OAKLAND, Calif. — Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry was given Saturday night’s game off against the Dallas Mavericks to rest. His team followed suit a couple hours later losing 126-91, in what was the group’s worst home loss of the year (35 points) in a season that has been littered with them.
“Defensively we were not connected,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “We weren’t talking and we got off to that slow start. And Dallas is always a hard team to guard they execute well and I think they made 12 threes in the first half, 21 for the game. A lot of miscommunication — but we just couldn’t pull together after that slow start and we never could get any traction in the game. So we just got to flush this one down the toilet and move on to tomorrow. Not much else to do.”
The Warriors shot only 4-for-30 from beyond the arc and were outscored 58-26 in bench points by the Mavericks. Despite the poor performance, the proud group took the loss in stride in the midst of a long season.
“It’s not odd at all,” Warriors forward Kevin Durant said. “I think everybody in that locker room has gotten their asses beat at home before. I know this experience is different, how much winning we’ve done the last few years. But we’re still in the NBA; guys have been a part of terrible games, along with the great games as well. The good thing about it, we play tomorrow night too.”
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The Warriors locker room remained upbeat despite the jarring nature of a loss to one of the Western Conference’s worst teams. There was no concern that this game would bleed over into Sunday’s game against the Detroit Pistons. It was almost two weeks to the day the Warriors lost at home to the Phoenix Suns, a loss that Kerr believes “woke up” the entire group.
“When you shoot 13 percent from three that’s never a positive,” Warriors swingman Klay Thompson said. “And our defensive rotations weren’t that great. We let one get away and we just got to regroup and win tomorrow.”
The loss pushed the Warriors back into second place behind the Denver Nuggets at the top of the Western Conference standings. Kerr and his players have said all along that they would like to get home-court advantage in the team’s final season at Oracle Arena, but they have no concern about having to potentially go on the road to close out a series.
Still, the loss stings from a historical perspective for a Warriors group that only has five regular season games left at Oracle. The 35-point loss to the Mavs was the worst in the Kerr era (since 2014-15), and the team’s worst since 2007, according to ESPN Stats and Information.
The Warriors’ 13.3 shooting percentage from three-point land was tied for second-worst in the Kerr era. Durant was 0-for-8 from beyond the arc, which is just the fourth time that’s happened in his career.
“We just got punched,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said. “You kind of sensed the energy wasn’t there. That’s kind of normal in a game like that. I didn’t really sense we’d lose by 40.”
The Warriors are now only 5-7 when Curry doesn’t play this season, but both Green and Kerr didn’t think Curry’s absence was the reason why they lost.
“Sometimes you have games where playing against that team isn’t going to get you up,” Green said. “You got to find the energy somewhere else. We didn’t.”