The Santa Cruz Warriors dropped their third straight game in their first action at the NBA D-League showcase in Reno, Nevada against the Austin Toros 96-78.
After dominating the first half and having a lead that ballooned to 18 with just one minute left, the Toros outscored the Warriors 61-25 in the second half and cruised to an easy win.
Before this three game skid the Warriors were ranked as the number one defense pertaining to field goal percentage, holding their opponents to under 40 percent per game. In the past three games they've allowed their opponents to shoot 46.7 percent from the field. The defensive struggle has been unexpected, as the Warriors have two former NBA D-League Defensive Player of the Year award winners, Stefhon Hannah last season and Chris Johnson the year before.
Offensively the Warriors were not themselves again only shooting 31.2 percent from the field, but this is due in part to the struggles on the defensive end. Early in the season the Warriors defense lead to easy possessions on offensive because of steals and rebounding, but now with the defense not playing up to the standard of the first quarter of the season, they have not had those easy buckets come their way.
Leslie, who is ranked as the fourth player to watch according to the NBA.com D-League big board, had yet another double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in 26 minutes of action. It wasn't his best game only shooting 3-14 from the field, but he'll get a chance to compete in the dunk contest on Wednesday.
The only bright spot for the Warriors was Taylor Griffin who had a solid game again for the Warriors scoring 17 points and bringing in 7 rebounds.
The Warriors will stay in Reno and play their second and final game in the D-League showcase on Thursday afternoon against the Canton Charge who are 11-8 after a win over the Idaho Stampede on Tuesday.