Bad as the Charlotte Bobcats were defensively the Golden State Warriors hit 13 of their first 16 shots the bigger concern in this eighth straight loss might have been offense.
The Bobcats committed a season-high 18 turnovers. They committed three shot-clock violations. They shot 37 percent from the field. That sums up why they trailed by as much as 21 and lost to the Warriors at home 104-96 Monday night.
Those 24-second violations are becoming far too commonplace. The Bobcats (7-13) launched at least eight air balls in the first half. They trailed 20-9 early and had to outscore the Warriors 22-11 in the fourth quarter to make the final margin respectable.
As you lose, the value of a shot sometimes appears to be 10, instead of two, said Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap, whose team is on the NBAs longest active losing streak.
Point guard Kemba Walker (24 points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (17) were the only efficient scorers for the Bobcats. Walker took this one hard, blaming himself for the dysfunctional offense early on.
Weve got to play the way we did (in the fourth quarter) from the start, said Walker, who topped 20 points for the fourth of five games. I take responsibility for that. Ive got to set a tone for my teammates.
Asked about the shot-clock violations, Walker said, Theyre doing a good job of scouting us. But thats something we need to get better at.
The Warriors (14-7) have a variety of offensive weapons, so youre in big trouble if you cant score at the other end. Charlottean Stephen Curry had a memorable night in his one game in his hometown, scoring 27 points. Power forward David Lee did the rest, driving and dunking for 25.
The Warriors are 4-0 on this cross-conference trip and have won six of their past seven. Theyre for real to make the Western Conference playoffs.
There are no limitations on this team, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. Theyre all committed and everybody hangs on to the rope.
The Bobcats have numerous limitations. Earlier this season they kept turnovers to a minimum, but theyve committed 17 or more in three of their past seven games. Defensively they struggle to strike a balance between defending the rim and closing out on open jump-shooters.
Its a live-and-learn experience and Dunlap has been fiddling with his lineup each game. Monday he moved power forward Byron Mullens back in with the starters, replacing Gana Diop. Former starting center Brendan Haywood has slipped out of the rotation, playing just three minutes against the Warriors.
Every time we tried to make a comeback, they made a big play or a big shot, Walker said.
Seems thats happened a lot lately.