Warriors commemorate assistant Dejan Milojevic in a pregame ceremony.

San Francisco — Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr was unable to prepare his players for their first game in nine days due to the death of assistant coach Dejan Milojević at the age of 46.

This was an unprecedented circumstance for everyone. So Kerr instructed his players to dive in headfirst and become lost in the game.

"It was not easy, but I thought our guys did a good job of trying to make that transition and settle into the game," Kerr said after the Warriors defeated the Atlanta Hawks 134-112.

"I think getting out there and playing is probably the best thing the players could do to get the mind off the sorrow we've all felt this past week."

Before the game, the Warriors and Hawks stood side by side on the Chase Center court, wearing matching shirts that read "Brate," which is Serbian for "brother."

" In the corner was a heart with the initials "DM" inside -- the same emblem the Warriors will wear on their jerseys for the rest of the season, as well as on the floor in front of their bench.

"Deki's smile, joy, and laughter were always present," Kerr told supporters at Chase Center. 

"So tonight, rather than a moment of silence, I would like for you to join me in honoring Deki and his beautiful family, I would like for all of us to give Deki an ovation that he can hear up in heaven."

The ovation lasted almost a minute and was followed by the Serbian national song.

"He was like my older brother," said fellow former Yugoslavian native Dario Saric, who was initially recruited to join the Warriors by Milojevic over the summer.  

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