SAN FRANCISCO — Stephen Curry scored 26 points, Jonathan Kuminga added 20 and Kevon Looney contributed a double-double off the bench but it wasn’t enough as the Warriors stumbled late again Sunday night to fall 120-116 to the Brooklyn Nets.
For the third consecutive game, the Warriors squandered a double-digit lead in the second half.
But unlike Friday night in Cleveland, when the shorthanded Warriors pulled out a win over the towering Cavaliers with Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green watching from the bench in street clothes, Golden State couldn’t hold off the Nets, who were without star Kevin Durant.
The Warriors were outscored 27-10 over the final seven minutes. Royce O’Neale drained a 3 with 27 seconds remaining to put the Nets up 118-116. Kyrie Irving sank a pair of free throws with 14 seconds left to cap off a disappointing finish for Golden State, who once again dropped below .500 on the season.
The Warriors led 72-60 at halftime, making the fourth time they’ve scored 70-or-more points in the first half this season. But Golden State lacked energy out of the break, while the Nets, who were without former Warrior Durant, jumped out on a 15-5 run to tie the game at 75.
The Warriors led 90-86 heading into the fourth quarter and their lead swelled to 13 with just under seven minutes remaining. But Golden State committed too many mistakes and couldn’t get enough stops down the stretch.
Irving finished with a game-high 38 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Nic Claxton had a double-double with 24 points and 15 rebounds.
Kerr decided to run it back with his small-ball lineup, inserting Poole into the starting lineup for Kevon Looney, an experiment he plans to continue to try after debuting the starting unit in Boston last week. The key for the group of Curry, Poole, Thompson, Wiggins and Draymond Green is that they need to be extra focused on defense and gobble up boards.
That group had its struggles with Wiggins and Thompson having a hard time getting things going offensively. They were also outrebounded by the Nets starters 35-25.
But Poole continues to make some strides on the defensive end. He snatched a career-high-tying four steals against the Nets.
Meanwhile, Looney remains a steady force every time he steps foot on the court — whether he’s starting or not.
“Loon is the ultimate pro,” Kerr said. “It’s one of the things we all love about him. He stays ready regardless of his role. Every day he’s working on his body, his game, and his mind, and nothing seems to affect him. He just comes to work and gets his job done.”
The Warriors will be back in action Wednesday when they host the Memphis Grizzlies.