Warriors Clippers Basketball

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr wipes his face during Game 3 of the team's first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.

The Golden State Warriors haven't played like back-to-back world champions so far during these NBA playoffs.

The Goliath of the NBA was supposed to dismantle the David of the West — the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers, who were getting 100-to-1 odds against the NBA's super team, making Doc Rivers and his superstar-less squad the biggest underdogs in a playoff series since 1988.

No one was surprised. Even the biggest Warriors hater couldn't argue with Vegas there.

But one thing even a Warriors hater didn't expect was for the Clippers to contend — even if they ultimately bowed out, losing the series 4-2 to Golden State late Friday night.

Though the Warriors won the series opener 121-104, Clippers point guard and expert pain-in-the-rear-end Patrick Beverly was a pest to Kevin Durant.

The undersized Beverly (listed at 6-foot-1) seemed to be conjoined with Durant at the hip. Granted, that's about as far as Beverly's head could reach next to Durant's 6-9 frame.

Though the matchup seemed laughable, Beverly did a decent job of disrupting Durant. In the opener, both players were ejected with 4:11 left in regulation for getting in each other's face after Durant fouled Beverly near the sideline.

After the game, Durant acknowledged he must focus better in their next meeting and, most importantly, actually stay in the game.

That didn't go as planned.

Durant fouled out in a crucial moment with 81 seconds left as the Clippers were on the cusp of the biggest comeback in playoff history, down 31 points. The Clippers went on to win 135-131 as Durant committed nine turnovers and scored 21 points before riding the pine.

"We let our guard down. We weren't the aggressors anymore. We didn't deserve to win that game," said Warriors guard Klay Thompson said after Game 2's loss.

A loss like that would make it hard to believe that the reigning champions were even playing that night — much less at home.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr had even harsher words for his team's loss.

"When I say we stopped playing, we stopped playing, like defense, offense, execution-wise we were not as engaged as we needed to be," Kerr told The Associated Press. "We got exactly what we deserved. The Clippers were great. They executed, they were hungry, they stayed connected. They were together."

With the series tied 1-1 heading to the Staples Center, the Warriors' loss was the biggest news around the league.

Not the No. 7 Magic stunning the No. 2 Raptors in their series opener in the East.

Not the No. 6 Nets stealing Game 1 from the revamped No. 3-seeded 76ers.

Both games were upsets. But let's face it: The Warriors are facing nearly unprecedented expectations.

Three championships in the past four years. Five All-Stars in the starting lineup (now down to four, thanks to DeMarcus Cousins' injury) and one former All-Star coming off the bench in Andre Iguodala. 

The biggest stunner?

While the Raptors and the 76ers were able to bounce back from their surprising losses, cruising to 4-1 series victories, the Warriors suffered a second loss to the Clippers.

They led by as many as 15 points in Game 5, winning again at Oracle Arena, bringing the series to 3-2 at the time.

It was the first time the Warriors lost back-to-back home playoff games since 2016 — the summer in which Golden State choked up a 3-1 lead to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

A series that should've been a quick appetizer had turned into Golden State biting off more than it could chew.

So, what happened to the Warriors?

Did the Clippers find the champs' Achilles heel?

No. It's as if the Warriors were too cocky to even stretch before facing what they considered to be a JV team. Instead, they got punched in the mouth by a squad with nothing to lose.

Thompson admitted to looking ahead to the Houston Rockets instead of focusing on the task at hand.

“Yup. Started with me. I was," Thompson told The Athletic. "I thought we’d come out and win tonight. Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned.”

At last, Game 6 was a different story.

Durant put the Warriors on his back and erupted for a career-high 38 points in the first half on 12-of-17 shooting. He had 50 points by the final buzzer, giving his team a much-needed spark and a trip back to the second round.

Waiting for them will be a much better opponent in James Harden, Chris Paul and the well-rested Rockets.

The Warriors head into the Western Conference semis without Cousins, who tore his quadriceps going after a loose ball in Game 2 and will be out indefinitely.

And their play in the first round will give all future opponents a little hope that perhaps the Bible isn't the only story in which Goliath goes down.

The Warriors are still the favorites. One lackadaisical series doesn't change that.

It's up to the Warriors to regroup and show the world that their first-round series against the eighth-seeded Clippers did not expose a glaring weak spot.

It's up to them to show they are still the undisputed top dogs in the NBA.

To do that, they have to play like champions. Act like champions.