Golden State Warriors’ home winning streak falls victim to ‘trap game’ vs. San Antonio Spurs

Golden State Warriors’ home winning streak falls victim to ‘trap game’ vs. San Antonio Spurs

SAN FRANCISCO — Steve Kerr made a point to note the circumstances to his players during their walkthrough before facing the Spurs: it had all the makings of a trap game.

His words proved prescient only hours later, as the Golden State Warriors lost 112-107, struggling to show the same fight they did to get revenge against Phoenix a night earlier. The loss snapped an 11-game home winning streak.

Golden State mounted a furious fourth-quarter comeback, erasing a deficit that grew as large as 22, to take a brief lead but the burst of energy proved to be too little and too late.

“They came in playing well, had a ton of energy and ran right through us,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We just had a tough time getting going. But the fact that guys gave themselves a chance in that second half with their competitiveness was indicative of the kind of team we have and the kind of guys we have.”

Steph Curry ignited the Warriors offense — and the sold-out crowd inside Chase Center – by pulling up at halfcourt as the final seconds ticked off the clock in the third quarter. On his second dryspell of the week — he shot 7-of-28 from the field — this one was wet.

Over the ensuing 8 minutes, 45 seconds of game time, the Warriors limited San Antonio to a single field goal to finally pull even at 101 on a Curry foul shot. The Spurs managed only 13 fourth-quarter points, but the Warriors went the final 2 minutes without a field goal. Moments early, while falling into the front row of courtside fans, Curry gave Golden State its first lead since 9-8, 104-103, with a 3-pointer with 2:39 left on the clock.

Curry finished with a game-high 27 points, but he missed three quarters or more of his shots for the second time this week. He made his first shot from the field with 43 seconds left in the first half.

Kerr attributed the cold night Saturday to fatigue in the second leg of a back-to-back. Curry played 37 minutes Saturday after spending 33 minutes on the court the night before. Over his past three games, Curry has made 19 of his 69 attempts from the field, a 27.5% success rate.

“It looked to me like our whole team — not just Steph — our whole team was a step behind tonight,” Kerr said. “That’s all part of being in the league, going through scheduling stuff and trying to summon the energy to win a game.”

Chase Center was missing the same energy it had the night prior when it hosted the top two teams in the Western Conference. With a close loss in Phoenix earlier this week and a convincing win Friday, the Warriors faced their measuring sticks before they stepped on the court against San Antonio.

Tipoff Saturday came approximately 21 hours after the final buzzer Friday.

It took until the second half for the Warriors to wake up. They fell behind by 11 with 6:56 to go in the first quarter and didn’t get back within single digits until the 1:49 mark of the second quarter.

Curry missed his first nine attempts from the field while Golden State fell behind by as many as 22 points in the first half. The Warriors went without a point for a stretch of more than 5 minutes during the first quarter, allowing San Antonio to mount a 17-0 run.

The arena had been waiting to erupt every time Curry took a shot, and on his 10th attempt from the field, he finally found the net. It was a 3-pointer that ended a 37-19 run that stretched for more than 10 minutes of the second quarter, closing Golden State’s deficit from 43-21 to 62-58.

However, the Spurs quickly sprang two more buckets before halftime, and it took the Warriors until late in the fourth quarter to draw any closer.

Their slow start couldn’t have been symbolized any better than how the first quarter finished. After making a steal on one end, Curry botched a layup in transition, leading to a breakaway bucket for Lonnie Walker IV that made it 36-19.

It was easy enough to see the Warriors’ dud coming Saturday, even Kerr telegraphed the possibility in his pregame question-and-answer session.

“It’s a classic trap game,” Kerr said before tipoff. “It’s going to be about our energy and our ability to focus. … so we’re going to have to find the energy after last night’s game.”

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – DECEMBER 4: Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) scores a 3-point shot against San Antonio Spurs’ Jakob Poeltl (25) in the fourth quarter of a NBA game at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – DECEMBER 4: Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) celebrates after scoring a 3-point shot against San Antonio Spurs’ Jakob Poeltl (25) in the fourth quarter of a NBA game at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – DECEMBER 4: Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green (23) blocks a shot by San Antonio Spurs’ Tre Jones (33) in the fourth quarter of a NBA game at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – DECEMBER 4: San Antonio Spurs’ Derrick White (4) dribbles past Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) in the fourth quarter of a NBA game at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – DECEMBER 4: Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green (23) and San Antonio Spurs’ Jakob Poeltl (25) battle in the fourth quarter of a NBA game at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – DECEMBER 4: Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) celebrates after scoring a layup against San Antonio Spurs in the fourth quarter of a NBA game at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – DECEMBER 4: Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green (23) dunks the ball against San Antonio Spurs’ Dejounte Murray (5) in the fourth quarter of a NBA game at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – DECEMBER 4: San Antonio Spurs’ Dejounte Murray (5) grabs the ball after a Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) turn over against Nemanja Bjelica (8) in the third quarter of a NBA game at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – DECEMBER 4: Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) reacts after turning over the ball against the San Antonio Spurs in the third quarter of a NBA game at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – DECEMBER 4: Golden State Warriors’ Gary Payton II (0) goes for the loose ball against San Antonio Spurs’ Thaddeus Young (30) in the first half of a NBA game at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – DECEMBER 4: Golden State Warriors’ Damion Lee (1) celebrates after scoring a 3-point shot against San Antonio Spurs in the second quarter of a NBA game at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
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