Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr strained to put a positive spin on the largest blown lead of the season.
The Warriors were up by 19 points in the fourth quarter as a result of an elite defensive performance up to that point. However, they imploded in the last 12 minutes and ended up losing 107 – 101 to the Dallas Mavericks.
It’s indicative of the Warriors’ shifted ambitions this year that both Steve Kerr and Steph Curry looked forward to the playoffs in the wake of Sunday’s capitulation.
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“We did not maintain our grit down the stretch,” Steve Kerr said. “We just let our momentum get away from us …We can’t just say, ‘Oh well, when Draymond [Green] and Andre [Iguodala] get back we will be better.’ It doesn’t matter who’s out there. We’ve got to get better executing under pressure and maintaining competence.
“It’s actually good to go through and feel it because this is what it feels like in the playoffs, when you’re playing against a really good team.
“We tried a few different combinations to try to regain the momentum and we just couldn’t find anything,” he added. “When they went small, we didn’t respond. We missed some open shots and they just seized the momentum.”
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“We got to figure out how to maintain our energy when the shots aren’t falling,” Steph Curry said. “Because, that’s what it might be like in a playoff game … So I’d like to say it was a good lesson to learn, even though it sucks to have to go through it.
“We’ve got to bring an edge,” Curry said. “Sustain that over 48 minutes and each game we’ll have an opportunity to do that — to turn it into a positive and try to build momentum, but it’s not going to happen on its own just because Coach says it or because we want it to. We’ve got to do it.”