The Golden State Warriors lost to the Denver Nuggets by a score of 117-116. It was a heartbreaking loss for the Warriors who were in control of the game until the final minutes where a series of mistakes led to a three at the end of regulation. Here’s some takeaways from the Warriors postgame pressers:
Buzzer beater sinks Warriors
The final seconds of the 4th quarter were a roller coaster of emotions for the Warriors. A long rebound led to a transition lay-up by Monte Morris with 14.9 seconds left to give the Nuggets their first lead of the game. After Stephen Curry hits a jumper and a free throw to give Golden State a two-point lead, it was Morris once again hitting the go-ahead shot – this time a three at the final buzzer.
Although there were many Warriors’ mistakes that contributed to the eventual buzzer beater by the Nuggets, Curry took responsibility for the final play after he decided to stay and double Jokic leaving Morris open for the game-winner.
Here’s what Curry had to say:
Steph Curry details his defensive mistake on the Denver game-winner pic.twitter.com/S46PxZbAVt— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 17, 2022
Here’s what head coach Steve Kerr had to say about the final play:
Kerr breaks down the game's final possession pic.twitter.com/0PVvtqO4t2— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) February 17, 2022
"I made some decisions at the end that didn't work out," says Kerr. Says everyone needs to look in the mirror, including himself. "It's never one play, it's always a series of plays."— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) February 17, 2022
The Nuggets deployed the hack-a-Looney strategy just before the final two minutes of the game. Looney, who is shooting 65.3% from the free throw-line this season, went 2-6 during that span. The strategy successfully slowed down the Warriors’ rhythm and allowed the Nuggets back in the game.
Here’s what Kerr and Nuggets’ head coach Michael Malone had to say about the strategy:
Michael Malone said the hack-a-Looney strategy came out of "desperation" and not wanting Curry/Klay to have the ball down the stretch. "Strategy worked." Kerr kept him in "to guard Jokic." Changed the game. Looney went 2-of-6 while Denver roared back.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 17, 2022
Looney has been a steady force for the team as their only big man and only player to play every game this season. His teammates Curry and Jonathan Kuminga let him know they still have faith in him here:
Steph’s message to Looney after the tough loss ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/0LRQJt8ngl— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) February 17, 2022
Jonathan Kuminga on supporting Kevon Looney after the game: "You just gotta go out and encourage them ... he's doing a lot of things for the team. He's helping a lot. People don't see he's one of the biggest guys on the team."— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) February 17, 2022
Regarding the frontcourt
The Warriors lack of size came to haunt them once again as Jokic dominated for 35 points, 17 rebounds, and 8 assists. Golden State had trouble stopping him with one person, and whenever they sent the double team, Jokic picked them apart with his passing. Part of this is due to Jokic’s excellence, but the Warriors have struggled with enough opposing big men that it’s become a trend.
Here’s what Steve Kerr had to say:
Is Steve Kerr worried about the Warriors struggling to defend centers?— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) February 17, 2022
“We’re short-handed right now. When we have Draymond and James we’ll have plenty.”
Here’s more information according to a tweet by Tim Kawakami of The Athletic:
I didn’t ask it just now but I’m glad @ronkroichick did to get the answer again and no Kerr isn’t changing his mind about not needing another center.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) February 17, 2022
Quote of the Night
In lighter news, here’s Curry’s son, Canon, doing his best impression of his dad’s off-ball movement.
Canon Curry didn't wanna leave the court ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Jamvq98Lq3— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 17, 2022
Curry gets the quote of the night when he jokes about his son’s pregame antics.
Steph on Canon not wanting to leave the court:— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) February 17, 2022
“He definitely was going to try and take Gary Payton’s starting spot… If I let him he would have stayed out there the entire 48 minutes.”
The Warriors head into the All-Star break on a 2-game losing streak which includes a 1-4 record in their last five games. Despite this, they still hold the second-best record in the league with several key players hopefully returning from injury soon. Golden State will get a week to rest before coming back next Thursday for a road game against the Portland Trail Blazers.