"Right from the beginning, just the level of competition wasn't where it needed to be," Kerr said after the game. "It was 11-to-nothing in about three minutes, four minutes. And it looked to me like we were jogging up the floor. You can't play basketball jogging. You got to sprint. Your cuts have to be hard. You got to be going all out. And we did not go all out. And it was embarrassing."
The 33-point defeat came after the Warriors, who have now lost five of their past eight games, repeatedly talked about getting off to better starts over the past few weeks.
"From the very beginning we were not flying around," Kerr said. "We were not giving the sort of effort that it takes to win an NBA game. The other stuff I've got to do a better job with. Making sure we're in a position to succeed. ... It starts with a passion, with an anger, and an intensity. And it wasn't there tonight."
Warriors star Kevin Durant, who struggled to find a rhythm throughout the night, shooting just 5-for-16 from the field, pushed back on the idea that his team needs to play with more anger.
"I thought we move off of joy," Durant said, referring to a common Kerr mantra of playing with joy. "Now anger? I disagree with that one. I think all around, top to bottom, coaches, players, we just got to be better."
The Warriors, who played without Klay Thompson (right knee soreness), Kevon Looney (pelvic inflammation) and Shaun Livingston (neck spasm), remain convinced they will be able to flip the proverbial switch to focus better on both ends once the playoffs begin, but Warriors guard Stephen Curry acknowledged that his group has a lot of work to do over the last month of the regular season.
"We got to want it," Curry said of his team's defensive issues. "We got to want to figure it out. We understand the personnel that we have out on the floor and some of the struggles we've had -- just being able to execute it and sustain it over the course of 48 minutes. We haven't gotten there yet. And if we want to be the team we want to be come April, we can't just continue to talk about it and talk about it and expect to be able to flip a switch. At some point in these next  games we gotta show it."
In the short term, the Warriors also have to figure out what they can do to get center DeMarcus Cousins into more of a rhythm on the defensive end as he continues working his way back from an Achilles tendon injury that forced him to miss almost an entire year's worth of action.
Opponents continue trying to attack the former All-Star, and his frustration boiled over in the fourth quarter on Tuesday night when he was called for an offensive foul on Celtics big man Aron Baynes. After saying something to Baynes, Cousins, who finished just 4-for-12 from the field and had four turnovers, shoved Celtics guard Jayson Tatum and pushed Celtics guard Terry Rozier. He and Rozier were both whistled for a technical foul.
Cousins called the entire episode "silly," then admitted he is still adjusting to the defensive schemes that Kerr and his staff have put together.
"It's an adjustment trying to figure things out," Cousins said. "In how we want to play with the coverages. I'm trying to meet the needs in the coverages that they want. But it's an adjustment period right now, so we're trying to figure it out."
The Warriors, who are now 23-9 at home this season, head into a showdown with the Denver Nuggets on Friday night. There is no sense of panic within the locker room, but the group understands it must start building better habits soon.
"This year's different," Curry said of the general malaise the Warriors have dealt with at the end of the past two regular seasons. "Last year we had some injuries and a kind of a depleted roster and limped into the playoffs and figured it out. This year we have new pieces that -- we have some patterns that we need to kind of correct and prove to ourselves that we can do it. But again there is a subtle confidence that we've been here before and when the lights are bright, we show up. So there's a balance somewhere in the middle there. You can't have nights like tonight, though, where a team just pounces on you and embarrasses you in your home floor."