"I guess we gave up. I mean, coaching staff as well," Thomas said. "We started subbing, it was bad. Especially, I only played 27 minutes. We gave up."
Thomas admitted that his lack of second-half playing time wasn't the primary reason Boston lost, but he was likely frustrated by the Celtics' poor showing against one of the league's top teams during a national TV broadcast. The Warriors outscored Boston 31-9 in a dominant third-quarter effort.
Thomas was subbed out with 4:52 remaining in the third quarter with the Warriors up 27 after outscoring Boston by 20 points over the first seven minutes of the third quarter. Thomas subbed back in with 5:16 remaining in the fourth quarter and Boston still down 19.
Boston's 5-foot-9 All-Star guard finished with 18 points on 4-of-12 shooting over 27:35. He was minus-20 in plus/minus. Thomas had scored 20 or more points in each of Boston's first 11 games, including scoring 30-plus points in the Celtics' two wins before Friday's game.
"I'm not saying [the third-quarter substitution was] the reason why we lost," Thomas said. "We couldn't get stops and they kept scoring and we didn't play well on the offensive end for the whole quarter. ... But we went into panic mode, for whatever reason. That's why I'm upset with that."
Thomas was asked if maybe coach Brad Stevens had begun thinking about Boston's looming back-to-back and a visit to Detroit on Saturday night.
"Maybe. We panicked too fast," Thomas said. "Any game is winnable. As fast as you can get up [is] as fast as you can make a comeback. We have a game tomorrow, we have to turn the page. But we gotta be more consistent as players and as coaches."
It would seem unlikely that Thomas' comments will cause any sort of issue with Stevens. Last season, Jae Crowder and Thomas were among those vocal about the need for Stevens to determine a more set rotation. Boston played some of its best basketball once the rotations were set.
Stevens noted at his news conference that he understands his players' frustrations with an uneven start to the 2016-17 season. The Celtics have played without at least two of their top eight players in every game this season with Al Horford (concussion) and Crowder (ankle) having missed almost all of November.
"The one thing I like about our guys is they're disappointed after every loss," Stevens said.
"I think that it's a long year, everybody knows it's a long year. We've got 70 games left. ... [Players] realize that there are areas that we need to continue to improve, but, at the same time we've got a really tough stretch coming up and I think we're going to approach it positively."
Thomas resolved to turn the page after Friday's loss.
"The best players have the shortest memories, whether good or bad," Thomas said. "Once you go to sleep, wake up tomorrow, you forget about this loss. But I believe we gave up. For whatever reason, they hit us and we didn't hit back."