SACRAMENTO — It wasn’t pretty. The nasty test left from the worst loss in the Steve Kerr Era isn’t gone. But the Golden State Warriors added another win to their league-best total on Friday.
Kevin Durant shook whatever it was that was bothering him to score 33 points on 17 shots, and the Warriors overcame a tied-for-season-high 25 turnovers to win 119-104 over the Sacramento Kings.
“We won. That’s all I’ve got for you,” a visibly frustrated Steve Kerr said after the game. “I don’t know what else to say.”
Before the game, Kerr said he expected his team to play “delightful basketball.” This contest wasn’t that. Instead, the Warriors continued to look ahead to the All Star break, according to the head coach. Draymond Green, Golden State’s emotional engine, admitted Kerr’s assessment was accurate.
“I think every team in the NBA is looking at the All Star break and wishing it was tomorrow,” Green said. “It’s that time of year. You’re right there, you know it’s right there but yeah. You just can’t quite grab it.”
But they took care of business against an overmatched opponent and earned another victory as they march toward the All Star Break. There’s plenty of room for improvement, especially in the play of Patrick McCaw, who saw extended minutes as Kerr tried to bust him out of his slump, on the offensive end of the floor.
A resurgence didn’t happen. But the performances they got from Durant, Klay Thompson (20 points, six rebounds) and Stephen Curry (23 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists) was enough to carry them past an overwhelmed Sacramento team.
“They won tonight on talent and shooting the ball. That’s all,” Kerr said.
Apparently, it’s the time of year when NBA coaches and players talk about how tough this time of year is.
“The great ones focus every night: 82 games a year. For us, it’s about playing with great pride, playing together,” Thompson said. “Tonight we got a little disjointed, a little mad at each other.”
Kerr blamed himself for his players getting heated with each other.
With Andre Iguodala (rest), Shaun Livingston (personal) and David West (rest) all out, Kerr was forced to alter his standard rotations in the second half. The results was sloppy turnovers and disjointed offensive production.
Kerr attempted to salvage the situation by forcing his guys to regroup. It didn’t work.
“I did not do a good job of rotating and finding the right groups to work together,” Kerr said. “I felt like we got off kilter the last four minutes of the third quarter. I didn’t like the rotation pattern that I got to. That was my mistake.”
During those last four minutes, the margin never got tighter than nine points. The Kings did tighten the game to one point with just under eight minutes to play, but the Warriors followed with an 8-0 run to put the game away for good.
Golden State continues its apparently dreadful pre-break schedule Saturday against the Denver Nuggets. After that, they have four home games and a contest at Portland to wrap up the first half.
As Kerr said, “We’ve got to fight through to the break and then we need to get the hell away from each other and go sit on a beach and relax and we’ll be in great shape.”