Stephen Curry passed Guy Rodgers for the most assists in Golden State Warriors history, but it came in a losing effort as the Los Angeles Lakers coasted to a dominant 128-97 win Monday night at Chase Center.
Curry’s second assist of the night gave him 4,856 for his career to set the franchise record.
“It’s special,” Curry said. “I wish it was under different circumstances, obviously, with the game tonight, but I can take a second and appreciate that, for sure, because a lot goes into that. I’ve had so many great teammates throughout the years. Obviously, I love to score, but definitely the ability to set other guys up, and assists only count if other guys make baskets, so it makes it a pretty special record.”
The two-time league MVP also scored 27 points in just 29 minutes, shooting 9 of 17 from the field, including 4 for 7 from three-point range. It was Curry’s 100th straight game making at least one three-pointer — he already owns the NBA record of 157 consecutive games between 2014 and 2016.
That’s about all that went right for the Warriors, as LeBron James and Montrezl Harrel dominated for the defending champions. James notched his fourth triple-double of the season, finishing with 22 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes. Harrell matched Curry with 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting, adding five rebounds and three steals off the bench.
Just a day earlier, the Warriors (20-20) had earned one of their most impressive victories of the season, a 131-119 triumph over the league-leading Utah Jazz. But Golden State’s defense was absolutely shredded Monday night, with the Lakers (26-13) scoring 68 points in the paint and shooting a scorching 63 percent from the field.
“Very disappointing, especially coming off yesterday’s win against a great Utah team where I thought our defense was engaged and active all game,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “Tonight, we lost our connection pretty early. … We just lost our defensive focus.”
The 24-hour span essentially sums up the Warriors season so far, with Kerr’s squad showing the ability to compete with the best teams in the league on any particular night, but lacking any consistency over the course of multiple games.
“We’re 20-20 for a reason,” Kerr said. “We haven’t been able to put together consistent efforts with execution at both ends of the floor. We’re just up and down. We’re too up and down. We’ve got to find a way to put together some good games.”
With 32 games remaining, Golden State sits in ninth place in the Western Conference. Due to the shortened NBA season, the 7-10 seeds in each conference will participate in a play-in tournament to reach the playoffs, giving two extra teams an opportunity. But at this rate, even if the Warriors reach the postseason, they appear destined for an early exit.
“We’ve got to play better,” Curry acknowledged. “We have to develop a winning attitude every single night, and honestly, we’ve got to get sick of getting blown out because that’s embarrassing. We have to have some pride about how we’re playing. You can lose games — that’s going to happen — but not like that.”
Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr. joined Curry in double figures with 15 and 12 points, respectively. However, Oubre finished with a team-worst -28 rating in his 28 minutes of playing time. Jordan Poole added 14 points, mostly in garbage time, and rookie Nico Mannion scored 10.
The Warriors will have a great chance to get back in the win column on Wednesday when they visit the lowly Houston Rockets, who have lost a stunning 16 games in a row. Tip-off is set for 5:00 p.m. at Toyota Center.