OAKLAND — The typical goal — winning — wasn’t at the forefront for the Golden State Warriors on Monday, when they played the Utah Jazz in their second-to-last regular season game.
Accordingly, Golden State lost, 105-99, ending its 14-game win streak as Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green sat out most of the fourth quarter.
“It’s going to take some time, maybe a summer,” Steve Kerr deadpanned about how he’ll get over the excruciating defeat. “[We’ll] try to get away for a little bit. Somehow, some way, try to regroup.”
Kerr’s team was actually focused on two things: Staying healthy and playing the duo of Durant and Curry as much as possible without overloading them before a long postseason.
While the urgency was nonexistent — coinciding with the Jazz resting three starters — the Warriors looked solid where it counted. That is, Durant and Curry were comfortable playing with each other in their first game on the floor together since the former injured his knee at the end of February.
They each played longer than maybe expected with Curry playing 30 minutes and Durant logging 32.
“I just wanted to give [Curry] his usual run, but I didn’t want him to finish the game. He played the whole third quarter, had a good run, shot the ball well,” Kerr said of Curry’s performance, evoking a tone more typical to a pickup game than an actual NBA contest. “Playoffs start Saturday or Sunday — no point in bringing him back and risking anything.”
Curry finished with a game-high 28 points. Durant struggled with his jump shot (0-for-5 from beyond the 3-point line), but sent home a pair of dunks in the second half, proving he’s got his explosiveness back.
The talk after the loss was all about the big picture and how the little things going into the playoffs — being properly rested, getting into the right mindset — make an impact. But, winning Game 81, apparently, wasn’t high on that list.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the number of games the Warriors had won entering Monday. NBA