AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Warriors point guard Stephen Curry scooped a loose ball and pushed it the other way.
With the Warriors down three to the Detroit Pistons and the game 20 seconds from elapsing, Curry slowed up hoisted a wide-open 3-pointer from the top. It was in rhythm. The release was perfect. It looked on line.
Then it rolled out.
"I hadn't made one," Curry said, "so I tried to play the law of averages. I thought it was going to go in."
The Warriors wound up losing Sunday 102-97 largely because their offense was like Curry's game-tying attempt -- not quite good enough. For the second consecutive game, the Warriors (4-2) stayed close with defense and rebounding and hustle. But unlike Friday's home win over Utah, they couldn't manage enough offense to pull out a win.
The lack of sync in the offense was especially evident in the fourth quarter when Golden State missed 15 of 28 shots, five of those bricks from 3-point range. Meanwhile, Detroit guards Richard Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey combined for 18 fourth-quarter points.
"Just one of those nights where our offense wasn't going and they made shots," guard Monta Ellis said. "(The starters have) got to start the game off better. We start the game off too sluggish every game. This time, it bit us in the behind. We can't do that on the road."
Over the past four games, the Warriors have averaged 95 points on 40.6 percent shooting. The past two games they totaled 182 points -- that's their lowest scoring output in consecutive games since they totaled 179 over two games in March 2009.
Perhaps the biggest factor is the sluggish offense is Curry. He missed two of those four games thanks to a sprained right ankle. He's played the past two with that ankle at noticeably less than 100 percent, and it's impacted his offense.
In his first game back Friday, he finished with 20 points on 7 for 17 shooting. He scored 11 points in the fourth quarter to salvage what was an otherwise rough night scoring. Sunday, he never did get going, finishing with 10 points (3 for 12 from the field).
"His rhythm is not there," Warriors coach Keith Smart said. "We have to work him back into everything. He goes straight from the training table to a live game. He will probably get better as the trip goes on, because he'll be playing more."
Another factor is forward David Lee. He hasn't provided much by way of scoring the past four games, averaging 10 points on 16 for 46 shooting.
"I'm getting some easy shots, they just aren't going in," Lee said. "Usually when I'm not playing my best offensively is when my body doesn't feel good, when I'm hurting. But I feel great out there. I feel great out there. ... It's just a matter of my shot's not falling."
Lee did manage a few baskets, including a tip-in during an 18-5 Warriors run to start the third quarter. Golden State continued its tradition of inspired play after halftime, taking a 63-54 lead after a fast-break layup by Ellis at the 6:14 mark.
But that hot third-quarter start was negated by poor offensive execution. Over the next eight minutes and change, the Warriors turned the ball over seven times, the last leading to a Hamilton layup that put the Warriors down 83-78 with 10:02 left in the fourth quarter.
Golden State went 7 for 20 the rest of the way. Half of those shots were long jumpers, of which it made one.
"We turned the ball over and we took to many long jump shots that didn't go down," Smart said. "Had they gone down, it would've been a different story. But we didn't. Somehow, we've got to get ourselves making some shots. Our defense has held us great. But when you've got guys getting wide open shots, they've got to make those shots."
Warriors at Toronto, 4 p.m., CSNBA