Comeback King Bogut can't end Warriors' malaise
ANDREW Bogut made an immediate impact in his return to the NBA - but it wasn't enough to stop the Golden State malaise.
Bogut was handed the start by coach Steve Kerr, taking over from injured centre Demarcus Cousins, and had an instant impact.
The veteran opened his account with an alley-oop off Steph Curry before dropping the hammer with a powerful dunk on San Antonio's Jakob Poeltl.
All up, he had seven points and seven rebounds in a useful 19 minutes on the floor - no mean feat considering he flew over from Australia at the weekend - but he was unable to stop the Warriors falling to a Patty Mills inspired San Antonio Spurs 111-105.
The Warriors had an uncharacteristically poor shooting night from the floor, with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combining for a staggering 4-22 in the first half before coming to life after the break.
Thompson (14 points) shot a shocking 5-18, while Curry (25 points) had a worrying 9-25 despite drilling a stunning heave from deep inside his own half to end the first quarter with a remarkable buzzer-beater.
Curry was full of praise for Bogut's seamless reintegration into the NBA.
"This is one of the best examples of somebody who looks great on YouTube and then they show up and look exactly like that," Curry said.
Bogut copped a brutal reality check nine seconds into his comeback when he was called for an illegal screen - which he admitted was a 'welcome back to the NBA' moment from the officials.
"That's a 'welcome to the league'. We know you set hard screens, so we're going to blow one early," he said.
By contrast, Spurs star DeMar DeRozan took over the game in the fourth quarter to finish with a game-high 26 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in a thrilling performance.
Bogut's Boomers teammate Patty Mills chimed in for 10 points for the Spurs, who extended their winning streak to nine games.Elsewhere, Australian swingman Joe Ingles notched 11 of his 16 points in the first half as the Utah Jazz won 116-95 at the Washington Wizards. Boomers forward Thon Maker started and played a season-high 33 minutes for the Detroit Pistons, contributing seven points, nine rebounds and three assists as the Detroit Pistons lost in a 126-119 road loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Denver Nuggets got past the Boston Celtics 114-105 to clinch a play-off berth and join the Warriors at 47-22 for the best record in the western conference. Toronto Raptors trounced the New York Knicks 128-92, the Miami Heat won 116-107 at the Thunder while the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Dallas Mavericks 129-125 in overtime.