It was a few days ago that Warriors coach Mark Jackson met a dose of despair with a dash of humor, saying that despite a desperate need for a point guard he has no plans to come out of retirement.
"It's safe to assume that I will not be playing," he said early this week. "And I will never assign one of my assistant coaches. And that has never been considered."
It was, at the time, worth a grin. Now it seems downright dismal after the Warriors on Saturday left Staples Center with not only a 102-95 loss but also no remotely desirable option at point guard.
[RECAP: Lakers 102, Warriors 95]
Already without starter Stephen Curry (recovering from a concussion sustained last Monday) and backup Toney Douglas (out since Nov. 9 with a stress reaction in his right tibia), the emergency fix that was Andre Iguodala also heads to the sideline.
Iguodala, a small forward masquerading as a point guard out of necessity, sustained a left hamstring injury in the third quarter, forcing him out of the game 59 seconds after he tied it 63-63. He never returned, and in the minutes after the game there was no knowing when he might.
[RELATED: Iguodala suffers strained hamstring]
"I've been hurt, might have had something that might have kept me out of a game . . . but this one kind of worries me a little bit," Iguodala said in the locker room.
Iguodala, a free agent acquired through a sign-and-trade deal over the summer, said he heard a 'pop' while twisting and lunging as a defender. He will undergo an MRI exam Saturday morning to determine the extent of the injury.
"Normally, I can just run it off, or it'll go away," he said. "But once I heard a 'pop,' I knew it was serious."
It was serious enough that Jackson still seemed stunned 45 minutes after Iguodala was helped off the floor. The coach said his team was "out-worked," though statistics indicate otherwise. He said the Warriors could not feel good about their effort, though they grabbed more rebounds and shot more free throws.
The Warriors generally played with scrap. They did not, however, play with rhythm and precision. And, as a team, they shot poorly.
"We're a good basketball team and when you're a good basketball team, you find ways to get it done in spite of adversity," Jackson said. "Bad teams use the tailor-made excuses. That's now who we are, and that's not who we're going to be."
It's a noble stance -- proper for the coach -- but for now at odds with reality.
THE GOOD: Andrew Bogut toiled with spirit and efficiency, finishing with 12 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and two steals. Harrison Barnes, who missed the first four games of the season, had his first 20-point game.
THE BAD: Klay Thompson, who generally burns the Lakers, missed 14 of 20 shots and made a couple glaring mental errors.
THE AILING: Curry, still experiencing symptoms, is listed as day-to-day and likely will be a game-time decision on Saturday. Iguodala's status will be determined after his MRI test. Backup center Jermaine O'Neal (bruised right knee, strained groin) is listed as day-to-day. Douglas is not expected until late next week, at the soonest. Third-string center Ognjen Kuzmic (fractured right pinkie) is out indefinitely.
THE FUTURE: Here comes the hottest team in the league, as Portland invades Oracle Arena on Saturday night. The Trail Blazers, led by Oakland High product Damian Lillard and veteran power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, have won nine in a row.