OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry struggled to keep his chin up, Klay Thompson barely tried to fake it and Steve Kerr offered few definitive answers.
After a 99-86 loss to the Celtics Wednesday night at Oracle Arena, the Warriors suddenly find they have drifted off to a foreign land. And it’s downright hostile to the comforts they’ve come to know and expect.
This was the third loss in nine days, something the Warriors had not done since the fourth month of Kerr’s first season as coach.
They’ve failed to reach 90 points in two of their last four games, something that had never happened over 228 regular-season games under Kerr, who has presided over the NBA’s most prolific offense during that stretch.
In the pivotal fourth quarter against the Celtics, the Warriors completely melted down, scoring 12 points -- their lowest-scoring quarter of the season -- on 5-of-14 (35.7 percent) shooting.
“We just got outplayed,” Kerr said. “They turned up the defensive pressure and forced a lot of turnovers. We missed some shots we normally make. But, just got beat. It’s as simple as that.”
With eight turnovers, leading to 9 Boston points in the quarter, the Warriors looked like a lost squad. Curry was left at a loss, too.
“Just couldn’t really manufacture anything, really,” he said. “We’ll look at the film, but it was a couple turnovers at untimely parts of the fourth quarter. A couple loose balls that bounced their way, and they capitalized off them with some momentum-changing threes.”
And while it was obvious the loss of Kevin Durant was going to be painful, who could have imagined his absence over the last five games with a knee injury would send the Warriors into such a visible spell of mediocrity?
The team that was, for the most part, coasting along and scoring 118 points per game, has averaged 102 points without Durant. The team’s lowest scoring half is 36 points, which the Warriors have totaled in two games this season -- last week at Chicago and Wednesday night at home.
“It’s better to go through this stretch now than in a month or a month and a half,” Thompson said.
Curry and Thompson, who combined for 48 points in an effort to carry the offense, totaled 22 points in the third quarter but managed only 1 in the fourth.
“They did a good job of guarding the 3, held us to 20 percent from the perimeter,” Thompson said. “Teams know that we can kill them from 3.
“So if we do see them down the line, we’ve got to get the ball in the post more. We had success when we cut off our post feeds.”
The only way the Warriors would see the Celtics again this season would be in the NBA Finals. Getting there looks a lot more treacherous than it did nine days ago.