SAN FRANCISCO — It was two hours before tipoff against the Los Angeles Lakers, and Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s temperature started to rise as he spit out the ugly truth about this season.
“Yeah, but you gotta win once in a while,” the Kerr said. “It sounds like I’m making a joke, but it’s really the truth. What I’ve found over the course of this year is we absolutely feel satisfaction from watching young players grow, working with them.
“But you gotta win one (game). You get to five, six, seven (losses) in a row and all of a sudden, it’s like, ‘C’mon.’ It’s miserable losing. You need to win one to keep things going, to keep things fresh, to let everybody breathe and feel good about things.
“We’re at that stage right now. It’s been seven in a row. We need to win.”
Fewer than three hours later, Draymond Green, returning to the lineup after a two-game absence, got himself ejected and strolled into the locker room, thereby sparing himself the maddening tedium to come.
An hour after that, late in an atrocious fourth quarter, the Lakers were running the Warriors off the floor and the Chase Center crowd was roaring its approval.
You read that right.
Ten minutes after that, a very audible “M-V-P” chant echoed through the building as Lakers reserve Alex Caruso, a cult figure of sorts, was standing at the line to shoot free throws.
Finally, about 15 minutes later, after a 34-point second half, the Warriors were trudging into the ultra-comfortable locker room lugging their eighth consecutive loss, routed 116-86 by a Lakers team without a single minute from LeBron James.
Many were the scenes the Warriors never wanted to see, and many were the sounds they never wanted to hear.
“Tonight was a step backward in the second half,” Kerr said in his post-game news conference. “I was very disappointed with all of the turnovers. We just let things slip away from us. For the most part this year, things have gone well in terms of our level of competition, focus and energy. The second half was not up to our standards. We understand where we are record-wise (12-47), but we still have a standard that we have to play to. We did not do that in the second half.”
Kerr barely was able to submerge his displeasure with Draymond’s tantrum that resulted in back-to-back technical fouls, 11 seconds apart from two different officials, with 5:45 remaining in the first half. The Warriors were trailing 42-37 and looking capable of making a game of it.
They were outscored 74-49 over the final 30 minutes.
“We needed him in the second half. We missed him out there,” Kerr said of Green.
“It was huge,” Damion Lee said of the ejection. “His presence is always felt when he is on the court and on the bench.”
This was the eighth consecutive home loss for the Warriors, who went 0-for-6 at Chase Center for the month of February. It will be March 1 when they return to face the Washington Wizards on Sunday and there is no certainty that Steph Curry, as much as he’d like to, will be back on the court.
That would give the Warriors a boost and, naturally, also transport CEO Joe Lacob from this night, the likes of which he never imagined he would experience at Chase Center.
For as agonizing as it was to gulp down this massive defeat — and Lacob despises losing at any endeavor — it surely was worse to have the Lakers and their fans take over the building.
It’s one thing to have your tickets devalued to the point where those holding them will deal them to fans of a rival, quite another to have that rival and their fans throw a wallop party at your expense.
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From the season-high 27 turnovers, to the painful ejection, to the unwatchable second half, to the M-V-P chants that must have felt like a punch to the gut, neither Lacob nor anyone affiliated with the Warriors had anything to praise.
They want to forget this game and pray to the heavens they never have another one like it.
Warriors experience full night of horrors in lopsided loss to Lakers originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area