Warriors observations: Steph Curry’s 50 wasted in bad loss to Clippers

Any postseason matchup between teams with identical records vying for NBA playoff position should, in the interest of competitive fairness, be close and decided by the certified elite of each individual roster.

The Warriors of Stephen Curry and the Clippers of Kawhi Leonard met Wednesday night at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
Curry won the battle, but the Warriors lost the game, 134-126, a result that extends Golden State’s road losing streak to nine and ties Los Angeles at 2-2 in the season series.

Although Curry finished with 50 points, Leonard had 30 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals – and a more productive supporting cast.

Here are three observations from a game in which the Warriors outshot the Clippers (55.7 percent to 47.9) but were soundly beaten in three key categories: Points off turnovers, 20-11, second-chance points, 27-11, and fourth-quarter rebounding quarter, 14-6.

The acting of Steph

There was no third quarter magic this time for the Warriors, but there was plenty for Curry.

A day after turning 35, Steph came out of the break, strapped his teammates onto his well-defined back and tried to carry them to victory. Playing all 12 minutes, he scored 21 of his 50 points and shot 9 of 11 from the field, including 3 of 4 from deep.

Meanwhile, his teammates scored 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting, including 2 of 5 from beyond the arc.

Curry shot 20 of 28 from the field, including 8 of 14 from deep, but the Warriors fell to 8-4 when he scored at least 50 points.

Curry during the game tied Wilt Chamberlain for most games of at least 50 points with seven, became the first player in NBA history to collect 10,000 points in 3-point shooting and the 33rd player to record at least 600 games with at least 20 points.

Draymond loses hard fought game

Draymond Green picked up his 15th technical foul more than a month ago, on February 13 against the Washington Wizards.

The Warriors, taking note of Draymond’s history, had faith that there would not be a 16th technical foul that crosses the threshold for compensation. It comes with a one-game suspension, something Green had previously managed to avoid.

Until he was shoved from behind by Russell Westbrook while positioning himself for a possible rebound and retaliated. After Ivica Zubac’s shot went through the net, the ball went to Draymond, who grabbed it and pushed it into the side of Westbrook’s head.

Referee Karl Lane blew the whistle and assessed the fatal technical foul.

A few seconds after the Green-Westbrook exchange, Marcus Morris Sr. grabbed the . forcefully grabbed Draymond and threw him to the ground, resulting in a flagrant-2 and automatic ejection for Morris.

Technical fouls can be overturned by league review, but it’s likely Draymond will sit Friday night when the Warriors face the Hawks in Atlanta.

Good streak, short life

To achieve their season-long goal of consistency, the Warriors have recently focused on early defense in hopes of eliminating the poor first quarters that have been a habit.

Their goal was to build leads in the first quarter. They achieved it in each of the last two games, both wins at home.

The Warriors failed in this game. They were terrific early, taking an 8-1 lead while forcing six consecutive missed field goals, but the Clippers responded with their own defense and that changed everything.

The Warriors scored just 15 points over the final 9:30 of the quarter, while the Clippers put up 27 points and shot 58.8 percent during that span.

RELATED: What Warriors will miss most with Iguodala out

It took the Warriors into the second quarter trailing 28-23, the first time they’ve trailed in the first quarter since their last road game, last Thursday in Memphis.

Happy leads to two-game streak. Some bad habits die hard.

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