The Golden State Warriors couldn’t handle Al Jefferson on Tuesday night. They couldn’t do much else, either, as they were held to their lowest point total at Oracle Arena in more than a year in a 91-75 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats.
Jefferson scored 30 points and had 13 rebounds and the Warriors (29-20) shot just 31.2 percent. Klay Thompson scored the game’s first basket on a 25-foot pull-up 3-pointer 34 seconds into the game. The Bobcats (22-28) answered with a 3-pointer from Josh McRoberts to tie the game.
Golden State would never lead again.
Charlotte held the Warriors to just 6-of-25 shooting in the opening period en route to a 26-13 lead. The Warriors trailed 51-39 at halftime. The closest Golden State would get in the second half was within eight points, 54-46, on another Thompson 3-pointer—one of just four makes from long range on the night for the Warriors—and the Bobcats led by 18 as the third quarter was about to end.
That was when the Dubs got their last flicker of hope.
Marreese Speights fired up a heave from half court as the buzzer to end the period was about to sound and knocked it in to bring the Warriors back to within 15 at 72-57.
Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 17 points and 11 assists but hit just 1-of-7 from 3-point range. Thompson was the only other Warrior in double figures with 12 points. Andrew Bogut finished with 15 rebounds and David Lee was held to eight points and three rebounds in 23 minutes. He was 3-for-13 from the floor.
One piece of good news for the Warriors was that veteran backup center Jermaine O’Neal hit the floor for the first time since Dec. 9—coincidentally against the Bobcats—he missed the last 26 games after undergoing surgery on his wrist. O’Neal finished with nine points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes.
Gerald Henderson added 17 points for Charlotte and Tolliver scored 11.
The Bobcats also got a player back from injury on Tuesday as point guard Kemba Walker started, his first appearance since spraining his ankle on Jan. 18 against the Heat. Walker had seven points, seven assists and six rebounds in 33 minutes, but shot just 3-for-11 after sitting out seven games.
The last time the Warriors were held to 75 points or less at home was on Jan. 16, 2013, in a 92-75 loss to Miami. The record for futility on the offensive end since the team moved to Oakland in 1971 was when the Warriors managed only 64 points in a 90-64 loss to the Cavaliers on March 30, 1996.
Charlotte was 37-for-78 (47.4 percent) overall, 5-for-13 (38.5 percent) from deep and 12-for-19 (63.2 percent) from the foul line. Golden State was 29-for-93 (31.2 percent), 4-for-20 (20 percent) and 13-for-16 (81.3 percent).
The Warriors had a 50-48 edge on the glass, but were outscored in the paint 46-32 and on the fast break 15-4. Each team had 16 turnovers, with Charlotte scoring 19 points off Golden State’s mistakes. The Warriors picked up 17 points off Bobcat turnovers.
Golden State is now just 14-9 at home this season and has lost four of their last six at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors will be hold again on Thursday night when they host the Chicago Bulls in a TNT nationally televised game at 7:30 p.m. Pacific.