Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was “embarrassed” and under the impression that his team had a problem “caring” about the game, in a slapping 20-point road loss to the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night.
All-Star forward Kevin Durant was mired in a tough shooting night, only 8-of-23 from the floor and a woeful 2-of-10 from deep, but disagreed with his coach’s notion that this team didn’t seem to care about the result at hand.
“I thought we cared tonight,” Durant said, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “We cared. Over the last three games, we cared. They played a better basketball game than us. They came out with a better strategy, being more aggressive than us. It took us awhile to ramp the aggressiveness up. They fought. They shot the ball well. They rebounded well. But I think we care. I think everyone in this locker room cares about playing ball. I disagree with that. But I understand where he’s coming from.”
Kerr might have been a little stern in his judgment, but it’s hard to fault him for it, when his team repeatedly failed to put the pressure defensively, allowing Indiana to shoot a blistering 53.8 percent from the floor and 51.7 percent from deep — benefitting from endless open looks in the wing and the corner, which ended up going through the net at the most pivotal times.
Durant himself shot four straight threes, making only his last one on an offensive rebound kick-out play that found the bottom of the net — in a way more concerned with shooting himself back into a groove than pulling his team from a double-digit deficit.
The reigning Finals MVP has shot 4-of-19 from beyond the arc in his last two games, shooting under 40 percent in both games — yet making 32 straight free throws since his last four games has been somewhat of a confidence booster as the No. 1 scoring option.