Things only seem to be getting worse for the Golden State Warriors.
Losing seven of their last nine games, the Warriors appeared to have a chance to get their train back on the rails against a Lakers team on a four-game losing streak.
Falling victim to a career night from LeBron James as Laker and suffering a multitude of self-inflicted wounds, Golden State crumbled late again. The 124-116 loss at Crypto.com Center in Los Angeles comes as the fourth defeat in a row for the Warriors. They now fall to the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference and appear to be dropping at a steady pace.
“We’re making way too many mistakes execution-wise,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “We’re not giving ourselves a chance to win.”
The Golden State Warriors are no stranger to James, who they’ve seen in 22 postseason games alone over the last seven seasons. Saturday night was different, however, in that James orchestrated a career effort as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Shooting 19-for-31 from the floor, James scored a game-high 56 points. In addition to it being the highest he’s scored as a Laker, Saturday’s game is tied as his third-best scoring effort of his career. James’ most prolific game scoring came in 2014 when he scored 61 points against the Charlotte Bobcats as a member of the Miami Heat.
“LeBron played amazing,” Warriors guard Stephen Curry said. “He made some tough shots. You have to acknowledge that for sure. But we still had some self-inflicted wounds that are tough when you’re trying to get out of a hole.”
In total, the Warriors had 16 turnovers, giving up 22 points off of those miscues. In addition, Golden State gave up 35 points in the fourth quarter — the most they allowed in any period of the game.
In the fourth quarter, Golden State was outscored by 13 points and gave way to a 9-0 run by Los Angeles, which essentially flipped the game.
“I didn’t like our execution down the stretch at all,” Kerr said. “That was a killer… We didn’t give ourselves a chance to win and they took advantage of that.”
For the Warriors, who have 18 games left this season, finding a way to get pointed in a winning direction again is crucial as they’ve now fallen behind the Memphis Grizzlies to the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.
Making things much harder in the immediate future will be the fact that they’ll play three games in four nights — including a back-to-back in Denver and then at home at Chase Center.
“We cannot give into this losing spirit,” Curry said. “Of finding different ways to lose basketball games because the clock will tick out on you and you’ll go into the summer thinking what could have been, should have been. We can’t get into that vibe.”