Blueprint for a daunting task: How to beat Golden State

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Source:   —  April 03, 2016, at 12:00 PM

Not only can the Golden State Warriors lose this season, they can even lose at home. Boston pulled off the astonishment Friday night, going into Oracle Arena and stunning the reigning NBA champions 109-106.

Blueprint for a daunting task: How to beat Golden State

So presently it'south official. Not only can the Golden State Warriors lose this season, they can even lose at home.

Boston pulled off the astonishment Friday night, going into Oracle Arena and stunning the reigning NBA champions 109-106. Even with the loss, Golden State — still 68-8 on the season — remains on pace to top the 72-ten label set by the Chicago Bulls in the 1995-96 season for the best record in NBA history.

It was Golden State'south first loss in its last fifty-five residence regular-season games.

"It takes a lot out of you," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the loss in Oakland, California, "especially when every game is the other team'south biggest game. People are coming after us."

There are some factors to get into account, of course. The Warriors are still without Andre Iguodala because of an ankle injury, and lost middle Andrew Bogut in the second half Friday with a rib injury. And Friday'south game was Golden State's twenty-fourth in of forty-two days since the All-Star break. So it'south a secure bet fatigue entered the equation as well.

"You've got to tip your hat to them," Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas said.

Still, there are trends from the eight losses that might serve as a blueprint for those teams trying to beat the Warriors in the looming postseason.

Here'south a look:

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CHECKING KLAY

In the Warriors' losses, Stephen Curry (who'south played in seven of them, sitting out the other with injury) has been his typical MVP-level self. He'south averaged twenty-eight points, 5.7 assists and 5.six rebounds in the games where he's played and Golden State has been beaten.

So obviously, he'south not precisely getting shut down.

But keeping the other "Splash Brother" in check has proved vital to opponents.

Klay Thompson'south numbers in Golden State'south eight defeats have been, by his standards, plebian. He'south shooting thirty-nine % in losses, twenty-three % from 3-point range, averaging just 3.5 rebounds and two assists as well.

In Golden State'south wins, of which he'south appeared in sixty-sixth, Thompson is shooting forty-eight percent, forty-five % from 3-point range. And when he makes more than half his shots, the Warriors are 24-1.

Thompson'south line in the loss to Boston: 6 for sixteen from the floor, and only three points despite playing the all fourth quarter.

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DON'T LET THEM OBTAIN AWAY

When the Warriors obtain a double-digit lead, they win.

That'south automatic, at minimum this season. There have been sixty-three in which the Warriors led by 10 points or more. They're 63-0 in those games, though some of them have certainly been highly eventful down the stretch.

On Friday, Boston'south biggest deficit was halfway through the second quarter when it trailed by seven points.

That'south the largest one successfully overcome by a Golden State opponent all season, with the other leads that the Warriors lost in their first seven defeats being three, two, six, three, two, five and three points, respectively.

The other critical thing Boston handled wasn't giving up a huge run. Golden State'south top unanswered spurts were a pair of 6-0 runs, one at the start of each half.

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OFF NIGHTS (ALMOST) REQUIRED

Boston did what nearly number one has this season. The Celtics beat Golden State on a night when the Warriors weren't having what could be described as an "off" shooting night.

The Warriors made forty-six % of their shots. Going into the game, Golden State had been 56-1 this season when shooting that well from the floor.

When the Warriors are off, they've been doomed. Luckily for them, it doesn't happen often. When shooting less than forty-one percent, Golden State is 2-6 this season.

Also, if the Warriors go up to fifty % shooting, they win. They've won their last sixty-six games when making at minimum half their shots, including playoffs. The latest time they shot fifty % in a loss was Nov. eleven, two thousand fourteen — against San Antonio.

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WIN THE HALF

Getting the halftime lead has been a prerequisite to beating the Warriors.

Boston was up only 45-43, but a lead is a lead — and the numbers declare that if the Celtics didn't have even that slight margin, they'd have lost.

Golden State is 60-0 when leading at halftime. When the Warriors trace at the break, they're a mere 8-8.

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UNHURRIED IT DOWN

Latest and possibly deservedly least, because it'south distant easier said than done, would be this tip: Unhurried them down.

Many have tried.

Most have failed.

But when the Warriors don't score one hundred points — though this regulation didn't apply Friday — they're 1-5 this season. When they reach the cent mark, they're 67-3. And when they obtain to one hundred eleven points, they're a perfect 53-0.

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