In a challenging road game, the Golden State Warriors endured their ninth defeat of the season, falling 123-115 to the Phoenix Suns. This loss further deepens the Warriors' struggles, as they now stand with a sub-.500 record, having secured only two victories in their last ten outings.
Currently positioned at 11th in the Western Conference, the Warriors have amassed just seven wins in their initial 16 games of the season. Facing the Suns, a formidable title contender, the Warriors were unable to find their rhythm on either end of the court, a setback in their quest to regain momentum and steer their season back on course.
Here's an in-depth look at the four critical areas where Golden State faltered in this latest setback:
4 - Defensive Woes The Warriors' defense has been a persistent concern this season, with one of the league's poorest defensive ratings at 114.6 points per 100 possessions.
This vulnerability was exploited by the Suns, who racked up 123 points. Golden State's lackluster defensive efforts were especially costly, particularly when they fell behind by as much as 23 points in the third quarter. Head Coach Steve Kerr lamented post-game, "Foul, foul, foul, foul.
Can't win in the NBA if you're constantly trying to attack a set defense after free throws and you're basically giving up 44 points." 3 - Steph Curry's Offensive Struggle Steph Curry, working to regain form after a recent injury, had a notably off night against Phoenix, contributing to the Warriors' woes.
Despite spending nearly 28 minutes on the court, he managed only 16 points and six assists, shooting 6 of 15 from the field and 1 for 8 from three-point range. Curry's performance undoubtedly impacted Golden State's ability to remain competitive.
2 - Second Quarter Collapse The Warriors initially led by five at the end of the first quarter but found themselves trailing by 16 at halftime. The Suns' 37-16 run in the second quarter was a decisive blow, from which Golden State never recovered.
Their inability to contain the Suns’ scoring highlighted their defensive challenges. 1 - Chris Paul's Ejection Chris Paul's ejection became a pivotal moment, fueling frustration and leading to poor decisions by the Warriors.
Paul received two technical fouls from referee Scott Foster and was ejected, which Kerr critiqued, noting that while the first technical was justified, the second seemed excessive. Looking ahead, the Warriors aim to rebound when they host the struggling San Antonio Spurs.
With the Spurs on a ten-game losing streak, Golden State has a prime opportunity to right their course and start climbing the standings.