The Warriors' Tuesday night game against the Dallas Mavericks was an important one.
Golden State trailed sixth-seeded Dallas in the Western Conference standings by 2.5 games, needing a win to hold a playoff tiebreaker.
Instead, the Warriors fell an additional game back of the Mavs after a 133-103 loss at Chase Center.
Golden State had the wind knocked out from the start, allowing Dallas to build a 36-12 lead by the end of the first quarter. Not much improved in the second.
The Warriors showed signs of life in the second half, thanks to Steph Curry. Mychal Mulder ended up with 26 points and Andrew Wiggins had 15, but it was too little, too late. The Mavs' assault in the first 24 minutes was more than enough to keep the Warriors from ever making the game competitive.
Here are three takeaways from the Warriors' loss, as they fell back to .500 (31-31).
Curtains in the first quarter
It didn't take long to see where this game was headed. Five minutes, to be exact.
After the Warriors took a one-point lead at the 8:40 mark of the first quarter, they went scoreless for nearly 10 minutes. The Mavs (34-27) scored 28 points during that time, ending up on a 33-4 run at the 7:30 mark of the second quarter.
It's not as if Dallas played exceptionally well and locked down Golden State on defense. Most concerning of all, the Warriors just looked out of whack. Their offense was disconnected, seeming uncomfortable and indecisive.
By halftime, the Warriors trailed 62-29 after shooting 8 of 39 from the field. They shot 3 of 19 on 3-pointers and committed 12 turnovers.
The Warriors needed a ton to make the game remotely close, and they didn't have it.
Big implications on the playoff picture
The Warriors knew this game was big. Possibly their biggest of the season thus far.
Coach Steve Kerr said before tip-off that if the Warriors won, he felt Golden State could catch -- and potentially pass -- Dallas in the standings.
It's very difficult to imagine the Warriors earning the sixth seed after this loss.
This isn't to say the Warriors will miss the playoffs. They still can make it, but at this rate, it will be via the play-in games.
Even if the Warriors won all remaining 10 games, the Mavericks would need to win just seven of their last 11 to stay ahead of Golden State in the standings.
If you're looking for bright spots from the blown-out Warriors, look no further than Curry. He finished the game with 27 points on 9-of-18 shooting, including 5 of 9 from distance.
The two-time NBA MVP started getting hot early in the third quarter, hitting two 3-pointers in the first two minutes of the period, showing signs of life that were seriously lacking in the first half.
Curry was his typical self. So, to take something positive away from the game: The 33-year-old still is having the best stretch of his career.
But because of that first quarter, good Curry simply wasn't enough. The Warriors needed god-level Curry to dig out of their early hole.