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Despite 48 from Monta Ellis and a Triple-Double from David Lee, Warriors lose to Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City 119-116

Game story for tomorrow’s paper

Tuesday’s 119-116 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder was a microcosm for the Warriors’ season thus far, as they failed to capitalize on a grand opportunity.

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The Warriors got a career-high 48 points from guard Monta Ellis. Forward David Lee recorded his second-career triple-double (23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists). And the Warriors put a scare into the arguably the best team in the Western Conference.

But when it came down to the end, the Warriors did what it took to lose. Even at home.

Golden State turned it over six times in the fourth quarter. After shooting 59.7 percent through three quarters, they got jumper happy and went 7 for 18 in the fourth, including five missed 3-pointers and just six points in the paint. Ellis, down one with nine seconds left, wound up taking a contested 3-pointer.

“Our effort was there,” Ellis said. “We played them hard the whole game. It came down to one shot. … It was a great shot. Nothing you can do about it. It didn’t go down. It is what it is.”

As a result, the step-back jumper with 14.2 seconds left by Thunder star Kevin Durant, who scored 12 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, proved to be the game-winner.

Tuesday’s loss to Oklahoma City was the Warriors’ 14th home game of the season. That means more than 60 percent of their games have been at home. In the past, that would’ve been good news for the Warriors, as Oracle Arena had become one of the toughest places in the league to play. Not so much this year.

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Golden State is 6-8 at home. With the toughest part of the schedule still to come, Golden State finds itself well behind .500 and buried at the bottom half of the Western Conference.

“We have not taken advantage of our schedule,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “That’s the real answer. And it’s going to be challenging going forward.”

Tuesday’s performance, for the most part, makes that reality all the more frustrating. They’ve played well enough to beat Chicago andMiamiat Oracle. They’ve had a chance to win others, but failed to capitalize.

The Warriors gave one away to Orlando. They suffered close losses to Utah and Indiana. They blew a big fourth-quarter lead vs. Memphis. Then they missed a chance to upset Oklahoma City, which won in overtime at Portland the night before.

Considering the Warriors’ struggles on the road (2-6 thus far), it stands to reason they’ll pay for those later.

“We have some things we’ve got to pick up,” Lee said. “The rebounding, and then the turnovers we need to get better at. We fix those two areas, I don’t think it matters where we play – home or away. Because teams aren’t beating us, we’re beating ourselves.”

That proved to be true Tuesday. Golden State won the battle of the boards (36-33) and, most of the game, limited their turnovers. As a result, the Warriors led 93-91 through three quarters. They were shooting 59.7 percent entering the fourth quarter.

The Warriors led by as much as seven twice in the fourth quarter – 105-98 after a layup by Ellis, then 107-100 after a jumper by Lee. Minutes later, a three-point play on a runner by Ellis put Golden State ahead 112-108 inside of four minutes left.

But that lead didn’t last, thanks largely to six fourth-quarter turnovers.GoldenStatewent the next three minutes without a point, allowing a 7-0Oklahoma Cityrun – capped with an emphatic dunk from Durant. Golden State trailed 115-112 with a 1:23 left.

After Dorell Wright split a pair, Golden State reclaimed the lead on a three-point play by Ellis. The Warriors led 116-115. But Durant responded by banking in a jumper from 18-feet out with 14.2 seconds left.

Ellis had his chance to answer, but his 3-pointer clanked out with 4.9 seconds left. Free throws by Oklahoma Cityguard Russell Westbrook put Golden State down by three, and Brandon Rush’s last-second attempt was blocked by Durant.

“When you talk about being a playoff team, you take care of business at home and you give yourself a chance on the road,”Jacksonsaid. “We’ve had opportunities at home and we didn’t capitalize on it to the fullest. That being said, we feel extremely confident that if we play the way we’re capable of playing, it doesn’t matter whether we’re home or away. We’ll be fine.”

*********

Warriors backup guard Nate Robinson missed the game Tuesday because of a strained left hamstring. That meant the DubStitutes had a new addition: rookie point guard Charles Jenkins.

“I’m not afraid to throw him out there,” Jackson said. “Works his tail off. Plays like a veteran. Not afraid of the moment.”

Jenkins started during the eight games Curry sat out with a sprained right ankle. As a starter, he averaged 3.9 points and 2.2 assists in 14.8 minutes. Since then, however, Jenkins had totaled just over three minutes in two games. He played three minutes against the Thunder and didn’t score.

Marcus Thompson

  • Niners in 2012

    The hockey subbing came back to haunt MJackson. OKC goes on a 15-2 run at the start of 2ndQ when he subbed out all five starters. 13 point difference. He really needs to learn how to mix in bench and starters. Is it really that hard??

  • Young

    How do you loose so many games at the end? The Thunder had 2 open men on there final possession, Westbrook under the rim and Durant off a curl. Warriors final possessions are Monta shooting a contested 3 down 1 point and Brandon Rush getting a 3 blocked in the corner?

    Poor game management, execution and defense. Mark jackson needs to call his own plays or accept responsibility for Malone calling the wrong ones…

    To top it all off, the announcers and comcast analysts are happy the game was even close. We need stop wasting our time with team…

  • dan

    Curry + TO ar critical times = killer

  • gizzm

    Curry’s best is still yet to come? Or has he plateaued?

  • MLBSF

    Soooooooo predictable.

    Is there a worse team in the NBA in final possessions?

    I mean it’s the same story every single time. Give the ball to Monta, who will either turn the ball over or force up a prayer shot and of course miss it.

    Lee had a chance to drive to the hoop and at least draw a foul down by one. So what does he do? Pass off to Monta who forces a 3-ball as he’s falling backwards and ending up on the floor. CLINK. Another miss. Another loss.

    It means nothing to score 48 if you can’t make the shot that counts. And it means absolutely zero if you score 48 and lose the game.

    The Warriors are a mess down the stretch in 4th periods. And I’m not sure what Mark Jackson does. It’s such an uncreative coaching staff from what I’ve seen.

    It all adds up to a terrible record like we all predicted and like we’re all used to every year. Nothing ever changes despite the massive amount of propaganda we’re fed from this organization that continues to drive in reverse.

    I’m sick of it.

  • NYC Fan

    Completely agree with MLBSF, particularly about Lee on the final play. Wide open lane to the basket to put up a short jumper, take it to the rack and score or get fouled, or pass it off to a cutting or spotting up teammate as the defense collapses. Instead he appeared to want no part in the final play. The “all star” really looked like a role player on that play, like he has in many games and always in the fourth quarter.

    I also don’t understand why they ALWAYS go to one on one offense in the fourth. No ball movement, difficult shots and lots of turnovers as teams turn up the defensive effort and dare the warriors to back cut or change what they are doing. How much game film does it take to figure this out? None. It’s obvious to everyone but the coaches, players and management.

    Blow it up!

  • Kenny Seagle, Emperor of the North

    if u cant take it 2 the rack u desserve 2 lose…. hanging out on the perimter all day is like going 2 a dance & holding up the wall

    ANY QUESTIONS???????

  • dan

    It is so easy to defend Curry because he is so slow and can’t drive. Westbrook can be erratic at times but he can fly up and down the court.

    Man, Udoh must be the worst rebounder we have ever seen playing ball.

    If Larry Riley can’t see that Udoh has bad hands, he should never work again in the NBA. A blind man could see it.

  • Gulley

    That was by far the best game I’ve seen the W’s play this year. OKC is the best team in the league right now, and W’s almost had them, unlike the last time they played. I view this game as a real positive. If they can play like this, and maybe switch Biedrins for Udoh in the starting lineup, they will win a lot of games.

    The mistake of the year has been not anmestying Biedrins. He just looks lost and afraid of the basket.

  • Jay

    Another disappointing loss. Settling for a 3 down by 1 is plain stupidity. After driving to the rim all throughout the game, Monta settles for a contested toss up? This team has no balls to take it to the hoop when it really counts. I’m just about onboard to blow this team up.

  • Dave

    Lee could have taken the shot at the end, but when Monta got the ball back there was still more than 7 seconds left to drive.

  • Zarko

    Yea lets blow this team up so we could have the same conversation except with different players a year later meanwhile the new ex-warriors will carry on as J-Rich,Peitrus have( and now Vlad Rad, J-Lin, B.Wright) and be solid role players on playoff-bound teams. Fantasatic. Seriously though i like how the starters except beidrins responded to how they were being outplayed by the bench,but they HAVE to get defensive stops n then rebound successfully. Clearly Beidrins needs to go, for anyone in this league who can get rebounds and compete as nba post player.

  • Young

    @dave. True, he could have pump faked stepped in and shot. Monta deserves some blame for missing all these last second shots…

  • Dave

    Biedrins plays for 14-16 minutes a game. That’s over 30% of the game they are getting nothing from one guy on the court. No rebounds. No points. No assists. But he manages to rack up 5 fouls. How can you win if 30% of the game is being played 4 on 5?

  • Dave

    Monta The Mississippi Missile and Lee are not getting the support they need from their center. Biedrins should be ashamed of himself.

  • Derek

    The team has no balance, they need an inside guy. Curry is NOT a point guard, he’s to slow and can’t or won’t penetrate. The team needs a point guard who can penetrate and a center who can score inside and rebound.

    Trading Curry and Udoh could help address those issues. Minnesota is over loaded with bigs and could make a good trade parter. The Wizard have John Wall and Blatche to offer for our Curry/Udoh Combo. The team would immediately become balanced and playoff caliber.

    Why does that idiot Larry(the dirt farmer)Riley still have a job.

  • Derek

    Unload Biedrens for anybody, the guys is totally useless. Riley should have taken Houstons offer when he had the chance, what a scrub GM.

  • dan

    the w’s should release Biedrins already.

  • GiantInOakley

    Coaching is really bad too….. So uncreative with play calling but waaaay too “creative” in substitution and gametime adjustments… I liked how they try to draw offensive plays for AB early in the game… But first 3-5 possessions? Really? And all last second plays are for Monta? Really? Not a Curry coming off a screen for an open jumper? Drive and kick? No? *sigh* When does baseball start?

  • Charlie

    Biedrins was ruined by Nelson and has never recovered. That tells me he’s not mentally tough. Isn’t that a requirement in basketball? He’s just one reason why I laugh when I get calls from the Warriors sales team asking if I want mini package tickets. Really? I should drive an hour, pay for parking and ridiculous food and beer costs, have my water confiscated and watch them blow another one? This team is a league wide joke. I no longer wear W gear and NEVER admit I’m a W fan anymore. Call me when you have a real product to sell…

  • Young

    What was the offer from Houston?

  • Dave

    Do people here still think the W’s should trade Mr. Triple Double Lee and the Missippi Missle Monta for garbage?

    Or should they trade Curry, Biedrins and Udoh?

  • http://joelacobsucks.blogspot.com/ Joe Lacob

    I suck.

  • Ewok

    Biedrins has become a Total Dead Weight !!!.

    Each and every game, he is showing how mentally soft and limped he is becoming….

    Think about it! For the money he is being paid for, and the performane he renders.. It’s such a terrible, horrible deal! We are in a deep hole because of this guy’s incapabilty to deal with his demons!

    Had he was just half of his usual ‘O7 self last night, We would’ve won the game easily and the 3/4s of the games we lost in the past. He can’t dominate not because he can’t but because he is too mentally bothered over something he alone created, he can’t shoot the ball to save his life let alone free throws, and is too intimidated.

    With him around, its always 5 against 4 against our favor.

    Look how outrebounded we are every game. David Lee is carrying us in the frontcourt but what happens when he goes?

    Five fouls in roughly 12 minutes! it shows he is not totally sure of himself and this is very unbecoming of a 6 Year-Veteran who is being paid 60 million.

    Trade this guy soon! and even if he pans out well for the next team who gets him, Who cares? We clearly need to rebuild our Frontcourt issues to set a direction.

    Biedrins is clearly not helping…

    The Old Biedrins is a Bliss!

    Because of Biedrins, Ekpe Udoh’s game is suffering as he is forced to plays as a small center all the time while in reaity, he should be playing as a pure power forward.

    Trade him before he turns out to be totally “Untradeable!” Trade him to Will Perdue for all i care. This guy is totally a baggage.

    The answer to our problems? ANDRE DRUMMOND! if not, JARRED SULLINGER! if not, ANTHONY DAVIS! if not, PERRY JONES! Get any of these guys and we will talk!

    Now i know were handicapped in the next draft, so let’s make something happen!

    And please no more Earl Barron….. What the coach saw in this guy to address the team’s problem really baffles the living stuff in me.

  • Niners in 2012

    Guess who?

    Last two games:
    21 pts, 6 asts, 7 rebs
    21 pts, 5 asts, 3 rebs

    I’ll give you a hint. He’s another player we gave up on when we made that terrible play for DeAndre Jordan.

  • robert rowell

    #24 wow. charlie bell is really putting up impressive numbers!

  • Niners in 2012

    Reggie Williams.

  • robert rowell

    perhaps i needed to qualify that with sarcasm?

  • Young

    Lin wins another for NY.

    Lin wins 3

    Golden State wins 8

    Someone hand riley his walking papers please…

  • Derek

    Houston offered Jordan Hill and Hasheem Thabeet. Not much in terms of talent but better than biedrens, both with shorter contracts and both would have been easier to move. But again Larry (the dirt farmer)Riley thought he could do better and wound up getting nothing but the inability to move a bad contract.

  • http://joelacobsucks.blogspot.com/ Joe Lacob

    Seriously, I suck.

  • Nelly Lover

    Nelly ruined Biedrins? That’s a hoot! Biedrins ruined Biedrins. The reason Nelly is blamed by some is that Biedrins’ excuse has always been that Nelly’s criticism caused him to lose confidence. Maybe in CYO ball, but this is the NBA. Suck it up.

  • dan

    >>Biedrins was ruined by Nelson

    please Charlie. Nellie created Biedrins. If Nellie did not return from Maui, Biedrins likely would have been gone or traded away. Biedrins became rich because of Nellie.

    I think Biedrins has lost the desire/fire or whatever you want to call it, to play BB. He is rich now and set for life in Latvia.

  • Jason

    “F” that Fat Scandinavian, “Nellie”

    And “F” that Lazy Latvian, Biedrins.

    “F” that homer James ‘Jim’ Barnett and his POS Irish Sidekick Robert ‘Bob’ Fitzgerald.

    “F” Greg Poppa, another Bay Area homer, that Greek bastard.

    Damon Bruce, Kawikami, Steinmetz and Ratto are the only non-homer Bay Area Media.

    All the rest, Ted Robinson, those dorks Michael ‘Kruk’ Krukow and Duane ‘Kuip’ Kuiper can all drop dead for all I care.

    You guys are all losers if you can’t see that.

  • rotfogel

    If I write the book “Mired in the Abyss of Sub-Mediocrity: A Story of the GSW” would anyone want to read it?

  • Young

    Nope, I’m still living it so no need.

    I’d feel u tho…

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  • Derek

    I live in SoCal but have to agree when I’m in the Bay Area and listening to KNBR, I always feel they have the worse sport talk shows I’ve ever heard. It’s all Giants crap and excuses. They tout the Giants like they have a yankee track record when in fact they have been the opposite for most of their time in SF. They make excuses for the Warriors and over value the scrubs on the annual roster.

    The guys (except Tolbert) all seem to be wimps, out of touch old men and weinies who suck up to local SF ownership groups as if thats mandatory.