 54 (Butler 17). AssistsDetroit 17 (Jackson, Drummond, Harris 4), Chicago 21 (Butler 12). FoulsDetroit 16, Chicago 25. Flagrant Fouls—Morris.

Kings 115, Nuggets 106

SACRAMENTO (115): Gay 7-18 10-13 25, Acy 2-8 0-0 5, Cauley-Stein 5-7 4-4 14, Collison 4-13 6-7 14, McLemore 6-12 0-0 14, Koufos 6-10 1-3 13, Curry 7-10 1-1 17, Anderson 4-10 3-3 13. Totals 41-88 25-31 115.

DENVER (106): Sampson 4-7 0-0 9, Faried 4-8 0-0 8, Jokic 2-6 2-2 6, Mudiay 6-17 1-2 15, Harris 6-11 3-4 19, Barton 0-9 2-2 2, Nurkic 4-10 1-4 9, Augustin 3-6 2-2 9, Toupane 4-6 5-6 14, Lauvergne 7-12 1-2 15. Totals 40-92 17-24 106.

Sacramento 23 32 29 31— 115

Denver 27 35 26 18— 106

3sSacramento 8-21 (McLemore 2-3, Curry 2-5, Anderson 2-6, Acy 1-2, Gay 1-4, Collison 0-1), Denver 9-29 (Harris 4-7, Mudiay 2-6, Sampson 1-2, Toupane 1-2, Augustin 1-4, Jokic 0-1, Lauvergne 0-2, Barton 0-5). Fouled OutMudiay. ReboundsSacramento 53 (Gay, Cauley-Stein 9), Denver 59 (Jokic 13). AssistsSacramento 27 (Collison 8), Denver 27 (Mudiay 6). FoulsSacramento 20, Denver 22. TechnicalsDenver defensive 3.

Pacers 115, 76ers 102

INDIANA (115): George 5-15 8-9 20, Allen 1-4 0-0 2, Mahinmi 4-6 1-1 9, G.Hill 5-10 1-1 11, Ellis 5-10 2-2 12, S.Hill 3-5 0-1 6, Turner 4-7 0-0 8, Stuckey 6-7 4-5 17, Lawson 2-6 1-2 5, Miles 9-14 2-2 25. Totals 44-84 19-23 115.

PHILADELPHIA (102): Covington 3-10 0-0 9, Grant 6-17 5-9 20, Landry 7-10 3-4 19, Smith 5-13 1-1 12, Canaan 7-15 5-7 24, Brand 1-4 0-0 2, Stauskas 2-5 4-5 9, McConnell 2-5 0-0 4, Marshall 1-4 0-0 3. Totals 34-83 18-26 102.

Indiana 28 33 13 41— 115

Philadelphia 28 21 28 25— 102

3sIndiana 8-23 (Miles 5-9, George 2-5, Stuckey 1-2, Lawson 0-1, S.Hill 0-1, Ellis 0-1, G.Hill 0-4), Philadelphia 16-37 (Canaan 5-12, Grant 3-6, Covington 3-10, Landry 2-2, Marshall 1-1, Stauskas 1-3, Smith 1-3). ReboundsIndiana 54 (Mahinmi 12), Philadelphia 47 (Brand 10). AssistsIndiana 27 (George 7), Philadelphia 23 (Smith 6). FoulsIndiana 24, Philadelphia 22. TechnicalsMahinmi, Indiana Coach Vogel, Covington, Philadelphia defensive 3.

Spurs 102, Raptors 95

TORONTO (95): Johnson 0-5 2-2 2, Scola 0-2 0-0 0, Valanciunas 8-11 0-0 16, Joseph 8-15 0-0 16, Powell 6-10 4-5 17, Ross 5-15 1-1 13, Patterson 5-9 0-0 12, Biyombo 1-2 0-0 2, Wright 5-8 2-2 12, Thompson 2-3 0-0 5. Totals 40-80 9-10 95.

SAN ANTONIO (102): Leonard 10-17 11-11 33, Aldridge 12-18 7-7 31, Duncan 2-7 1-1 5, Parker 2-6 4-6 8, Green 1-7 0-0 3, Ginobili 1-6 2-2 5, Diaw 1-2 0-0 2, Mills 2-9 2-2 7, West 3-4 0-1 6, Anderson 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 35-77 27-30 102.

Toronto 18 28 20 29— 95

San Antonio 26 29 16 31— 102

3sToronto 6-18 (Patterson 2-3, Ross 2-7, Thompson 1-1, Powell 1-2, Scola 0-1, Johnson 0-2, Joseph 0-2), San Antonio 5-20 (Leonard 2-5, Ginobili 1-3, Green 1-5, Mills 1-6, Parker 0-1). ReboundsToronto 36 (Patterson 7), San Antonio 50 (Aldridge 15). AssistsToronto 18 (Joseph 7), San Antonio 28 (Leonard 7). FoulsToronto 21, San Antonio 14. TechnicalsToronto defensive 3, San Antonio Coach Popovich.

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