What a difference 24 hours can make.
Warriors guard Andrew Wiggins was a man possessed, in a good way, on Friday against the Grizzlies, leading his team to victory with 40 points, a career-high scoring total for Wiggins in Golden State.
On Saturday, however, the final story was markedly different. Though Wiggins had 20 total points and kept the Warriors afloat in the game’s early going from the free-throw line, he faltered late, turning the ball over on a crucial possession in the final minutes, contributing greatly to the 111-103 loss.
Wiggins was double-teamed as he crossed halfcourt, his team down by just a point. He picked up his dribble and panicked a bit and threw a wild pass that landed in the hands of Grizzlies guard Grayson Allen, who went to the hoop for an easy two points.
In a game where points were at a premium, that bucket felt like the final nail in the coffin. Wiggins could have called a timeout, but didn’t. Same story for coach Steve Kerr, who admitted as much, per NBC Sports’ Drew Shiller.
If Golden State (22-21) had called that timeout, perhaps they would have won and gone 3-0 on their three-game road trip. Instead, they’ll have to settle for 2-1. It’s not terrible considering star guard Stephen Curry sat out each game against Memphis due to his tailbone injury, but Saturday’s game was theirs for the taking.
It’s not the first time a close game has slipped away, a fact that’s not lost on coach Kerr, per Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Those struggles are mostly representative of a team that’s growing together and should be ironed out in time. How much time that takes is up in the air, however.
Also, Wiggins’ confidence is something to keep an eye on. He had quite the swing from hero to … well to just making a boneheaded play late in the game.
Almost everyone on the team played worse than they did on Friday, however, so hopefully, it’s just a small bump in the road for Wiggins and he can get back on track right away, starting Tuesday against the 76ers at Chase Center.
(Photo credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports)