As if things could not get any worse for the reeling Golden State Warriors, they dropped their season-high fourth consecutive game March 5 against another struggling divisional rival, the Los Angeles Lakers.
After the 124-116 loss, which dropped second-place Golden State to eight games behind the Phoenix Suns, point guard Steph Curry called on his team to “figure out” how to get back to “playing good basketball.”
“It’s not gonna happen on its own,” Curry told reporters after the game. “You gotta do something about that. We have 18 games to do that.”
The Warriors couldn’t overcome a 56-point masterpiece by LeBron James. Curry led Golden State with 30 points on 22 shots. Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga were spark plugs off the bench, combining for 41 points. It was Poole’s second straight 23-point game after a shooting slump during which he failed to score over 20 points for almost an entire calendar month.
The Warriors had blown fourth-quarter double-digit leads to the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks at home, and against the Lakers on the road, the Warriors blew another one. Golden State was outscored 35-22 in the final quarter. Since February 9, the Warriors rank second to last in net rating in fourth quarters at -17.3, according to NBA Stats.
“I didn’t like our execution down the stretch at all,” head coach Steve Kerr said during a postgame press conference. “I thought we were taking bad shots. The last three or four minutes we were just out there launching shots, with no execution, no purpose, no thought of making the defense work. … That was a killer.”
Fans are waiting for the Warriors to turn it around and start winning games.
“We’re going through it right now,” Kerr said. “There are more games coming. … We gotta do this ourselves. We’ve gotta dig our way out of the mud ourselves, and nobody’s going to help us.”
Curry Sounds Off on Playoff Seeding
The Dubs have dropped eight of their last 10 games, briefly falling to the third seed behind the surging Memphis Grizzlies. As of March 7, the two teams were tied for second place. The ongoing absences of Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala are not helping, but given the number of championship-tested veterans on the Warriors, seeding appears not to be a priority.
“I could care less about seeding,” Curry said after the Lakers game. “It’s just playing good basketball. I guess they go hand in hand, but right now if the playoffs started tomorrow, we’d be in some trouble.”
Playoff-bound teams hope to enter the playoffs on a high note. The Warriors are starting to get desperate, with the team struggling to build positive momentum.
“We gotta figure out how to claw our way out,” said Curry, who will turn 34 on March 14. “We cannot give in to this losing spirit.”
Curry on Pace for Worst Shooting of Career
Despite a solid showing against the Lakers, in which he shot 13-for-22 from the field and 4-9 from 3-point range, Curry has been in a shooting slump for the season. The Davidson star is currently shooting 43.2% from the field and 37.9% from 3-point range, both career worst (not including 2019-20 stats, where he only played five games).
Two main reasons can be pointed to why Curry has not been the shooter he has. Green’s absence from the rotation has been a key factor in Curry’s struggles. Opposing teams have been able to zero in on Curry without Green’s playmaking. On March 3 against Dallas, Curry was held shotless in the fourth quarter, just the third time in his career.
The second point had to go back to earlier in the season, while Curry was closing in on Ray Allen’s three-point record. As The Ringer’s Logan Murdock wrote in a story published February 16, Curry was becoming hesitant to take shots as he got closer to the record.
On the March 6 episode of “NBA Countdown,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Green could return to the lineup in “7 to 10 days.”