Stephen Curry admitted “the wheels fell off” when the Warriors squandered a 31-point lead in their playoff loss to the Clippers on Monday at Oracle Arena.
The back-to-back NBA champions appeared set to move up 2-0 in their Western Conference first-round series when they led by 31 in the third quarter, but the Clippers rallied to win, 135-131, and complete the biggest comeback in NBA playoff history.
Golden State suffered big home losses in the regular season to the Celtics, Mavericks and Lakers, and Curry was at a loss to explain their latest misstep.
“If I had the answer for it, a night like tonight wouldn’t happen,” he told reporters.
“This game is tough, it’s hard to win playoff games no matter what the matchup is, no matter what the history is, the regular season, team versus team. It’s tough.
series is tied 1-1 pic.twitter.com/3ajnye7D03
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) April 16, 2019
“For 6 1/2 quarters we played amazing, had a 31-point lead.
“The wheels fell off. I know we can get it back.
“We’ve got to put together 48 minutes of it, just a collective energy, positivity around everything we do.
“The locker room was down, as it should be, because every game matters to us. We’ve just got to bounce back.”
The Warriors travel to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Thursday — when they are likely to be without center DeMarcus Cousins because of a “significant” thigh injury — but Curry does not expect the Game 2 loss to have any lingering impact.
“It’s just one game,” he said.
“I know the circumstances were tough with that big of a lead at home. [It’s the] same mindset when you lose a game — it’s 1-1. [We’ve] got to go down to LA, take two. We’re starting on Thursday. Keep moving.”