The Warriors took a 43-41 lead into the half of their season-opener at Oracle Arena, but the Clippers responded with a 34-point third quarter to hand Mark Jackson a 105-86 loss in his NBA coaching debut.
Player of the game: Chris Paul wasnt his spectacular self for much of the night, but he was when it counted late in the fourth quarter. Paul, who finished with 20 points and nine assists, knocked down three straight shots which gave the Clippers a 13-point lead with 2:38 remaining, their biggest of the night.Defensive issues: Warriors coach Mark Jackson wasnt pleased by the fact his team gave up 64 points in the second half something he felt was the difference in the game.Sixty-four points in the second half just wont cut it, Jackson said. We didnt pay attention to detail. Had breakdowns. We didnt stick to our principles and we allowed them to play to their strengths. When you do that in this league youre going to lose. Thats just the way it is.
Progress in the first: The Warriors defense in the first half wasnt bad, though. They held the Clippers to 41 points and just 33 percent shooting from the field and went into halftime with a two-point lead.We are a team right now that plays in spurts, Jackson said. Great teams dont do that. It gets you in trouble. There are times when we looked like we knew what we were trying to accomplish and what we worked on. And then there were times in the third and fourth quarters we looked like a lost basketball team.
Bench strength: If the Warriors are going to have a good year, chances are their bench is going to have to be consistently solid. But when Jackson went to his subs in the first quarter, they struggled.Jackson took out Stephen Curry after Curry picked up his second foul midway through the period, and then he removed Andris Biedrins and Dorell Wright. At the time, the Warriors were up six, but by the end of the period, the Clippers led 24-20 and Klay Thompson and Ekpe Udoh had gone a combined 0-for-5.Thompson battled through first-game jitters and wound up with seven points in 19 minutes but shot just 2-of-8 from the field.Its a big-time adjustment, Thompson said. Any college player going into the NBA is going to be an adjustment. I had more confidence in the second half. But it was my NBA debut so I was nervous at first but felt better in the second half.Backcourt troubles: Curry and Monta Ellis combined to go 8-for-31 from the field and committed nine turnovers between them. After spraining his right ankle in Tuesdays exhibition game, Curry wore a brace on it for Sundays game against the Clippers.He said the injury had nothing to do with his poor game.It felt fine, Curry said of his ankle. I was able to get four days of treatment and was able to go tonight. I didnt play the way I wanted to but it didnt have anything to do with the ankle.
Productive start: Andris Biedrins, who has had back-to-back unproductive seasons, got off to a nice start against the Clippers. He scored the first bucket of the season with a little lefty half-hook, converted a layup off a feed from Curry and then followed up an Ellis miss with a dunk.He did all that in the games first five minutes, helping Golden State jump out to a 12-6 lead. Biedrins finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.Sellout No. 1: As you would figure, the Warriors sold out Sundays regular-season opener with a crowd of 19,596 at Oracle.