Golden State Warriors stumble late, lose in OT to Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS — The Warriors appeared on course for their fourth straight win Wednesday night, only to end up giving the game away.
The undermanned Minnesota Timberwolves smashed Golden State’s 14-point lead in the fourth quarter to force overtime, where they took over and defeated the defending champions 119-114.
“We controlled the game and then I thought we wrapped it as a present,” said coach Steve Kerr. “Everything we had done up to that point to control the game we stopped, so we got what we deserved.”
Golden State scored 71 points in the first half but was only able to score 43 points the rest of the way. The Warriors were fourth by 11 and extended that lead to 14 with just over 11 minutes remaining on the rule. That’s when things started to go wrong.
Former Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell led the charge for Minnesota, which was without Karl-Anthony Towns (right calf strain) and Rudy Gobert (right groin pain).
Russell scored 14 of his 29 fourth-team points to put the game into overtime, where the Warriors were outplayed 9-4.
“When a team lost 11, 13 points, it’s time to execute and fold, and we didn’t execute,” said Draymond Green.
The Warriors are now 1-3 in overtime and 26-25 overall this season. They woke up Wednesday morning fifth in the Western Conference rankings but go to bed eighth — it’s that close.
Including Wednesday’s meltdown, Golden State has lost five games this season, including four away, after leading by double digits in the second half.
“It’s 100 percent the difference in all the narratives around our team,” Curry said.
The Warriors were completely inconsistent and Curry thought the team had already learned their lesson.
“It’s not a good feeling and something we thought we kind of got overtaken in terms of being able to finish games,” Curry said. “Then we’re back in the same kind of gray area trying to figure it out.”
Golden State seemed to be turning the corner over the past two weeks, winning four of their last six games on Wednesday. Just two nights earlier, the Warriors held off the Thunder after cutting Golden State’s 21-point lead to a one-ball game in the fourth game. Afterward, Kerr praised the team’s ability to finish the game.
But the Warriors couldn’t lock down the stretch to get the same result in Minnesota.
Klay Thompson said the Warriors need to do a better job of being fundamentally more solid in clutch time.
Golden State turned the ball over six times in the fourth game, four of them in the last five minutes of regulation. The Warriors signed another three in overtime to finish the night with 17 overall. It didn’t help that they went stone cold from deep and went 0-on-10 from 3-pointers in the fourth and overtime. Kerr also felt the team could have been better at boxing and coral rebounds.
“We’re not good enough to win without performing, maybe we were a few years ago, we’re not good enough now to win without playing on the road in the fourth quarter,” Kerr said. “So we’re trying to fix that, we’re trying to work on it. And we have to do better.”
The Warriors’ three-game road trip concludes Thursday against the conference-leading Denver Nuggets. As this is the second night of a back-to-back, Klay Thompson is unlikely to be in the lineup. Meanwhile, Curry previously said he would be committed to playing.
“I’m usually committed to playing every game,” Curry said. “That’s the misconception about load management and how it works.”