The Golden State Warriors blew a golden opportunity to gain some ground in the Western Conference standings.
The Dubs led by three points with less than a minute to go and were outscored 5-0 the rest of the way in their disappointing 108-106 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 35 points while Andrew Wiggins chipped in with 14.
It all came down to the final seconds of the game. All-Star Damian Lilllard struggled throughout most of the game but made two huge plays that sealed the win for the Blazers.
First, with Golden State leading 106-105, Lillard hit a ridiculous step back jumper from 29-feet out to put Portland up by two.
Then, on the following possession, he took this controversial charge against Draymond Green.
This late Warriors possession ended in an offensive foul on Draymond Green: pic.twitter.com/FmwSz70BWr— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 4, 2021
The officials reviewed the play, but the call stood.
Head coach Steve Kerr says he thought it was a block.
“As far as the block/charge, it looked like a block to me,” Kerr said following the loss. “It looked like he was sliding his feet. The referees got a look at it, they made the call.”
It was another disappointing finish for the Warriors, who should have won this game. Golden State led by three when Curry corralled a defensive rebound with 1:20 left to go.
The Warriors had four chances to extend the lead on that possession and missed them all.
It’s also disappointing that the Dubs kept Lillard in check for the entire night and still lost. Dame had 17 points on five-of-16 shooting until the final minute. But Kerr was unhappier about an earlier play.
“He hit a huge shot obviously, deep shot,” Kerr said. “I was more upset a couple minutes earlier we let him come off a screen cleanly, we kept him under wraps most of the game, and then with two-or-three minutes left we let him come off clean at the top of the key. That was the big shot that bothered me. The last one didn’t bother me.”
Golden State had a great start to the game. Curry hit two 3’s in the opening three minutes, and the Warriors jumped out to an early 10-0 lead. Portland missed its first eight shots before Gary Trent Jr. got it on the board with a bucket just under four minutes into the game.
That bucket seemed to wake the Blazers up as they went on a 21-13 run to comeback and tie the game.
Curry had a dominant first quarter, finishing with 16 points over the opening 12 minutes and helping Golden State take a 29-28 lead after one.
With Curry on the bench, the bench guys did a great job keeping pace with Portland over the first six minutes of the second. Eric Paschall was the focal point of the offense for the second unit. His aggressiveness in the post resulted in some easy looks for the Dubs as they maintained a one-point lead until Steph got back into the game.
The two teams stayed neck-and-neck through the rest of the quarter. Curry finished the first half with 23 points, and Golden State took a 56-55 lead into the break.
The Blazers keyed on stopping Curry in the third, holding him to just four points on one-of-five shooting. But Kent Bazemore — who started in place of Oubre — carried the load with eight points in the period and kept the Warriors in it. Steph was fouled on a 3-point attempt at the buzzer and hit two of the three free throws and cut the Portland lead to two going into the fourth.
Golden State falls to 19-17 on the season and will play the streaking Phoenix Suns in its final game before the All-Star break.