NBA

Kerr accepts blame for shock defeat to Pacers: 'This was my night to stink it up'

By Sports Desk January 21, 2022

Steve Kerr has accepted the blame for the Golden State Warriors' shock defeat to a depleted Indiana Pacers side, saying "this was my night to stink it up".

Stephen Curry's 39 points were not enough for the Warriors as they lost 121-117 in overtime on Thursday to go 32-13 for the season.

The Warriors gave away 21 turnovers against a Pacers side without Domantas Sabonis (ankle), Caris LeVert (calf) and Malcolm Brogdon (Achilles).

Kerr's side led by three points in regulation time, making the decision not to foul in the build-up to the Pacers' game-tying shot all the more surprising.

Speaking on the back of arguably the Warriors' worst defeat this season, Kerr said: "I'm normally a fouler, so I take the hit on that one. Tonight was my night to stink it up.

"I blame myself, number one. I don't think I prepared my team to be ready to play. I did not do a good job of preparing the group."

Curry's 39 points are the most he has managed in a game since before Christmas, with his season average of 26.4 down on last term's career-high 32.0.

The 33-year-old failed to score in overtime, while Klay Thompson missed all seven of his 3-point tries in a day to forget for the Warriors.

"It wasn't a great game in terms of our execution," Kerr said. "It just felt like we were scattered out there and in a rush for sure."

Thursday's defeat was a chastening one for the Warriors and leaves them second in the Western Conference with a .711 win percentage.

And like coach Kerr, Curry felt he could have done more to get his side over the line in regulation time by fouling Justin Holiday or Isaiah Jackson for the shot that tied the game.

"I looked at the ball for like two seconds," Curry said. "Holiday made a good cut and made a shot. I know there's that conversation, should we have fouled and all. 

"I was just a step slow and that one gave him too wide-open of a look. Trying to guard the inbounds and I got caught looking."

The shorthanded Pacers have moved to 17-29 for the season after beating LeBron James' Los Angeles Lakers and Curry's Warriors in successive games.

In doing so, they become the second side in NBA history to beat different multi-time former MVPs on the road in back-to-back games.

Chris Duarte, who led the way for the Pacers with 27 points and seven rebounds to tie his career-best return, hailed the significance of his side's surprise victory.

"Golden State is a great, great team," he said. 

"They got two of the best players – two of the best shooters that you've ever seen in this game – so I think us coming out with the win, it's a huge, huge win for us."

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