Warriors are not where we need to be yet: Kerr

Stephen Curry's 30 points against Denver were not enough for Golden State to avoid their first loss of the season.
Stephen Curry's 30 points against Denver were not enough for Golden State to avoid their first loss of the season.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

DENVER (Colorado) - Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said his team still have much to improve on after Sunday's loss to the Denver Nuggets in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Juancho Hernangomez had the game-saving block on Damien Jones as Denver held off the defending NBA champions 100-98.

The Nuggets handed the Warriors their first defeat of the young season, staking their claim to contender status in the Western Conference with a perfect 3-0 record as Golden State dropped to 2-1.

"We're not where we need to be," said Kerr, whose Warriors led by as many as 12 in the first quarter, and by two at half-time, but were out-scored 33-21 in the third period.

He was pleased with his team's "competitive juice and spirit", but admitted their late push was doomed by sloppy play.

"We can't expect to win every game on emotion," he added. "We've got to win on execution and intelligence. We'll get there."

Denver led by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter but the Warriors, with 30 points from Stephen Curry, rallied to tie the score at 97-97 with 1min 29sec left.

Three missed free throws by the Nuggets in the final 1:18 opened the door for the Warriors, but the visitors could not take advantage.

A day after his impressive triple-double against Phoenix, Nikola Jokic scored 23 points with 11 rebounds and six assists for Denver, who forced 18 turnovers in a solid defensive effort.

Meanwhile, the NBA came down hard on Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram, suspending him for four games while banning teammate Rajon Rondo for three and Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul two for their roles in a fourth-quarter melee on Saturday.

The league said that Ingram "has been suspended for aggressively returning to and escalating the altercation, throwing a punch in the direction of Paul, confronting a game official in a hostile manner, and instigating the overall incident by shoving James Harden".

It added that Rondo's suspension was for spitting and throwing punches at Paul, while Paul was banned for poking Rondo's face and throwing punches.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2018, with the headline 'Warriors are not where we need to be yet: Kerr'. Print Edition | Subscribe