OAKLAND — The referees threw Mo Williams and Wesley Matthews out of the game and then the Portland Trailblazers ran the Warriors out of the building.
A third-quarter scuffle between the Western Conference foes produced two ejections, six technical fouls and a significant momentum shift as the Trail Blazers handed the Warriors their third straight loss with a 113-101 win at Oracle Arena on Saturday.
“We did not respond once the altercation took place,” coach Mark Jackson said.
With the Warriors (8-6) leading by double-digit points, a 10-player tussle broke out with 3:42 remaining in the third quarter after Andrew Bogut and Trail Blazers forward Joel Freeland exchanged shoves underneath the basket.
Williams joined the skirmish and he received a quick shove from Bogut and responded by thrusting his forearm into the Australian center's throat. Williams appeared to throw a punch before Matthews, LaMarcus Aldridge and Draymond Green jumped in, pushing the altercation right up against the front row of the stands near the Warriors' bench.
When it was all said and done, Williams and Green were ejected, Aldridge, Bogut, Freeland and Matthews received technical fouls. The technical was Matthews' second of the game, so he left the game, too, having scored 23 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field.
Despite losing their top scorer, the Blazers responded by outscoring the Warriors 42-22 in the game's final 15:42.
Trail Blazers forward Dorell Wright said the fight gave his team a boost.
“We're the away team. We don't have our home crowd behind us, so we have to find a way,” Wright said. “That was the perfect moment — it turned the game.”
Jackson said his team quit playing its game after the incident.
“I thought we gave them life by not doing what we had been doing for the entire first half,” he said.
The Warriors held a 54-49 lead at halftime and they stretched it to 14 points early in the third quarter before letting the game slip away in the fourth.
“It's disappointing,” Klay Thompson said, referring to the Warriors' energy level down the stretch. “I'm very disappointed.”
The Trail Blazers (12-2) took advantage of 20 Warriors turnovers, converting them into 30 points; they also held outscored the home team 18-4 in second-chance points.
“We just were bad,” Jackson said, referring to the fourth quarter in particular. “I thought there were times we let our inability to make shots effect the way we defended and that's not who we are. We didn't give the same energy, we didn't give the same effort. Fifty-fifty balls, long rebounds and loose balls — they got every single one of them. When we're on top of our game, those are ours.”
Stephen Curry returned to the floor for the Warriors after missing two games with a concussion. He scored 22 points and dished out 11 assists while creating space on the floor for Thompson to drop in 30 points in a losing effort.
Thompson eventually fouled out with 5:07 left in the fourth quarter.
“It's on me,” Thompson said. “Once I get my third foul I've got to play less with my hands and take less chances.”
David Lee recorded his 300th career double-double, scoring 15 points while grabbing 12 rebounds. In doing so, Lee reached double figures in scoring for his 90th straight game becoming the first Warriors player to achieve the feat since Chris Mullin.
LaMarcus Aldridge led the way for the Trail Blazers with 30 points and 21 rebounds.
The Warriors, who played Saturday without injured forward Andre Iguodala, will look to snap their first three-game losing streak of the season when they head out to New Orleans on Tuesday to begin a four-game road trip against the Pelicans.
“I think it's good as a team to get away sometimes, figure it out, begin to think about what we need to do,” Jackson said. “Certainly nights like this need to marinate in your spirit, come back ready and reload.”