The Warriors came away Saturday night with a much-needed 119-113 win over the Luka Dončić-less Dallas Mavericks at Chase Center.
Despite the victory, various members of the Warriors were displeased by how they pulled out the win over a hobbled Dallas squad in the waning moments of the game.
"I don't think we closed the game well at all," Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters postgame. "We made a lot of mistakes at both ends. I'm thrilled with the win but I'm disappointed with the way we closed the game.
"So we've got to do better."
After leading by as many as 23 points with 3:08 remaining in the third quarter, it appeared as if Golden State would cruise to an easy victory. However, the Warriors played haphazardly in the fourth quarter, allowing the Mavericks to trim the lead to just five, 116-111, with 1:28 remaining.
Though the Warriors eventually got the win, Donte DiVincenzo noted the team "could have been better" down the stretch because they deviated from its game plan in the final quarter.
"I think we played three-and-a-half quarters of good basketball," DiVincenzo said. "Things started slipping away, we started going away from what got us the lead.
"But those last couple minutes, I think we buckled down and we did what we needed to do."
In the fourth quarter, the Warriors had more turnovers (7) than made shots (6). What's more, the Mavericks outscored the Warriors 27-17 in the final frame and scored four more points in the paint, 14-10.
Perhaps Golden State's offensive issues against Dallas on Saturday had more to do with the absence of Steph Curry than anything else. In the third quarter, as he was playing defense, the Warriors star's lower left leg collided with Mavericks guard McKinley Wright IV.
Curry would not return to the contest and while his X-rays came back negative, the 34-year-old will have an MRI to determine the extent of his injury.
Warriors defensive ace Draymond Green reiterated DiVincenzo's point that Golden State strayed away from what put them in a position to win when the game entered its final minutes.
"You find something that worked all game long, you don't go away from it," Green told reporters. "And we tend to do that, quite a bit."
The latest example of the Warriors straying away from what worked was in their matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday. Up 14 in the fourth quarter, Golden State squandered the lead, eventually losing 119-114 in overtime, a loss Kerr deemed "unforgivable."
Green gave an explanation as to why the Warriors are struggling to close out games.
"When the game's down the stretch, it's hard for Steve to get a call in every time, you're under pressure, it's intense, you're in the game, you're not really focused on what's coming from the sidelines," Green explained. "So we just got to do a better job of executing down the stretch."
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With 29 games remaining in the 2022-23 NBA regular season, time is running out for the Warriors to learn how to effectively close games, especially games in which they have a double-digit lead.
If they don't, the Warriors' journey in the playoffs to repeat as NBA champions might be a short one.