The Golden State Warriors nearly blew a 24-point lead to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, and Draymond Green took the blame for attempting to chase a triple-double, per Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group.
Green, who has a league-leading eight triple-doubles this year, finished with 10 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists. But he also tallied a team-high seven turnovers, which were huge pitfalls in the Warriors’ sluggish second half against the team with the league’s worst record.
"We started turning the ball over due to my selfish unselfishness, and it was all downhill from there,” Green said, per Leung.
Philadelphia outscored Golden State 33-17 in the fourth quarter, and the Warriors needed a tiebreaking three-pointer by Harrison Barnes—on an assist from Green—with 0.2 seconds remaining to secure a 108-105 victory against the 7-41 Sixers.
"Good thing we were able to get the win,” Green said. "It's only right I was able to make a play after causing us to be in that position.”
Here is a segment of Green’s postgame interview, courtesy of ESPN.com's Ethan Strauss:
Head coach Steve Kerr acknowledged how lucky the defending champs were to escape with a win in a game he admitted they should’ve lost, per Leung:
If the gods delivered what should have happened, we probably should have lost because that's what happens when you mess around with the game and the ball.
This is the NBA. Everybody has talent. The beauty of our game is in the execution. It's in sharing the ball, making the simple play, and letting things happen. And I thought in the third quarter, our starting group came out, didn't focus and tried to do everything on their own.
Saturday’s contest pitted two teams that made history this season for their records to start the year. Golden State broke the previous high mark of 17-0 and eventually reached 24-0 before its first loss; Philadelphia set the NBA record for the worst start to the season at 0-18.
The Warriors have had a massive target on their backs since winning last year’s title with the league’s best record at 67-15, and that target became bigger after their torrid start.
In a league like the NBA, where any team can beat another on any given night, upsets are natural—after all, the Warriors' first loss of the season came at the hands of the 20-29 Milwaukee Bucks. But blowing a 24-point deficit against a Sixers team that may be among the worst of all time is alarming.
Green did the right thing by admitting his selfishness, and perhaps Saturday will be a fitting wake-up call for a team that has aspirations of eclipsing the NBA-record 72-win mark that Michael Jordan’s iconic Chicago Bulls set in 1995-96.