San Francisco Chronicle – Stephen Curry silently stared at the floor as he untied and removed his ankle braces. He was still in full uniform about 30 minutes after the final buzzer Monday night, still struggling to digest what had just happened.
The mood in the locker room mirrored the expression on Curry’s face: stunned, numb, confused. The Warriors blew a 31-point lead and lost 135-131 to the Clippers, the biggest collapse/comeback in NBA playoff history.
That’s not the kind of history Curry and Co. are accustomed to making.
Draymond Green and Kevin Durant, the loudest personalities on Golden State’s roster, didn’t stick around to share their feelings. They vanished quickly, leaving Andrew Bogut, Kevon Looney and Quinn Cook to take their turns in front of the assembled media. Bogut, not surprisingly, didn’t mince words.
“The mood’s s—-,” he said. “And that’s actually a positive sign in my opinion. It wasn’t something where we were like, ‘Oh, we’ll get them next time.’ We’re genuinely pissed off about it.”
Curry and Klay Thompson later came to the interview room to field questions. Namely, how did the Warriors — who led 94-63 when Durant made a free throw with 7:31 left in the third quarter — manage to lose this game?
And, more important, how will they respond?
“It’s a tough feeling,” Curry said of the emotions after Monday night’s game. “We’re talking to each other, trying to figure out how we’re going to move on and use this as fuel for Game 3.
“But other than that, it’s just the playoffs, man. Everything is heightened. You’ve got to really lock in on the fine details of what separates a winning team and a losing team in the playoffs. We kind of lost sight of that down the stretch.”
Thompson, asked about the players’ visible anger as they left the court, insisted that’s a good emotion “if channeled right.”
“We have a lot of experience,” he said. “I know we’ll bounce back. We’re too prideful not to.”
The Clippers outscored the Warriors 72-37 in the final 19½ minutes of the game. Golden State, after allowing only 50 points in the first half, surrendered 85 in the second half.
Durant, who had more turnovers (nine) than shot attempts (eight), looked disengaged. Nobody on the Warriors could stop Lou Williams, who scored 29 of his 36 points in the second half, or Montrezl Harrell, who scored 17 of his 25 in the second half. Harrell shot 9-for-9 from the field.
Bogut: “They were in a rhythm and knocked down some shots. They made us pay. It’s a deserved loss for us. It’s one that we obviously let get away, but the way we lost it was probably the most disappointing thing.”
Looney: “It was a bad loss. To give up a lead like that at home is uncharacteristic of us. We always talk about defending the home court and we didn’t get the job done today.”
Head coach Steve Kerr: “We stopped playing defense. We were not as engaged as we needed to be. We got exactly what we deserved.”