Golden State Warriors: DPOY's absence felt immediately despite veteran's season-best

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Clippers
Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Clippers / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

The indefinite suspension to former Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green was felt immediately for the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night, with the LA Clippers pouring in 69 first-half points in a 121-113 win at Arena.

Steve Kerr made a drastic shift to his starting lineup, placing rookie Brandin Podziemski in the starting lineup and demoting 2022 All-Star Andrew Wiggins to the bench. Jonathan Kuminga started in place of Green, often taking the assignment of star duo James Harden and Kawhi Leonard who combined for 55 points, 15 rebounds and 17 assists in the eight-point win.

Klay Thompson's season-high 30 points went in vain as the Golden State Warriors fell to the LA Clippers

After an 8-0 start to the game, the Warriors would come to ruin a second-quarter where they were outscored 40-28 as the Clippers opened up a 13-point half-time lead. Golden State were unable to limit the Clipper offense who got whatever they wanted despite the absence of star wing Paul George.

Amir Coffey took advantage of George's absence and the Warriors need to send extra bodies at Harden and Leonard, with the role player's 17 points in the first three-quarters a symbol of the visitors struggles defensively.

Klay Thompson heated up with four threes and 16 points in a third-quarter stretch that was easily his best of the season. The under fire 33-year-old kept Golden State in the game, with fellow splash brother Stephen Curry struggling and the defense still unable to get stops.

The Warriors found life late in the third when Moses Moody's and-1 layup was followed by Chris Paul's desperation three-point heave at the buzzer, cutting the Clippers lead to a manageable six points.

A Paul mid-range jumpshot then brought the margin to one, but Golden State were never able to retake the lead after surrendering it late in the first-quarter. Thompson returned for another triple, his eighth of the game on 12 attempts that also delivered the five-time All-Star his first 30-piece of the season. On the other hand, Curry was uncharacteristically out of touch, finishing with 17 points, four rebounds and four assists on 5-17 shooting including 3-13 from three-point range.

The Warriors had 16 offensive rebounds and limited their turnovers to only 11 after a handful in the first-quarter, yet they were no match for the Clippers' 50.6% shooting from the floor, 40.6% from three-point range, and 11 more free-throw attempts.

Kuminga had 15 points and five rebounds in his insertion to the starting lineup, while fellow third-year lottery pick Moody provided a spark in the second-half with 11 points and five rebounds off the bench.

Wiggins had nine points and three rebounds with five fouls in nearly 22 minutes off the bench, ultimately not doing enough to make a major statement after his demotion. Kerr confirmed post-game that the former number one overall pick will continue to come off the bench while Podziemski and Kuminga are preferred.

Thursday's loss concluded a 0-3 road-trip for Golden State, made even more frustrating by the fact they were in every game. The embattled team will now head back to Chase Center to host the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.