Ill-advised starting lineup choice costs Golden State Warriors in ugly loss

San Antonio Spurs v Golden State Warriors
San Antonio Spurs v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors have suffered an ugly home loss to the conference-worst San Antonio Spurs on Saturday, with a horrible first-half coming back to bite the hosts in a 126-113 defeat.

Despite playing without the injured Stephen Curry, the Warriors entered as heavy favorites against a Spurs team also without their best player and Rookie of the Year favorite Victor Wembanyama. But the game didn't play out as planned for Golden State whose offense completely stagnated without Curry in the first-half.

An ill-advised starting lineup choice from Steve Kerr has hurt the Golden State Warriors in a double-digit loss to the San Antonio Spurs

To nobody's surprise, Chris Paul replaced Curry in the starting lineup. The more notable aspect was Trayce Jackson-Davis' inclusion for Andrew Wiggins, giving Paul a lob threat at center to utilize in a different-looking Warrior offense.

While that made some sense in theory, it also left Golden State with a distinct lack of shooting that ultimately proved costly. The second-quarter, in particular, was the difference as the Warriors were limited to just 16 points and 43 for the half.

Golden State made just five threes on 18 attempts in the first 24 minutes, three of which were made by veteran sharpshooter Klay Thompson. In hindsight the 34-year-old should have started, but that move didn't come till after the main interval when the Warriors already found themselves down by 19.

The offense found it's rhythm in the second-half with Thompson working himself to 27 points on 8-of-16 shooting and 5-of-10 from beyond the arc, while Jonathan Kuminga overcame a quiet first-half to record 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting.

The Warriors put up 70 points in the second-half, but it mattered little as the Spurs continued to shoot the ball at a season-best rate. After surprisingly losing the three-point battle to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday, Golden State were again beaten by 21 from beyond the arc.

San Antonio made 17 of their 33 attempts, the first time all season they'd shot over 50% from three-point range. In contrast, the Warriors made only 10 of their 30 in what became the distinct factor in the game.

Wiggins had 11 points and six rebounds off the bench, with Golden State struggling to find a third avenue of scoring behind Thompson and Kuminga. Trayce Jackson-Davis also had 11 points and six boards in a more prominent role, while Paul had 10 points and nine assists as the starting point-guard.

The two teams will meet again at Frost Bank Center on Monday, with Curry to remain out as he continues his recovery from the ankle issue sustained against the Bulls.