Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr says his side is still in an ideal situation despite the Denver Nuggets claiming a 126-121 win on Sunday and avoiding a sweep.
Careless play put the Warriors down 17 points down at one stage, but they managed to eventually draw level through the shooting of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry.
Turning the ball over 11 times in the first half, the Dubs started in a sloppy manner against a Denver side fighting to keep their season alive.
The 56-year-old Kerr believes Golden State are still in a good spot and that the nature of the loss can nevertheless act as a good reference point looking ahead in the post-season.
"We needed that," Kerr said post-match. "We took ourselves out of the game because we were too excited, and part of winning playoff basketball games on the road is executing being poised, understanding what's happening and sticking to the game plan. We didn't deserve to win.
"But now, you take that and put it in your back pocket, and you've got it in the memory bank for the next time we're in that situation.
"But the focus now goes to heading home and getting back in front of our fans. This is the situation you want in any playoff series when you're hosting – sweep the first two, get one out of two on the road and go home with a chance to clinch. We're right where we need to be."
Kerr's play-calling down the stretch also came under scrutiny after the loss.
Following a Monte Morris floater to put the Nuggets up 123-121 with 33 seconds remaining, Kerr called a lob for Andrew Wiggins off the inbound from the consequent timeout.
Austin Rivers' steal of Otto Porter Jr's inbound pass effectively sealed the win for Denver, but it came in the face of Curry and Thompson in good shooting rhythm.
"Yeah, I would like that play back," Kerr said. "There's 33 seconds so we're thinking a two-for-one. If we get a two-for-one, then we can tie the game and have a chance to win it at the end.
"So it's a good two-for-one situation, but the lob wasn't there, and if I could do it do it again I'd probably draw up something different. But they made a great defensive play, give them credit."