OAKLAND — On a night when the Golden State Warriors never trailed during regulation, the team endured one of its ugliest losses of the season, falling 128-119 to the Memphis Grizzlies in overtime on Friday night.
— GoldenStateWarriors (@warriors) January 7, 2017
“I’m kind of thrilled that we lost,” Draymond Green explained afterward. “Because you usually make corrections when you lose. Most people don’t look at wins and say, ‘Oh, we need to correct this.’ So, I think this is good for us.”
When the teams took the floor for the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena, the Warriors held a commanding 98-79 advantage, with the triumvirate of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson accounting for 73 points.
By the time Mike Conley sank a 25-footer with 7.4 seconds left on the clock, that lead had vanished.
“Our fourth-quarter offense has been atrocious,” Green said. “I don’t know if you can see it. Everyone only notices in losses. I actually pay attention to things when you win too also because I can actually care less. I’m actually happy we lost today because there are some things that we need to correct in order to win a championship.”
During the Warriors’ fourth-quarter implosion, the team managed just 13 points and went ice-cold from beyond the arc.
Golden State was 1-for-10 from three to close the evening, including misses on the final two possessions of the fourth quarter.
Curry had to settle for a 35-footer at the buzzer following what head coach Steve Kerr described as a “broken play.” On the second-to-last possession, Kevin Durant whiffed a long-range effort, prompting a clearly-agitated Draymond Green to begin an animated conversation.
“It’s something we’ll figure out as a team. Everything’s really not to be said outwardly,” Green said when asked about the contents of the conversation. “You get better in house, you win in house, you lose in house. It’s not really something that needs to be outwardly. We discuss it.”
Durant was more forthcoming with the advice that Green had dispensed.
“He just said we should have stuck with the pick and roll,” Durant said. “I mean, he didn’t say anything about the shot if that’s what you to know. But he said we should have stuck with pick and roll. Just basically saying late in the game we went away from what we were doing the whole game.”
“He’s very passionate. So, it looked a little different but it was just about us staying with what we did all game and he was wondering why we went away from it.”
Just about everything had been working for the Warriors — and the Big 3 in particular — during the first 36 minutes.
In the dying seconds of the first half, Curry drove through the paint, and just before he reached the bucket, he kicked a no-look pass to a wide-open Thompson, stationed at the 3-point line.
As Thompson’s buzzer-beating 26-footer went down, Curry looked back over his shoulder and produced one of those shimmies that were so familiar during his run to the unanimous MVP award a year ago, but which have been all but absent from the opening months of the current season.
Throughout the first three quarters, Curry also produced a performance becoming of his MVP season. The Splash Brother ended his night with 40 points as he shot 15-for-27 from the field.
The fans at Oracle let him know as much, serenading him with an “MVP” chant after he completed a ridiculous four-point sequence midway through the third quarter. Curry sank a triple as he collided with Grizzly vet Vince Carter and toppled to the ground. He then sank the and-one free throw to complete the play.
With Curry turning in a vintage performance, Durant quietly logged 27 points and 13 boards.
Thompson, who has been listed as questionable for the game after missing the morning’s shoot around with an illness went for 15, but didn’t score a single point in the fourth quarter or overtime. Golden State WarriorsKevin DurantKlay ThompsonMemphis GrizzliesNBAStephen Curry