Dubs completely outplayed in bad loss to Magic

What we learned as Dubs suffer another bad loss to Magic originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay area

SAN FRANCISCO — The final score, a 115-101 Warriors loss to the Orlando Magic on Saturday night at Chase Center, was secondary. What mattered most was the returns of Andrew Wiggins and Andre Iguodala, as well as the health of Klay Thompson.

Wiggins and Iguodala being back on the floor was expected. Thompson being a last-second scratch certainly was a big surprise. Donte DiVincenzo started in Thompson’s place and scored 15 points — all off 3-pointers — to go with eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. Late in the first quarter, the Warriors announced Thompson was out for the game with left knee soreness, the same knee he sustained a torn ACL in the 2019 NBA Finals.

Without Thompson, who was averaging 33.6 points per game during the Warriors’ homestand, the Warriors’ offense floundered against the Magic. They didn’t have one of the best 3-point shooters of all time, yet hoisted up shot from downtown like the Splash Brothers were taking over. And it hurts.

The Warriors attempted 58 3-pointers and made 18, good for a 31 percent clip. The Magic doubled the Warriors’ points in the paint. While the Warriors only scored 26 points down low, the Magic dropped 52.

Anthony Lamb led the way for the Warriors with a career-high 26 points, but 22 were scored in the first half. Jordan Poole’s 21 points were the most from a Warriors starter, however, he was 5-for-17 from the field, 2-for-11 from 3-point range and turned the ball over four times.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors’ second straight loss, dropping them to 20-20 on the season.

Welcome Back, Wiggins

Though others have stepped up in his absence, the Warriors sure have missed Wiggins. His first shot attempt Saturday night was part of the reasons why.

A little more than two minutes into the game, Draymond Green found Wiggins behind the 3-point line. No hesitation, three points for the home squad.

The rest of the night didn’t go so smooth for the All-Star.

Wiggins played 19 minutes and scored just 12 points. He went 4-for-12 from the field and 2-for-7 on 3-pointers. His shot was short a handful of times and rust was more than obvious in the loss.

Iguodala’s Season Debut

Steve Kerr used 10 players in the first quarter alone. He didn’t wait to get the fans off their feet, too. At the 7:28 mark, Iguodala officially made his season debut — to the delight of fans and teammates alike.

A minute and a half later, Iguodala had his first assist of the night. Iguodala’s ability to slow the game down and make it easier for his teammates will be a welcome sight for the Warriors. But as a whole, the Warriors’ offense was far too stagnant and they never got into the right rhythm, with or without Iguodala.

Overall, Igudoala played 12 minutes off the bench, his most since Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals on June 2. He didn’t attempt a single shot, grabbed two rebounds and had one assist. Iguodala also turned the ball over twice.

Both turnovers looked like a moment of misunderstanding between teammates. It will take some time integrating the veteran back into the flow of things, though everyone certainly is happy to have him back in game action.

Lamb’s Career Night

By halftime against the Magic, Lamb already had set a season high in points and had tied his career high of 22 points. The problem for the Warriors was their starters had combined for only 30 points through the first two quarters.

Hustling off his own missed three and finishing strong for two more points in the third quarter gave Lamb a new career high of 24 points.

Lamb played 33 minutes off the bench and finished with 26 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and five 3-pointers. In his two games prior, he scored 17 points in each game, which tied his previous season best both times. The Warriors have a Lamb luxury and problem on their hands.

RELATED: Kerr, Warriors know tough decisions loom with Lamb, Jerome

He now has played in 30 straight games, and is an all-important piece to the Warriors’ success. So, what’s the problem? As a two-way player, Lamb can only be active for 50 regular-season games and is ineligible for the playoffs. Lamb now only has 18 active games left, and there still are 42 regular-season games to go.

Golden State does have an open roster spot still, and it might be impossible not to give it to Lamb at this point.

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