Warriors observations: Steph Curry’s 50 wasted in ugly road loss to Suns

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Gone are the days when the Warriors would take to the road and go on a rampage, punishing opponents and silencing arenas.

When the Warriors of 2022-23 go on the road, they’re getting pushed around and heading for the bus chins on chests

The latest example came Wednesday at Footprint Center in Phoenix, where the Warriors, out for revenge after being blown out there last month, were again run off the floor, forced to wear a 130-119 bashing by the Suns.

Golden State on the road this season is now 0-8 – its worst road start since a 0-9 start in 1989.

Stephen Curry scored a game-high 50 points, but he couldn’t overcome the lack of offensive assistance and the team’s generally shoddy defense.

Here are three observations from another forgettable night in the desert for the Warriors (6-9):

Beating the same old drum

Golden State’s coaching staff has spent a full four weeks practicing and discussing and pleading for the team to rediscover its defensive muscle.

And for four weeks, that muscle has not materialized.

It was invisible in Phoenix, as the Suns spent the evening walking into open shots, including corner 3-pointers from guys like Mikel Bridges and Torrey Craig – two guys who rarely take or make another shot – and scorching the nets.

The Suns, missing two starters and two more rotation players, shot 51.2 percent from the field and 52.5 percent beyond the arc.

Every player in Phoenix’s starting lineup scored in double digits, led by 29 points from Cameron Payne. Every Suns starter except Devin Booker (8-of-17) shot at least 50 percent from the field.

 

Through changes with schemes, lineups and rotations – the latest being JaMychal Green moving from power forward to small-ball center in the second unit – the search has been futile.

There is no fixing these Warriors until they find it.

The Steph Show, Pt. 373

There will come a point when someone wearing a Warriors jersey will step forward and thrives in the role of productive partner to Curry. Honestly, that day will come.

Until then, there will be more nights like this. Nights when Curry is this team’s only offensive hope, a solo scoring act within a team construct.

Curry’s 50 points came on 17-of-28 shooting from the field, including 7-of-11 from distance, and 9-of-9 from the line. This was his first 50-point game this season, his third with at least 40 points and his 10th game with at least 30.

With 31 points in the first half, Curry accomplished two feats. One, he moved ahead of retired Warriors star Mitch Richmond and into 49th place on the NBA’s career scoring list. Two, he outscored by six the other four members of the starting lineup.

Klay Thompson, Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins – those best suited for the role – combined for 35 points on 11-of-33 shooting.

Until consistent help arrives, the Warriors have no choice but to keep riding the Steph Show.

Death by second-chance points

The Warriors were outrebounded in nine of their first 14 games. Make it 10 of their first 15.

They have been outscored in second-chance points for six consecutive games. Make it seven.

And this one was particularly one-sided in both aspects – and lethal regarding the second-chance points differential. The Suns bullied their way to a 14-0 advantage in the first half and finished with a 16-5 margin.

RELATED: Draymond not losing sleep over Warriors’ early struggles

Rebounding is a part of defense, the best way to clear missed shots by opponents, but it requires effort and focus on such basics as blocking out

It is, for now, one more area where the Warriors have been failing with their defensive fundamentals.

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