Warriors Takeaways: What We Learned as Stephen Curry Injured in Loss to Suns


SAN FRANCISCO -- Eventually, the Warriors will win a game at Chase Center. It didn't happen Wednesday night, when they lost much more than a game.

In the process of a tip-to-buzzer 121-110 loss to the new and improved Phoenix Suns, Stephen Curry, the Warriors' lodestar, went down with a hand injury with 8:31 remaining in the third quarter and left the game.

Curry, who scored nine points in 21 minutes, did not return. X-rays revealed a broken left hand, meaning he'll miss significant time.

The Warriors fell to 1-3 this season (and 0-2 at Chase Center) in a game that wasn't as close as the final score. They were thoroughly outplayed at both ends. They trailed by 29 (43-14) after one quarter and pulled no closer than 22 over the next two.

Here are three takeaways from the game that changed the Warriors' 2019-20 fortunes.

Curry's absence casts a pall

The Warriors were being abused long before Curry went down, but his departure sucked most of the air out of the building and sent fans scrambling to the exits after three quarters.

Driving to the basket, Curry was fouled by 6-foot-10, 260-pound Suns center Aron Baynes, with both men landing on the floor, Baynes falling directly onto Curry, who got up holding his left hand but hoping to shoot the two free throws he was awarded.

The Warriors called a timeout to buy time, but Curry was unable to shoot, his night ending as he headed for the locker room with Dr. Rick Celebrini, the Warriors' director of sports medicine and performance.

Under such conditions, the opposing team is allowed to select the shooter. The Suns chose center Willie Cauley-Stein, a 61.1 percent career free-throw shooter, who made both attempts.

That trimmed the deficit to 27 (83-56). The Warriors did not come within less than 20 until they began rallying well into the fourth quarter.

The Debut Duo

More than four weeks after training camp opened, Cauley-Stein and swingman Alec Burks each made their Warriors debuts. Just like everybody else on the roster, they'd like to forget it as soon as last week.

Their individual performances, however, were at least as good as could be expected.

Cauley-Stein finished with 12 points (5-of-5 shooting from the field), five rebounds, one block and one assist. He was minus-8 over 12 minutes.

Burks totaled seven points (3-of-6 shooting from the field, 1 of 3 beyond the arc), two assists and one rebound. He played 18 minutes and finished minus-1.

Neither embarrassed his name nor his game. They looked a bit rusty at times, but they both had a much better excuse than any of their teammates.

Paschall acquits himself nicely

Amid the profound defectiveness that touched most everyone on the Warriors' roster, rookie forward Eric Paschall was an oasis of proficiency.

Making his first start, the Villanova product submitted a career-high -- and team-high -- 20 points (7-of-9 shooting from the field, 6 of 6 from the line), three rebounds, two blocks and one steal. He was no less active on defense than he was on offense, often harassing Phoenix players into mistakes or turnovers.

Perhaps most impressive of all, considering the Warriors were on the painful end of a rout, Paschall managed to finish plus-19 over a game-high 38 minutes.

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