The Golden State Warriors came up short in a 110-109 loss to the Portland Trailblazers in one of the strangest games all season.
Despite falling behind by double-digits late in the fourth quarter, the Warriors managed to come back to send the game into overtime.
But even with a 2-point lead, less than 24 seconds left on the clock, and the ball in hand, an untimely turnover by Stephen Curry put the ball back into Damian Lillard’s hands, who ultimately cashed in the game winner.
Kevin Durant had the opportunity to win the game for the Dubs. But a great midrange look came up just short, resulting in the Blazers walking out of Oracle with a stolen win and plenty of material for CJ McCollum’s next podcast.
A Deeper Dive
The Golden State Warrior’s play has revolved in turn-style fashion between stellar and dismal all season-long. This game was no different.
They came out in gang-busting style, hitting close to 60% of their shots. Klay Thompson, who’s shooting struggles have been a hot topic to dissect recently, knocked down a triple for his first shot of the game.
There's the Klay we know and love pic.twitter.com/PH6LCr8awz— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) December 28, 2018
The ball movement was also in full force as Durant and Draymond Green combined for 11 of the team’s 12 assists in the first quarter.
Despite only gaining a 1-point advantage after the first 12 minutes, it looked like the Warriors were working towards one of those classic bounce back games fans have come to expect in the Steve Kerr era.
But the game became derailed after that with a number of strange events — things that probably won’t occur for the next several seasons — that caused the team to lose a rhythm they never were able to fully recapture for the rest of the game.
There were mind-boggling turnovers, including a handful of bobbled hand-offs as well as a Green pass off of Thompson’s head.
Whoops ♂️ pic.twitter.com/pheMGglUIV— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) December 28, 2018
There was the combined 7 missed free throws between Thompson, Curry, and Durant as the Warriors, who are the best free throw shooting team in the league, went 6-for-15 from the line.
Hack a @KlayThompson— Zaza Pachulia (@zaza27) December 28, 2018
There was the game winning alley-oop attempt from Curry to Andre Iguodala, that ended up being just another highlight of Curry’s unreal range.
This doesn't count, but it should pic.twitter.com/g07WQQ6Amx— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) December 28, 2018
There was Seth Curry, going unconscious in the fourth quarter and knocking down 3 triples and 11 points overall. It almost looked like it was a Freaky Friday situation between the two Curry brothers playing against each other.
The strangeness even swung in the team’s favor as Green, who had been 5-for-22 from deep for the month and 0-for-3 for the game, knocked down the clutch corner 3 that put the Warriors in position to seal the game in overtime.
Dray with the clutch pic.twitter.com/8Hh1AkNRl3— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) December 28, 2018
All in all, it was a weird performance that did little to quell the concerns bubbling up about the recent funk the Warrior’s offense has been sputtering through.
On a high-note though, the Warriors managed to come back into this game behind some stellar defense that locked up the Blazer’s stars.
Lillard and McCollum combined to go 14-for-42, and were mostly forced into low-percentage looks all night-long. The Blazer’s overall only shot 36% for the game, which makes this loss all the more stranger.
The Dubs also combined for 9 blocks and 10 steals, and their active hands translated into 19 fast-break points, which was a bright spot for the team.
Finally, Durant should be commended for his triple-double performance that included the dagger triple which would send the game into overtime.
KD TIES IT WITH 19 SECONDS LEFT pic.twitter.com/LkbYxTUtoa— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) December 28, 2018
The Warriors get a shot of redemption against the Blazers on Saturday as they travel up to Portland for a rematch.