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Warriors fall apart late in loss to Hawks

Golden State has lost seven of its last eight games.

Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

The rough patch continues.

The Golden State Warriors fell apart in the fourth quarter of their 117-111 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Golden State has now lost seven of its last eight outings as it clings to the Western Conference's final play-in spot. Stephen Curry was dynamite once again, finishing with 37 points in his return to the lineup. Clint Capela had himself a game for the Hawks, going for 24 points and 18 rebounds.

The Warriors’ starters did their part in this game. Kelly Oubre Jr. had 20, Andrew Wiggins chipped in with 16, while Draymond Green finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists.

But the bench was a major factor in the loss. Atlanta got 55 points from its second unit, compared to Golden State’s 19. The Dubs’ second unit combined to shoot just seven-of-26 from the field. The outside shooting was an issue as well, with Golden State only connecting on 25.6 percent of its attempts from beyond the arc.

The Dubs also couldn’t stay disciplined in the foul department. They got called for 26 fouls compared to just 19 for Atlanta. Head coach Steve Kerr was not happy with his squad’s lack of discipline.

“It’s just extremely frustrating, because [not fouling] is something we work on every single day,” Kerr said following the game. “It’s tough to watch and see a game like that where our guys really play hard and get after it ... but the lack of discipline killed us and that’s the bottom line.”

This was a game the Warriors has in their grasp for 42 minutes. The game was tied 13 times and featured eight lead changes heading into the final six minutes.

The Hawks began to pull away midway through the fourth quarter when they went on a 14-2 run to take a seven-point lead and never looked back, keeping the Dubs at bay the rest of the way.

“I thought the whole group competed and played hard,” Kerr said. “But we fouled, we fouled too much and that’s why we lose.”

Both teams were sluggish to start the game, especially on the offensive end. Rookie James Wiseman had a strong first quarter with eight points and two rebounds, and it was all tied up at 24-24 after the opening 12 minutes.

It remained neck-and-neck through the second quarter. The second unit kept pace with Curry on the bench and didn’t allow the Hawks to pull away.

Once Steph returned to the game midway through the quarter, he was on fire. Curry scored 13 of his 19 first-half points in the second and helped the Dubs take a 59-57 lead into the break.

Nothing changed coming out of halftime. Golden State and Atlanta went blow-for-blow in the third quarter, with either team able to create separation. It was tied up at 79-79 in the dying seconds of the period when Curry broke the tie with this deep shot to put the Warriors up by three going in the fourth.

The Warriors return for a big four-game homestand that begins Tuesday against the Milwaukee Bucks. If the Dubs want to solidify themselves as a playoff team, they will need to start turnings around in a hurry.

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