The Golden State Warriors suffered a devastating 115-111 home loss to the Western Conference bottom-feeding Phoenix Suns, cementing their mortality. The Warriors are now 4-6 in their last 10 games and have endured concerning performances from some of their star players and a lack of production from their bench unit. Particularly alarming is the fact that Golden State lost this game with all five of their perennial All-Stars on the court, blowing a 16-point lead in the process. The team may possess a 45-21 record through 66 games and the first seed in the Western Conference, but they do not look like the world-beaters they have been in past seasons.
Superstar point guard Stephen Curry posted another underwhelming scoring performance with 18 points while shooting 6-of-20 from the field, continuing his slump that has been prevalent since his 36-point game against Sacramento after the end of the All-Star Break. Despite finishing with 28 points, shooting guard Klay Thompson missed several shots as well. He, along with Curry, shot 4-of-15 from three-point range. Their combined 22 missed three-pointers were the most the pair has ever missed in a game and were a major factor in perhaps Golden State's worst loss in years.
With superstar small forward Kevin Durant suffering an ankle contusion during the game against Phoenix, Golden State's margin for error has grown thinner. Their next two games are against the streaking Houston Rockets and the top-heavy Oklahoma City Thunder, and Durant has already been ruled out for the game against Houston. To say that the Warriors require more scoring production from their top stars would be a drastic understatement, and that falls on both Curry and Thompson. In addition, star defender Draymond Green has acknowledged the fact that the team's defense has not been up to par and that he will have to step up as their defensive leader.
What is clear is that the rest of the NBA has caught up to the Warriors and their dynamic style of play. The question is how the team will respond to their disappointing recent stretch and the other teams in the league being more competitive for them.