With 40% of the members of the Hamptons 5 lineup not in uniform, the Warriors were about to be defeated before heading to the Amway Center on Thursday.
To solve this problem, they would need more than the scores they could expect from Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green – representing the other 60% – as well as DeMarcus Cousins.
Without Kevin Durant or Andre Iguodala, they needed a scorer on the bench. Just one. They do not have any.
In a game where reserves were essential to the attack, the Warriors scored 12 points against non-starters. Quench bench markers Quinn Cook and Jonas Jerebko scored six points in 32 minutes – Jordan Bell's exact "non-scorer" scored more than 14 minutes on three out of three shots.
Jerebko scored four points on two out of six shots from the field, while Cook had two out of every two goals. Neither did a 3-pointer. No one on the bench made it.
The advantage of scoring goals from the Orlando team on the score of 35-12 was more than enough to bring the Magic to a 103-96 win, setting the Warriors in a second consecutive loss and a fourth to their last six games.
Playing on the second night of a consecutive set and the fifth game in eight days, the Warriors regained positive energy in just one quarter, the third. They were barely there in the first and second goals, and they virtually dissolved in the fourth, scoring 15 points against 33 for Orlando.
"We missed a lot of shots," Curry told reporters in Florida. "We did not have any stops, a frustrating way to finish considering the way we ended the third quarter. We were pretty much in control of the game. . . it's difficult.
"We played very hard and for a consecutive match with two key players, we obviously had to rely on that to put us in the position we were in and we simply lost the lead at the end. It's a difficult way out.
Thompson said, "We have stagnated a bit. We have tried to put everything on Steph and it's just hard because the teams are going to prepare so much for him.
Do not pin this one on Curry, Thompson or even Green. All three were laid out and watched the game. Curry missed 21 of 33 shots and Thompson, 14 of 23. Green, who often generates enough energy to run the team, was not himself; it's better than five points, six rebounds and three assists over 39 minutes.
Do not put him on Cousins either, even if it was the worst of his team minus 17 minutes in 32 minutes. He did not help the defense at all, but he surely helped the attack with 21 points on 8 shots out of 16.
Neither Jerebko nor Cook would be part of this team if they were not good shooters, able to stretch the ground by firing shots beyond the bow. They did not do it on Thursday and they have not done much in a while.
Jerebko, who has been 11 of the last 23 of his first nine games as a warrior, totals 10 of the last 37 wins out of 20 losses. He shot 41.4% last season with Jazz and 36.2% for his career.
Cook has even more trouble finding triples. Since he's lost 3 of 4 against the Kings on Jan. 5, he's 6 of 39 out of the bow. He shot 44.2% as a warrior last season and his career is at 40.4%.
Both had to deal with inconsistent minutes, which is at least partly due to inconsistent production. Each bench player has a lead role, and these are the two who are there to score.
Either or the other could have made the difference. No more. Both know that they must be better.
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Some will call it a "programmed loss," a product of the average of the indicator. Others might say that it was a "table game", in which reserves would play a key role in determining the outcome.
It was both for the warriors. And that was enough for general manager Bob Myers to wonder who, if any, would be available Friday via the corporate buyout market, who is able to provide some points of the session.