In the fourth quarter of Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers, the Golden State Warriors demonstrated what heights they were capable of even without Stephen Curry, and also why they needed the point guard more than any other player to be the Goliath of the NBA.
The Warriors fell 121-116 in overtime against the Clippers, but the fireworks of the game were reserved for the end of regulation.
With fewer than seven minutes remaining, the Warriors found themselves down 14 and on pace for a deflating loss in the Staples Center. Naturally, they responded with a 16-3 run in which Klay Thompson iced three jump shots in a row to tie the game with 1:27 remaining.
Draymond Green’s less-than-ideal final possession
The Warriors had the ball for the final possession of regulation, and then Draymond Green did, well, this:
Running the ball into the middle of the defense then dropping it as time expires in a tie game is bad enough. Doing it with one of the greatest scorers in NBA history running behind you and yelling for the ball adds another degree of failure.
Draymond Green and Kevin Durant squabble in Warriors huddle
Kevin Durant clearly wasn’t happy on the floor as he watched Green squander the Warriors’ chance to tie the game, and that carried over to the team’s pre-overtime huddle. Durant and Green clearly weren’t seeing eye-to-eye and eventually had to be separated by DeMarcus Cousins, of all people.
Subplot in #Warriors loss to #Clippers: bad blood between #KD and Draymond. Had to be separated in huddle going into OT. “Just pass the damn ball” says KD after Draymond fumbles ball at end of regulation. #NBA pic.twitter.com/a0JcKKOZhn
— Raj Mathai (@rajmathai) November 13, 2018
This was after they were yelling in the huddle. Special peacemaker cameo from Boogie! pic.twitter.com/3RsbA4wynP
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) November 13, 2018
Following Green and Durant’s confrontation, the Warriors rallied together and got burned by Lou Williams’ 10 points to fall by five in overtime.
Warriors show why Steph Curry is so important
Durant finished with a triple-double at 33 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Green had just six points and two assists to go with 14 rebounds, while Thompson stayed hot with 31 points.
None of the Warriors’ stars on the floor had a game totally out of the ordinary, and yet, the NBA’s top team still fell to a Clippers squad with a combined zero career All-Star selections. Sure seems like a team that needs Curry, who is out for at least two games with a groin strain, more than anyone else to unlock its terrifying potential.
It was obvious during the first 47 minutes in the game when the Warriors needed an unconscious streak from Thompson to keep them in the game, but it was never more clear than on that final possession of regulation, when Green charged right into a Clippers defense that had little to fear with Thompson and Durant both lagging behind him as the seconds ticked away.
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