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Even Stephen Curry’s return was not enough to bail out the Golden State Warriors.
In fact, after watching his two-time defending champions bow at Detroit on Saturday night, 111-102, coach Steve Kerr pointed the finger.
At himself, saying he turned in perhaps “one of my worst performances as a coach.”
Having watched Detroit make good on 12 of 35 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc compared to Golden State’s 6-for-26 effort, Kerr looked inward when it came time to play the blame game.
“I did not like our offense tonight,” Kerr told reporters afterward. “I’ve gotta do a better job, honestly. Tonight was probably a game I could mark down as one of my worst performances as a coach, honestly.
“All in all, I’ve got do a better job than I’ve done here the first couple of months of the season. This is … just gotta get better. We’ve gotta get better shots. We gotta get more spacing, get better flow.”
With the loss, Golden State’s sixth in a row away from Oracle Arena, the Warriors dipped to 15-9, the fourth-best mark in the Western Conference.
Still playing without All-Star forward Draymond Green (toe), Golden State is just 5-8 in its last 13 games.
Curry returned after missing 11 games with a groin injury, making 10 of 21 shots, but went only 3-of-9 from deep, finishing with 27 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals in 37 minutes. Curry also committed a game-high seven turnovers, three more than any player on either team.
“It felt good to be back out there, but in the first half, I was going 100 miles an hour without my timing being back,” he told reporters. “In the second half, I played a lot closer to where I want to be. The shots started falling and I was aggressive without making stupid plays.”
Kerr said the Warriors’ offensive issues are space-related. Golden State has attempted 710 3-pointers this season, compared to 820 by the opposition.
“I’m just tired of seeing three people in the paint every time we are penetrating,” Kerr said. “The paint is so bunched up. I know we are top-heavy with our shooting. We’ve got obviously some of the great shooters in our starting lineup, but we’ve got a lot of guys that are coming off the bench or been in the lineup who are not 3-point shooters or aren’t shooting 3s.
“So I’ve got to do a better job of finding combinations that work and find spacing that works. Because right now, what we’re [seeing] is not working.”
Along those lines, Kevin Durant had 28 points for the Warriors and Klay Thompson 21 in the loss to the Pistons, but Durant shot just 1-of-7 from deep and Thompson only 1-of-5.
“I think our spacing is screwed up, and we aren’t playing with enough urgency,” Durant said. “None of that is on Coach. That’s our fault.”
Golden State will look to get back on track Monday night at Atlanta. The Hawks are 5-18 this season.
Thompson refuted the idea Golden State’s issues can be traced back to Kerr.
“It’s not on Steve,” Thompson said “I think it’s on us. We didn’t play with the greatest sense of urgency tonight. Give Detroit credit. But we didn’t make it tough on them at all. They were too comfortable.
“So when we go to Atlanta, we got to come out… I don’t care what Atlanta’s record is, we got to play as hard as we can.”