r1153765 600x600 1 1 - Replay Madness

DENVER — Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson caught the ball in the right corner with 25 seconds to go in their game against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night. Before even fully setting up his shot, and with a defender right in his face, Thompson launched the shot and hit it, bringing his club within two.

The Warriors forced a jump ball on the next possession — which they won — and Thompson had two opportunities to either win or tie the game. But neither fell, resulting in Golden State’s 30th road loss of the season, this one a 112-110 decision.

After the game, Thompson was seen in the locker room with his head buried in his hands. As he walked out of Ball Arena, he hung his head as low as it could go. He was disappointed he couldn’t get the job done, but he and the Warriors know they shouldn’t have even been in that position in the first place.

The Warriors opened their game against the Nuggets playing some of their best, cleanest, most complete basketball of the year. For the first 18 minutes of the game, the ball was moving, their defense was strong and they had total control. But midway through the second quarter, it all disappeared.

“Up until the middle of the second quarter, we had total control of the game. Then we stopped playing. We lost our focus on both ends,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We had control of the game and just handed that back to them. We gave them life and they took advantage.

“We were mindless out there and weren’t tough enough, disciplined enough and ultimately didn’t deserve to win.”

Lack of focus has been a common theme throughout the Warriors’ season, especially on the road, leading them to have a 9-30 road record, the fourth-worst road record in the league this season and the worst by a defending champion in NBA history.

And despite there only being three games left in the regular season — two of which are on the road — there isn’t a simple solution for Golden State.

“Most of the questions when we lose are about what went wrong and you try to point the finger, but if we obviously knew what to do about it, we would do it,” Curry said.

Donte DiVincenzo added: “Ultimately you have to look yourself in the mirror. If you’re out there playing and waiting for someone else to tell you to get your head out of your a–, that’s not going to work. It’s not going win games. It’s got to start from within.”

Curry finished with 21 points but did so on 8-of-28 shooting, including just 2-of-14 from three. Meanwhile, Thompson scored 25 on 9-of-28 shooting.

Kerr wasn’t pleased with this team’s shot selection down the stretch of the game, saying the Warriors “weren’t trusting each other” — another common theme across Golden State’s road losses.

As the regular season wraps up, there is a “natural concern” from the Warriors about winning games away from Chase Center, especially as they head into the postseason.

And at this point, a playoff berth isn’t a guarantee. If they had won all of their final four games — at Denver, hosting Oklahoma City, at Sacramento and at Portland — Golden State could not have finished worse than sixth. And facing the Nuggets without Nikola Jokic, a young Thunder team, the Kings who could be resting players and the Trail Blazers with Damian Lillard shut down, it was a possibility.

But with their loss in Denver, the play-in is still very much in play for Golden State.

“There’s a sense of urgency on these last three games and not only just the wins, but the vibe that you create going into a playoff series,” Curry said. “That does matter.”

The Warriors know they want to feel good about where their game is at heading into the postseason. Even if it’s not showing up in the win column, they can have immense pride and confidence in the way they’re playing, fueling their belief they could make another postseason run.

They have had those moments this season, even when going winless on the road. But Sunday in Denver was not one of them.

Possibly it’s because they knew if they had won out their four remaining games they could have secured the sixth seed. Also because they had complete control of this game and they let it slip. Or the fact that they’re simply almost out of time.

“We’ve got to come to a realization that if we’re going to win or do anything in the playoffs, this kind of game like tonight can’t happen,” Curry said.

Source link

Kerr’s Warriors ‘didn’t deserve to win’ in costly loss to Nuggets