OAKLAND -- One day after the Warriors suffered a 33-point thrashing from the Celtics, Steve Kerr said his team had looked in the mirror.
Two hours before the Warriors beat the Nuggets to maintain the Western Conference's top spot Friday night, the coach praised his team's energy and expected a change in play.
Now, after a roller-coaster week in which the Warriors beat the best and lost to the worst of the NBA, they're again searching for answers after a 115-111 loss to the Suns on Sunday night.
"We laid an egg," Kerr said.
Golden State's fortunes didn't start off bad. The Warriors jumped to a 27-11 lead in the first quarter. Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant combined for 20 of the Dubs' 29 first-quarter points.
Then, the Suns, who beat the Warriors for the first time since Nov. 18, 2014, went on a 42-26 run, taking control of the contest. Devon Booker had 37 points and 11 assists, and Kelly Oubre added 22 points, including four 3-pointers.
Adding to the Warriors' troubles, Thompson finished the game 6 of 17 from the field after making four of his first five shots. In the fourth quarter, when the Warriors were trying to salvage an otherwise uninspired performance, Durant rolled his ankle, leaving the game for good.
Golden State's issues, according to them, is rooted in a lack of focus and energy, which, recently, has manifested in the second quarter. Over the Warriors' last five games, they have been outscored 177-142 in the second. On Sunday, they were outrebounded, outshot and committed more fouls than the Suns, who not only are the worst team in the league but were playing their second game in two nights.
"Karma," Kerr said of the performance. "When you don't deserve to win with, in terms of execution, energy connection, the ball doesn't go in. I like that about basketball. You tend to earn things like points and rebounds -- you earn a win. We didn't earn a win, so that's the bottom line."
Since the All-Star break, the Warriors, despite evidence to the contrary, have been emphasizing that this season is different than last, when Golden State lost 13 of its last 20 games entering the postseason. Yet the Warriors rank 20th in 3-point percentage and 28th in turnovers, and are just 4-5 since the All-Star break. At 45-21, they're on track to finish worse than last year's 58-24 mark to close the season.
"That's been some of the narrative over our season, because there's nothing else to talk about in terms of trying to get to the playoffs and build the right habits," Stephen Curry said. "But we just haven't been able to put a consistent string of games together after the All-Star break. [We're] still the first in the West and still understand what our goal is to get home court and go into the playoffs with the right mentality."
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While the Warriors' loss stings, they still have a chance to right the wrongs of the last few weeks. With games against the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder on the ledger, Golden State looks to stay atop the West. But, before that can happen, they'll have to figure themselves out within.
"We have to look back in the mirror again," Kerr said. "Take another look."