Faltering Warriors stumble into All-Star break

The Golden State Warriors’ lack of defense was once again on display in their 116-107 loss against Houston Tuesday night. Now the Warriors head into the All-Star break on a five game losing streak, their longest of the season.

Last week, the Rockets tied an NBA record with 23 3-pointers made and embarrassed Golden State, 140-109. The Warriors had a chance to exact revenge and instead showed that the Dubs need a break now more than ever.

Head coach Mark Jackson said his team didn’t play up to par, and Houston took advantage of it:

Post-Game Audio: Warriors coach Mark Jackson

“When you are struggling to find a rhythm both offensively and defensively, the opposition is not going to take its foot off the gas pedal to allow you to find a rhythm.”

The Rockets certainly did not let up off the gas pedal.  James Harden, who came into the game with a sore knee, rolled his ankle in the third quarter after stepping on David Lee’s foot on a drive to the basket. Harden briefly went to the locker room and returned to add seven more points and finished with a game high 27.

Harden said he was in a lot of pain, but did what was necessary to keep going:

Post-Game Audio: Rockets guard James Harden

“I barely could walk, was limping, I’m still limping… I think our energy was picking up so I didn’t want to just shut it down.  So I just tried to make the right play and just help my team mates do whatever it takes to win.”

Palo Alto native Jeremy Lin made his return to the Bay Area and had 14 points and 10 assists.

Post-Game Audio: Rockets guard Jeremy Lin

“It’s awesome seeing everybody… a lot of friends and family out there and it’s my first time back where I’m actually playing in non-garbage time and so it was fun.”

Warriors All-Star David Lee recorded his 33rd double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.  Lee  said that taking another loss, especially at home was tough.

Post-Game Audio: Warriors forward David Lee

“It’s still not Warrior basketball…I’m frustrated, and part of it is the amount of games we’ve been playing.  I know I was exhausted out there tonight.”

Jackson has avoided saying that his team is fatigued, but finally showed some appreciation for the upcoming break:

“We’ve got to find a way to put together 48 minutes of basketball to get out of this, so it’s a challenge and I think it’s a great time for my guys to get away from this thing and enjoy the things that matter in life and come back with purpose.”

The Warriors were understandably frustrated when they went into the locker room, but Coach Jackson tried to take them out of that mindset.  Even though the Warriors have fallen from fourth to sixth in the Western Conference standings in the last two weeks, they are still in a good position:

“We’re disappointed in the five game losing streak, but like I just told my guys, put on the board 30 and 22.  Do not let anybody fool you into believing that we should be walking around with our heads down, because there are teams in this western conference that would do anything to be sitting where we’re sitting. We will get better and we will not panic.”

The Warriors (30-22) have a full week off and will be back after the break next Tuesday in Utah to face the Jazz (29-24).   Steph Curry says maybe they can channel some mojo from the 49ers:

Post-Game Audio: Warriors guard Stephen Curry

“It’s a tough feeling to know going into the break after you lose five in a row, especially one at home, to have to think about that but maybe like the Super Bowl where the lights went out and if it’s a week, we can sit back, relax and try to get refocused and be like the 49ers, make a push and see what happens.”