OAKLAND, United States: Shellshocked Golden State Warriors players and coaches vowed to bounce back after launching their season with a crushing 129-100 defeat at home to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday.
A disjointed Warriors team was pummeled relentlessly by San Antonio, who piled up the points through Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge to silence the Oracle Arena crowd.
Warriors reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry described the mauling as a “slap in the face” but vowed to produce a response in Friday’s road game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
“It’s a nice little slap in the face,” Curry said. “First game you want to come out and protect your own court and have that energy of a home opener. I just felt we didn’t have that energy,” added Curry, who finished with 26 points.
“I’m not going to over-exaggerate the vibe but you’ve got to kind of bounce back. We have a lot of work to do, but I think we’re still in a pretty good spot.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he was embarrassed by the scale of the loss.
“I’m sure we’ll be motivated for our next game. I think our guys were embarrassed tonight. I know I was,” Kerr told reporters.
“I didn’t see losing by 29 points coming. We had a pretty good camp, a pretty good exhibition season but that doesn’t really mean a whole lot.
“You can still see we’re still searching for our rotations and patterns. I told the team it’s a long season, we’ve got a long way to go, we’ll come in tomorrow and get a little bit better.”
Golden State’s blockbuster summer signing Kevin Durant, top scorer with 27 points, also attempted to keep the shellacking in perspective.
“We can’t over-react. But we can’t let these games pile up either,” Durant said. “It’s a slap in the face and woke us up a little bit and we’re looking forward to getting better.”
Klay Thompson said the humbling nature of the loss may benefit the team by puncturing the hype ballooning around Kerr’s all-star roster.
“It sucks right now but I really believe in the long run this loss will help us,” Thompson said.
“Everyone was anointing us, expectations are crazy, whatever. In the long run I really believe this will help us. This isn’t the end of the world, far from it. It’s only October 25.
“It shouldn’t have come to this but it’s a long season. I expect us to be much better on Friday night.” AFP