A disappointed Steve Kerr addressed the media Wednesday night after his Golden State Warriors fell 103-100 to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference seventh-seed play-in game.
The veteran head coach expressed his belief that the Warriors let the game slip away, as seen in the following clip, courtesy of Warriors on NBCS:
Kerr called the loss "a bitter pill to swallow" and added, "This was our game, and we couldn't get it done."
Golden State held a 55-42 lead at halftime, but a sloppy third quarter and some clutch play by LeBron James down the stretch sunk the Dubs.
When asked whether he felt the Warriors lost the game in the third quarter, Kerr agreed with that assessment, noting that they turned over the ball 10 times in that quarter after posting only five turnovers in the entire first half.
For the game, Golden State turned over the ball 20 times, which is likely the biggest reason for the loss despite out-shooting Los Angeles from the field (44.6 percent to 40.7 percent) and from long range (44.1 percent to 32.3 percent).
The Lakers also benefited from their star players coming to life in the second half after struggling mightily over the first 24 minutes. In the first half, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder combined to go just 2-of-22 from the field.
James finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists; Davis had 25 points and 12 rebounds; and Schroder recorded 12 points and five assists in the victory.
Even with all the mistakes they made, the Warriors had a chance to win the game, as it was tied with about a minute left.
James once again proved why he is one of the greatest players of all time, though, as he nailed a long, out-of-rhythm three-pointer with the shot clock winding down to give L.A. a three-point lead it would never relinquish with 58 seconds left.
Making it even more impressive was the fact that LeBron got poked in the eye by Warriors forward Draymond Green with two minutes left in the game, thus compromising his vision.
With the win, the NBA champion Lakers secured their spot in the playoffs. They are the No. 7 seed and will face the second-seeded Phoenix Suns in the first round.
Significant injuries to key players in James, Davis and Schroder prevented the Lakers from landing a higher seed, but they may be the most dangerous No. 7 seed in the history of the NBA playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Warriors will still have a chance to play their way in when they face the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 8 seed Friday. Should Golden State win that game, it will go on to challenge the top-seeded Utah Jazz in the first round.