Stephen Curry admitted the Warriors “laid an egg” on Christmas in front of a national TV audience as they fell to the Lakers, but he defended his struggling teammate Klay Thompson.
The defending champions lost, 127-101, on their home court in one of the NBA’s five marquee Christmas Day games, despite LeBron James suffering a groin injury that caused him to exit the game in the third quarter.
Golden State shot just 9 of 36 from 3-point range, and Thompson registered only five points. The four-time All Star is shooting at just 33.7 percent from deep this season, on track for the worst average of his career.
“We were looking forward to this opportunity to get out there and play a lot better and just laid an egg, so you can feel terrible about it leaving the arena,” Curry, who had 15 points in 37 minutes, told reporters (via ESPN).
“It’ll get better. Obviously it’s a tough night in front of a national stage, a lot of hype, playing the Lakers.
“You got to understand it’s December, we’re in a decent spot. We got to get better, though. We’re not going to win a championship playing like we did.
“They [the Lakers] played like they had nothing to lose. They played like they had a free swing. Everybody who touched the ball was aggressive. They just had a different look in their eye and we weren’t able to match that. They went out and won the game, that’s basically it.”
Backing Thompson, Curry said the Warriors would “just stay in his ear” and felt improvements could be made across the board.
He added: “We all can play better. It’s not just Klay, we all can play better.
“We all could be more decisive about what we’re trying to do, how we’re trying to get him shots. How we’re trying to get the ball moving, all that type of stuff on offense.”
— NBA (@NBA) 26 December 2018
And coach Steve Kerr was of the same view, backing Thompson to overcome his struggles.
“I think it will turn around, I know it will turn around,” he said. “This game is funny, life’s funny. Things go on, things happen.
“You just have to find your way out of the woods. Our job as a staff is to help our team do that when we’re in a rut, and it’s to help individual players as well.
“As I said, I have no doubt that Klay will find his way, but he’s in a rut right now. I think that’s obvious. But it’ll get better.”
Andre Iguodala scored 23 points and Kevin Durant had 21 for the Warriors (23-12), while the Lakers (20-14) were led by 19 from Kyle Kuzma after James registered 17 points and 13 rebounds in an impressive 21 minutes before his injury.
James was to undergo an MRI exam to determine the severity of the groin strain but held out hope after Tuesday’s game that he might play Thursday against the Kings.