CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Just when it appeared the Warriors had solved their disturbing dysfunction to begin games, they once again showed up dead on arrival Monday night for far too long after the opening tip.
Despite staging an impressive revival from 15 points down behind hometown hero Stephen Curry's season-high 43 points -- 32 in the second half -- the Warriors boarded the cross-country flight home stewing over a 115-111 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Some might surmise that too much travel has been a factor in the Warriors' uninspiring 12-10 record. Of their 22 games, 14 have come on the road, which leads the NBA. Eight of their 10 losses are away from Oracle Arena.
There will be some respite, as Golden State plays seven of the next nine at home before a seven-game bear of a trip starting at the end of the month.
But nobody, least of all Curry, was buying the road weariness factor for this one. The Warriors fully understood this was an away game they really let get away.
"If we don't learn the lessons we need to from these tough losses, then we're not going to have any excuses down the stretch when we have a whole month of games at home," Curry said. "We can't rely on the schedule to turn things for us if we don't pay attention to what our shortcomings are as a unit."
On this night, those shortcomings were many. It started with horrible shooting -- Curry and Klay Thompson were a combined 1 for 14 at one point and 0 for 8 from 3-point range as the Warriors shot 36.4 percent in the first half.
With both centers, Andrew Bogut and Jermaine O'Neal, picking up three first-half fouls, the Warriors' interior defense faltered, and Charlotte -- the worst offense in the league in terms of both points scored per game and shooting percentage -- put up 53 in the first half for a 12-point lead it would expand to 15 in the third quarter.
Bench? Even though the Bobcats were much more decimated by injuries than Golden State, their reserves outscored the Warriors' 32-10. Shot selection? The Warriors are a terrific outside shooting team, to be sure, but 37 shots from beyond the arc might have been pushing the envelope.
The Warriors staged a second-half rally to tie the game at 88-all with 8:52 left, only to see Ramon Sessions, Ben Gordon and mostly Kemba Walker, who scored Charlotte's final 15 points over the last 5:01 of the game, beat it back.
"We showed a lot of fight, there's no question about that," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "But that's the energy and effort you have to have before you get down. That's the disappointing part -- we don't have to prove that we can fight back in ballgames. What we have to prove is we can take over ballgames early and put together 48 minutes of our brand."
It's tough to put a finger on why the Warriors were so good to start the game in a win at Memphis on Saturday night but were horrible to start losses in Houston and Charlotte on this trip, but one thing is certain -- it's on everybody.
"We have to do whatever it takes to start games better and have momentum in the first half," said Curry. "I can't pinpoint any one area. All five guys just have to be alert -- get every loose ball, every rebound -- and set the tone for the game."
"We can't keep getting in positions like that where we're fighting back," said Draymond Green. "If we can play like we did catching up at the start of the game, we can take a 12- to 15-point lead making those runs as opposed to having to claw back."
Green gave the Warriors good defensive minutes in the fourth quarter until he sprained his left ankle at the point the Warriors tied it and didn't return. X-rays were negative, but it was a moderate sprain, and Green could be questionable for Dallas at home on Wednesday.
As for Curry, only his pride was injured with so many supporters in the stands from Charlotte and nearby Davidson College. Scoring 43 meant next to nothing to him.
"It's always fun to play in front of family and friends, people you know," he said. "But this loss was very disappointing, it stings a bit more than the rest. Stats don't matter. It's all about getting the win."
Dallas (13-9) at Warriors (12-10), 7:30 p.m. CSNBA