In the first quarter of the Game 4 loss, a TV camera caught a suited Stephen Curry eating popcorn in his second-row seat.
Unfortunately for the sidelined MVP, his Golden State Warriors teammates didn’t provide much entertainment in the uninspired 103-90 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, which sends the series back to Oakland for Game 5 on Tuesday night.
On what was supposed to be close-out day, it would have been difficult to script a worse opening for the reigning champs.
The Warriors managed just 42 points — while piling up 11 turnovers — in the first half. Seven of those giveaways came before the midway point of the opening quarter.
“Seven turnovers in the first four or five minutes in a playoff game on the road? Good luck,” head coach Steve Kerr said to reporters.
In the process of prolonging the series and costing themselves a couple of days of preparation for the New Orleans Pelicans, who have already bowled past the Portland Trail Blazers, the Warriors resembled the Curry-less club that wobbled to a 4-6 record to finish out the regular season.
With de facto point guard Andre Iguodala in foul trouble, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant accounted for the lion’s share of the ball handling — and eight of the 16 turnovers.
Green, who had five on his own, was also the most engaged Warrior throughout the affair, totaling nine points, 18 rebounds, nine assists and a steal.
Durant, who all too often found himself in isolated situations to the detriment of the rest of the team, was the high-point man with 34. His 3-point line — 4-for-13 — epitomized the day for a team that 37.8 percent as a group. Klay Thompson, who’d been on fire throughout the first three games, was an uncharacteristic 4-for-16 from the field.
The frustration of the afternoon was best summarized by an unusual third-quarter scene. The entire bench protested a foul call, David West most vociferously. The veteran reserve then sprinted up the tunnel and jumped on a spin bike — as he does before entering games — and was assessed a technical.
Manu Ginobili, West’s sage counterpart with the Spurs, did everything he could to wreck the Warriors’ day and extend his own career. Ginobili, who has yet to say if he will return next season, was +10 in his first 10 minutes off the bench then dropped 10 points in the fourth quarter to withstand the Warriors’ late charge.
Before the Warriors’ indifference and Spurs’ resolve conspired to bring the series back to Oracle Arena, Kerr offered a detailed update on Curry, who continues to make his way back from his left MCL sprain.
“Steph [is] not going to play anytime soon, but he’s coming along well,” Kerr explained.
The head coach said Curry looked good in his return to the court for Saturday’s non-contact practice, but his reintroduction into game action remains elusive
“I talked to him this morning, he’s really feeling healthy, getting better,” Kerr said. “He still has a few limitations that he’s trying to work through but no pain. So, I think he’s on track. I can’t put a timetable on it, but I think he’s coming along really well.”