They shot more than 50 percent from the field, had 10 steals and 10 blocked shots, and reached the 30-assist mark for a franchise-record 10th consecutive game.
They won their 10th straight, this one by 24, and it put them atop the Western Conference standings for the first time this season.
Yet coach Steve Kerr was unimpressed, essentially describing the Warriors’ 109-85 victory over the Lakers on Friday night in Los Angeles as an experience he does not care to repeat. Ever.
“It was one of the worst basketball games I’ve seen in my life,” Kerr told reporters at Staples Center. “We were awful and they were awful. The people who bought tickets should get their money back. Honestly. I’m not trying to make a joke. It was a horrible basketball game.”
That’s where the Warriors are nowadays, their coach spitting out a double-digit win.
Informed of Kerr’s summation, forward Draymond Green grinned and paused before replying.
“I don’t think it was very good,” he said. “I think we could’ve been a lot better than we were. But I don’t know if it was the worst basketball game ever. But . . . he’s a coach.”
Forward Kevin Durant, who was nothing short of marvelous – 29 points, nine assists, six rebounds, two blocks – also had a slightly different opinion than Kerr.
“We won, and we held them to 85 points. That’s what I’m looking at,” Durant said. “But if Stevie Kerr is saying we didn’t play well, then we’ve got to come out tomorrow and try to play better.”
Players and coach can agree that there is considerable room for improvement over this performance, beginning with the lazy start that prompted Kerr to call a timeout 90 seconds after tipoff and ending with 18 turnovers, second-most in any game this season.
Though the Warriors took the lead for good midway through the first quarter, the game had a languid, choppy feel throughout. The Lakers, with three starters out with injury, could offer only so much resistance. The Warriors, though, were so utterly ordinary they needed a 14-3 closeout run over the final five minutes to put a shine on the scoreboard numbers.
“It looked like a Thanksgiving food hangover,” Laker coach Luke Walton said of the game. “You know Golden State is obviously a premier team in this league, and I didn’t even think they were great tonight.
“They were good, they were better than us. But I thought our guys played hard. We just didn’t play hard and smart tonight.”
The Warriors (14-2) rolled up some fancy numbers, the 51.6-percent shooting, the assists and the blocks and the steals, as well as holding LA to 35.6-percent shooting. By and large, though, this was one of those nights when a nondescript showing by a truly fabulous team was more than enough to vanquish a plucky but profoundly overmatched squad.
“It’s obviously nice to get a win, but we can play a lot better,” said Stephen Curry, who submitted 24 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals. “So tomorrow we have to try to get back to get a win against a good Minnesota team. You have to understand that obviously there is a big two-game schedule, but we can play better.”
They have played better, certainly during this 10-game streak. Eight of the victories were by double digits. They’ve lifted their overall shooting percentage above 50, to 50.3, and their field-goal percentage defense has climbed up the ratings and into the top five at 43.2.
These numbers illustrate that these Warriors are many years and exponentially more talented than they were when such coaches as Brian Winters and Dave Cowens were trying to coax wins out of rosters featuring the likes of Bobby Sura, Danny Fortson and Chris Mills.
Kerr can look at those teams and be thankful. He’ll probably take another look at this game and be, well, not nearly as disdainful as he was minutes afterward.