What we learned as Steph's return spoiled in Dubs' loss to Lakers


LOS ANGELES -- Steph Curry's long-awaited return after missing the Warriors' last 11 games to a left lower leg injury was spoiled Sunday at Crpyto.com Arena.

The Warriors once again started off extremely slow, putting themselves in a 15-point hole after the first quarter. They stormed back in the second, trailing by only one at halftime, but didn't bring their third-quarter magic on the road. Golden State was outscored by five in the third, and two in the fourth.

Curry led the Warriors with 27 points, going 8 of 20 from the field and 5 of 13 on 3-point attempts. He also added six assists, tied for the team lead. Klay Thompson provided 22 points, four threes and five rebounds, and Draymond Green was just shy of a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds.

Anthony Davis simply was too big and too good for the smaller Warriors. He scored a game-high 39 points, and feasted early on.

Following a perfect 5-0 homestand, the Warriors' road woes continued.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors falling to 34-31 on the season.

Welcome back, Steph

The first shot Curry threw up was set up perfectly. The greatest shooter of all time found himself wide open from behind the 3-point line. He missed. 

Curry clanked all three of his shot attempts in the first quarter, including two threes. But in the second, he scored eight points, made two 3-pointers and was 3 of 4 from the field. Everything changes with Curry on the court. 

He then missed all four of his shots in the third quarter, as the Warriors were outscored by five in the period. His first attempt in the fourth quarter was a layup that Austin Reaves swatted away with authority, prompted Reaves to feel himself and the Lakers crowd loudly cheer. All that did was wake Curry up.

Curry made four straight shots, including two 3-pointers, and 12 points following the block before going to the bench. Overall, Curry scored 19 points in the fourth quarter and made three triples. There was just one problem.

The Warriors couldn't do enough without him. The game shifted with him on the bench during the fourth quarter.

Andre's Impact

For the first time since Jan. 13, Andre Iguodala was in a game for the Warriors. Iguodala was stuck to the bench in the first quarter before stepping on the floor to start the second. He played six minutes in the second quarter and missed his only shot attempt, but the Warriors were a plus-14 in that span as Iguodala added an assist and a block.

Iguodala, with the Warriors down by two, came in for the final 1:45 as part of the Warriors' closing lineup. Even after missing nearly two months, that's how much Steve Kerr trusts him.

The 39-year-old played 14 minutes and was a plus-13 in plus/minus. Iguodala looked strong physically, but struggled with his shot -- missing both of his attempts, which were 3-pointers.

Now, it'll be interesting to see how his body reacts. The Warriors need Iguodala's smarts, offensively and defensively.

Lineup Change

In a bit of a surprising move, Kerr pushed Jordan Poole to the bench with Curry back in the starting lineup. Donte DiVincenzo stayed in, as did Kevon Looney.

DiVincenzo was a plus-4 in plus/minus with 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Looney was a game-low minus-26, finishing with six points and five rebounds. He only played 20 minutes.

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The starting lineup played 9:25 together and were a minus-14 when they shared the floor. They were outscored 28-14 in that span. While that group had a lowly 35.0 true shooting percentage, the Lakers' true shooting percentage against them was 63.6 percent.

Anthony Lamb played his 50th game this season. The Warriors now will have to decide what to do with him as a two-way player. Lamb saw 27 minutes of action and was a team-high plus-17, scoring six points with six rebounds.

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