Draymond Green admits stat chasing nearly resulted in loss to Sixers

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

Everything was going according to plan for the league's best team against the ultimate bottom dwellers on Saturday.

The Warriors raced out to a 73-54 lead at halftime over the Sixers, and it looked as if the humiliation would only double in the second half. However, the Warriors took their foot off the pedal, and had it not been for Harrison Barnes' game-winning three, the Sixers might have pushed the Warriors to overtime.

After the game, the team's emotional leader Draymond Green took blame for the let up. Green, who had 10 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists in the first half, had zero points and five turnovers after halftime while playing recklessly as he hunted - somewhat shamelessly - for his ninth triple-double against a noticeably inferior opponent.

"We definitely should have lost, and it was all my fault," Green told ESPN's Ethan Sherwood Strauss. "I was selfishly unselfish, if you know what (that) means. And so we started turning the ball over, due to my self(ish) unselfishness, and it was all downhill from there.”

Green went on to unabashedly admit to stat chasing.

"In other words," he explained, "I was chasing a triple-double. Coach came to me at halftime like, 'You better get it in this third quarter, 'cause you ain’t playing in the fourth,' and it was all downhill from there. So definitely my fault, what went on tonight."

It's not the first instance of Green chasing the benchmark. Several times during the season, Green would be reinserted during the fourth quarter of blowouts to grab whatever he needed - points, rebounds, assists - to reach the milestone. That's in part why he leads the league with eight on the year, although Russell Westbrook is making a hard charge for the lead.

Green finished one assist shy of the mark, but his last assist did help the Warriors win the game. He found himself open in the lane on the final play, drew help, and spotted Barnes in the corner for the game-winner.

"Good thing we were able to get the win. Only right I was able to make a play after causing us to be in that position," a relieved Green said.

Live and learn.