Warriors’ ‘embarrassing’ loss
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
OAKLAND — Is Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry concerned after his Cinderella team continued to flirt with pumpkin status on Friday night in what has become a tightly-contested Western Conference playoff race?
“That’s probably a better question to ask me after Sunday because it’s a big game for us,” Curry, whose Warriors (37-30) trailed by as many as 36 points in a 113-95 loss to the Chicago Bulls at Oracle Arena, told USA TODAY Sports regarding Golden State’s upcoming game at the seventh-place Houston Rockets (36-30). “If we don’t come to play, don’t show up that game, it’s going to be a different feeling because that’s how real that chase becomes at that point. It’s a big game for us.”
As Curry noted several times, every game is big from here on out. For the Warriors, who have lost 13 of their last 20 games after a marvelous 30-17 start and are now only three games better than the ninth-place Utah Jazz, the pressure is an everyday reality. Their security blanket is no more, this favorable schedule down the home stretch — emphasis on “home” — that had seemed to seal the deal on their playoff fate.
Panic never set in for the Warriors during their six-game road losing streak last month, in large part, because 16 of their final 22 games were at home. Yet as coach Mark Jackson made abundantly clear, that premise was exposed on Friday in a loss so bad even the famously-forgiving Warriors fans headed for the exits early.
“This is not a Dorothy thing where you click your heels and you’re home and you’re fine,” Jackson said. “We’ve got to do the things that put us in position to win ballgames.
“We’re not good enough to think being home wins ballgames. We’re good enough to win games when we play the brand of basketball that we’re used to playing. When we play our brand, it doesn’t make a difference whether we’re home or away. And we’ve proven that.”
But here came the Bulls, these Derrick Rose-less Bulls who had just lost to the lowly Sacramento Kings … [For more on Warriors' loss 'embarrassing,' not just for sleeves, click here.]