The Golden State Warriors failed to complete the sweep Sunday afternoon as they lost to the Denver Nuggets by a score of 126-121 during their Game 4 matchup. On the brink of elimination, the Nuggets played like a team with nothing to lose. Despite this and a subpar performance from the Warriors, Golden State came close to winning the game but ultimately fell just short. Here are some of the takeaways from the Warriors postgame pressers:
Steve Kerr Discusses the Game
The big postgame question on everyone’s mind revolved around head coach Steve Kerr’s final out of bounds play. To give context, the Warriors were down 123-121, with 33.5 seconds left in the game. Stephen Curry had been on fire up to this point, making the Nuggets pay every time they switched Nikola Jokic onto him. However, instead of drawing up a play for Curry, Kerr decided to go with a lob play to Andrew Wiggins. In all fairness, Kerr has successfully used this play all year long, but in this case, the ball was deflected by Austin Rivers resulting in a turnover at a critical moment for the Warriors. During his presser, Kerr regretted making the call saying he “would like that play call back”.
Other than that, Kerr pointed to the excessive amount of fouling and turnovers on offense as the main culprits for Sunday’s loss. He says that his team may have been a bit anxious to close out the series which resulted in a sloppy performance, but he is confident that they will refocus and finish things out at home.
Here’s what Kerr had to say following the game:
"I would like that play called back."— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 24, 2022
Steve Kerr explained the in-bounds play to Wiggins with 31 seconds left and admitted he would draw it up differently pic.twitter.com/OEuC34LzCT
*Here’s Nuggets guard Austin Rivers discussing the final inbound play:
"When I saw Wiggins setting that screen I knew exactly where he was going, I've seen them run that play a couple times. They've actually gotten us on that one time earlier this season"— NBA (@NBA) April 24, 2022
Austin Rivers on his CLUTCH steal late in Game 4. #MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/7jI9qYbQUg
"It started too late. We had a very poor first half."— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 24, 2022
Steve Kerr on what went wrong for the Warriors in Game 4 pic.twitter.com/xn859SMCn0
"I thought the whole game was our fouling." -- Steve Kerr, on the Warriors' 27 team fouls, leading to 29 Denver points.— Kendra Andrews (@kendra__andrews) April 24, 2022
Steve Kerr on one of the team's issues tonight:— Mark Haynes (@markhaynesnba) April 24, 2022
“Too much dribbling, way too much dribbling and not just moving the ball on to the next guy and letting him make the play.”
"We're right where we need to be."— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 24, 2022
Kerr and the Warriors are looking forward to the opportunity to clinch at home in front of the fans pic.twitter.com/kktwvrn7ba
Warriors Players Discuss the Game
The Warriors emphasized how the team’s foul trouble hindered their chances of winning the game. Thompson was forced to sit prematurely after being called for two fouls early in the first quarter. This had a cascade effect as Kerr had to go away from his usual rotation leading to a few suboptimal lineups.
Draymond Green, who came close to fouling out in the previous game, was not as lucky in this one as he picked up his sixth foul during the closing possessions of the fourth quarter. The excessive fouling led to a lot of stoppages in play which forced the Dubs to play at a slower pace. Green said this slower pace made it harder for their offense as they had to score on a set defense for most of the game.
Stephen Curry had foul struggles of his own except his revolved around free throws. The Dubs as a team made 23-of-32 free throws for 71.9%, but Curry uncharacteristically missed 4 free throws going 10-of-14 from the line. He says the 14 free throw attempts speaks to his aggressiveness attacking the rim, but it killed him to miss those 4 shots.
Besides the foul troubles, it’s important to note that all the Warriors players seemed unfazed by the outcome of the game. They all acknowledged that they didn’t play well, but they also said they know what to fix and look forward to another chance at closing things out in the next game.
Here’s what the Warriors players had to say after the game:
"The fact that we had a lead with a minute and a half just speaks to who we are. But it was kind of a miracle at that point."— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 25, 2022
Steph was impressed with how the Warriors recovered after a sloppy first half against the Nuggets pic.twitter.com/zZMaD3JvkH
"I hate it, it's the worst feeling in the world because it's what I do really well."— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 24, 2022
Despite missing four free throws, Steph is encouraged that he got to the line 14 times pic.twitter.com/j70YmqUP53
"I thought he looked incredible"— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 24, 2022
Draymond loved the energy that Jonathan Kuminga brought to the floor off the bench ⚡ pic.twitter.com/gXAZT4qNbV
"We gotta go home and take care of our business and close out the game and not come back to Denver."— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 24, 2022
Draymond stressed the importance of sticking to the game plan, especially in close-out games on the road pic.twitter.com/uTBhrcHjeK
"That's on me, I started off the game with two quick fouls, I gotta be smarter than that. Especially with my experience."— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 24, 2022
Klay took ownership of his two early fouls that put him in foul trouble in Game 4 pic.twitter.com/69jUV84LxY
Klay Thompson on winning Game 5:— Mark Haynes (@markhaynesnba) April 24, 2022
“We’ve got to go into it like this is a must-win. We’d like to get some rest before the next series, and we don't want to travel back to Denver. We’ve got to come with the mindset that we have something to prove, that it’s a must-win."
Quote of the Night
The quote of the night belongs to Klay Thompson. If there was any silver-lining to this loss, it’s that the Warriors get an opportunity to close out the series in front of a hyped-up home crowd:
Klay Thompson said everyone wanted the sweep but the "opportunity to close out in front of our fans is still special.”— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) April 24, 2022
Despite a tough playoff loss, there was no sense of panic in this team as Thompson continues to nonchalantly make paper airplanes during his presser.
"Klay Thompson was here."— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 24, 2022
Klay folded a paper airplane but let Draymond do the honors pic.twitter.com/lvQCQ71d23
Despite Sunday’s loss, Golden State still holds a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. They now get two days of rest between Game 4 and Game 5. With a series sweep out of the conversation, the Warriors will now head back to the Bay as they attempt to complete a 4-1 gentleman’s sweep on Wednesday night.