Heading into Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers, there was a good vibe surrounding the Warriors.
They knew that this would be a tough matchup, but there was optimism. The Warriors had just won three in a row, and they had beaten LA before. So, even if Golden State lost, it would still be a good battle.
Quickly, all of that optimism evaporated.
Watching the Warriors' 117-91 loss to the Lakers was like watching film of the team from the first few weeks of this season.
"Coming in here, having won three in a row, feeling pretty good about things, everybody in good spirits, so this was very, very surprising for me."Warriors coach Steve Kerr said in his postgame video conference.
"I've been in the league long enough to know there's going to be a handful of games every year that are sort of inexplicable, and this is one that you don't spend too much time on. You flush it down the toilet. You move on."
As Kerr said, there are always blowout losses each season. And as I alluded to, the Warriors have already had some. Their first two games, huge losses to the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets, come to mind.
But here's the difference between those two games and Sunday's: The Warriors are much better now than they were in late December.
Following the losses to the Nets and Bucks, Kerr probably didn't flush that film down the toilet, because it was an accurate representation of where the team stood.
But those bad habits came back to bite the Warriors on Sunday. They committed 20 turnovers leading to 22 Lakers points, were out-rebounded 60-35 and allowed the Lakers to shoot 38 free throws while shooting half as many themselves.
While what happened isn't exactly who the Warriors are right now, it did highlight that, despite coming off their first three-game winning streak, they're still looking for consistency. Perhaps the fact that they had only just gotten their first three-game streak -- of either kind -- is enough proof.
Either way, the Warriors will have a short memory when it comes to Sunday's loss. They don't have time to dwell on what they see as a fluke with two games remaining in the first half of the season.
So, down the toilet, it goes.
Instead, they will focus on the recurring themes -- both good and bad -- ahead of their next two games in the hopes of entering the All-Star break on a good note.