Steph Curry

Warriors' win over Pistons doesn't clear storm clouds over team

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SAN FRANCISCO – The Warriors responded to perhaps their most infuriating loss of the season not with precision and purpose but with a sloppy sleepwalk that invited embarrassment against the NBA's worst team.

The Detroit Pistons lugged a 3-31 record into Chase Center and spent more than 46 minutes Friday night breathing hard on the hearts of the Warriors before finally getting a response in the final 92 seconds.

It took Stephen Curry scoring 11 consecutive points during that span for Golden State to squeeze out a 113-109 win that was an eyesore only slightly less depressing for the Warriors and their fans than the calamitous events of the previous night.

“It was a tough grind,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Detroit has played well the last couple weeks. They took Boston to overtime last week, took Utah to overtime the other day. They’re playing way better than a couple weeks ago.

“With the back-to-back coming off that brutal loss (Thursday) night, that was emotionally draining. So, this was a tough game. I’m proud of the guys for grinding it out.”

The Warriors (17-18) crawled back within a game of .500, but their shoddy execution spoke volumes about their emotional and physical health. This team’s problems, 35 games into the season, are real and abundant and show no sign of fading.

The latest of those problems surfaced in this game. Chris Paul sustained a fractured left hand and is scheduled to undergo surgery next week. His absence, for a prolonged period, is but the latest blow to the everchanging playing rotation.

“It’s going to be tough,” said Dario Sarić, who has paired with Paul to generate considerable offense for the team.

“I feel so bad for Chris. I know he has had a couple hand surgeries before,” Kerr said. “I saw him holding it and instantly was worried. I feel terrible for Chris. Guys will have to step up and be ready to play.”

Coming 21 hours after blowing an 18-point fourth-quarter lead to take a 130-127 loss to the Denver Nuggets on a 39-foot buzzer beater by Nikola Jokic, this projected as a night the Warriors would punish the opponent. Perfect. There is no surer NBA patsy than the poor Pistons.

Reel off a cathartic rout. Allow veterans Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to watch the fourth quarter from the bench as the reserves held onto a 25-point lead.

But the Pistons kept hanging around, largely because the Warriors were allowing it. They gave Detroit 28 points off 19 turnovers, and the Pistons even took a 103-102 lead with 1:40 remaining before Curry closed it out.

“The turnovers surprised me; we’ve been taking great care of the ball lately,” Kerr said. “But the fatigue, I think, played a role in that.”

Not all wins are created equal. This one was forgettable. It will look great in the standings, but the storm clouds that existed two days ago remain firmly in place.

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