The Warriors will try to avoid equaling a season-high five-game losing streak when they play the Hornets in New Orleans on Wednesday.It is the first game of a back-to-back for the Warriors. Theyll play at Houston on Thursday.Here are some things to watch for during Wednesdays Warriors-Hornets game:Establish consistency: Since trading Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks last week, the Warriors have been all over the map with their effort level.The Warriors played back-to-back solid games against Sacramento and the Boston Celtics, coming away with a win against the Kings. But the Warriors looked brutal last Friday in a loss to Milwaukee. They came back and played a very good game in Utah, losing to the Jazz in overtime, but then played one of their worst first halves of the season against the Timberwolves on Monday.The Warriors have 23 games remaining in a season in which the goals and priorities have changed. The Warriors are no longer realistic about their playoff chances and instead are focusing on the future.Still, Warriors coach Mark Jacksons task is to make sure his team stays conscientious for the rest of the season and puts in a good effort game in and game out.Find out about Jenkins: Rookie point guard Charles Jenkins has been playing a little bit more since Ellis has been traded with mixed results.Jenkins has been backing up Nate Robinson, but it isnt clear whether or not hes ready for a full-time backup role or more minutes.Look for Jackson to use the remaining 23 games to try to figure out whether Jenkins is in the teams long-term plans or not.Biedrins status: Center Andris Biedrins has become the forgotten man on the Warriors this season. Quite simply, he started the season poorly with his play and he hasnt gotten any better since.He is listed as questionable for the game against the Hornets because of a strained groin. But in terms of the big picture, the question is whether or not Biedrins can show any positive signs in the last part of the season that he might be able to carry over to 2012-13.
In case you missed it, the Warriors' season opener did not go well.
Final score: San Antonio 129, Golden State 100.
"That was a rough one," Warriors GM Bob Myers said on 95.7 The Game on Wednesday afternoon. "It's hard to evaluate. And I don't want to be critical of the players -- we're all part of it -- but I think effort stands out. I think we were out-competed a little bit. I don't think anybody is gonna run from that statement.
"As you watch any sports event, there are plays that shift the momentum of a game, where it seemed like we were trying to get back in it. And every time we would, they would hit a shot to kind of break our back again, or we would turn it over or there would be a rebound we didn't grab. Some of it is effort, some of it's being ready to play, and then some of it's the Spurs.
"They're good. They don't beat themselves. They never have. You have to beat them ... they earned it, we didn't. And if you wanted a wakeup call, that is about as good of a one as you can get."
The Spurs won the rebounding battle 55-35. They turned 21 offensive rebounds into 26 second-chance points.
San Antonio won the turnover battle (13 to 16), scored more fast break points (24 to 20) and shot eight more free throws (26 to 18) than the Warriors.
Golden State certainly did not look like the overwhelming favorite to win the title, but Myers understands that the team is a work in progress.
"This is the analogy that I think fits the best for me -- may not fit for you guys or the players -- you spend the last 9-10 months trying to climb a mountain, and you're there. You can see it. And you're at the summit, and you can actually see the pole; you can see the flag. And then someone tells you you gotta go back down. And you say, 'Come on, man. It's right there. Can't I just take these last few steps?' And they say it's closed, you gotta go home.
"So we walk down, you spend the whole offseason and you're off that mountain. And now somebody says, 'All right. Let's go.' Those first few steps, sometimes you're not looking at the feet in front of you. You're looking at the top of the mountain and you're thinking, 'Man. I gotta get all the way back up there.' You can't do it that way. You can't look at the top. You have to look at one foot in front of the other.
"And I think some of that will have to be overcome by us -- a team that went to the Finals two years in a row -- recognizing that this is the NBA; you have to play hard; every game does matter; you have to get better. But I think that game last night -- I hope, I think -- reminded our players of that. You can't talk about the playoffs right now. You gotta talk about the regular season. You gotta talk about Friday night in New Orleans."
LOS ANGELES -- Jordan Clarkson scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Lakers won coach Luke Walton's debut, holding off the Houston Rockets 120-114 on Wednesday night.
D'Angelo Russell scored 20 points and Julius Randle added 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the young Lakers, who got off to an exciting start in the franchise's first season without Kobe Bryant since 1995.
With a revamped roster coming off the worst season in the 16-time champion team's history, Los Angeles surged in the fourth quarter of an auspicious opener under Walton, the 36-year-old former Lakers forward.
James Harden had 34 points, a career-high 17 assists and eight rebounds for the Rockets, who lost in former Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni's debut on the Houston bench.
The Lakers played an up-tempo, aggressive offensive game under Walton, and nobody seized the moment better than Clarkson, who came off the bench in his first game since signing a $50 million contract. His 3-pointer put the Lakers up 116-112 with 1:48 left, and the Lakers hung on while the Rockets missed a long series of open shots in the final minute.
After matching the franchise record with 14 first-half assists, Harden tied his career high with his 16th early in the third quarter. The Los Angeles native managed only six points in the fourth quarter, going 1 for 5, and his teammates were a combined 5 for 16.
Hall of Famer Bill Walton proudly wore a purple Lakers T-shirt to his son's official coaching debut. Walton's mother and three brothers also attended the game. "The Walton force will be strong tonight," Luke said with a grin. "There's definitely nerves and excitement right now, but mostly there's no time to think about how incredible this is, and the opportunity. It's more focused on watching film and getting the prep work in for tonight's game."
The Lakers fired D'Antoni after he went 27-55 in 2013-14, the first of a franchise-record three straight non-playoff seasons. When D'Antoni was asked before the game about reflecting on his time in LA, the coach quickly quipped: "I try not to. ... No, I loved it. I actually did. Manhattan Beach is probably the greatest place to stay. Great friends. They treated me nice, (Lakers owner) Jim (Buss) and (general manager) Mitch (Kupchak). It just didn't fit. It just didn't work."
Lakers: Metta World Peace began his 17th NBA season, picking up three fouls in his first two minutes while guarding Harden. ... Before the game, they solidified their young core by picking up their 2017-18 contract options on Russell, Randle and Larry Nance Jr. ... Jack Nicholson, Denzel Washington, director Peter Berg, YG, Kendall Jenner, Karlie Kloss, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver attended the game.
Rockets: At Dallas on Friday in the opener of a home-and-home series.
Lakers: Open a four-game road trip at Utah on Friday.