Lodi News-Sentinel

Warriors falter late, lose in OT to Minnesota


MINNEAPOLI­S — The Warriors looked to be on their way to their fourth straight win Wednesday night only to give the game away at the end.

The shorthande­d Minnesota Timberwolv­es erased Golden State’s 14-point lead in the fourth quarter to force overtime, where they took over and defeated the defending champs 119-114.

“We had control of the game and then I thought we gift wrapped it,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Everything we had done to that point to have control of the game, we stopped doing, so we got what we deserved.”

Golden State scored 71 points in the first half but managed to record only 43 the rest of the way. The Warriors were up by 11 entering the fourth and built that lead to 14 with just over 11 minutes left in regulation. That’s when things started to go awry.

Former Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell led the charge for Minnesota, which was without Karl-Anthony Towns (right calf strain) and Rudy Gobert (right groin soreness).

Russell scored 14 of his teamhigh 29 points in the fourth to help push the game into overtime, where the Warriors were outscored 9-4.

“When you got a team down 11, 13 points, that’s the time to execute and put them away and we didn’t execute,” Draymond Green said.

The Warriors are now 1-3 in overtime and 26-25 overall this season. They woke up Wednesday morning in fifth place in the Western Conference standings but are going to bed in eighth — that’s how close it is.

Including Wednesday’s meltdown, Golden State has lost five games this season, including four on the road, after leading by double figures in the second half.

“It’s the difference in all the narratives surroundin­g our team, 100 percent,” Curry said.

The Warriors have been wildly inconsiste­nt, and Curry had thought the team had learned its lesson already.

“It’s not a good feeling and something we thought we were kind of passed in terms of being able to close out games,” Curry said. “Then we’re right back in that same kind of gray area, trying to figure it out.”

Golden State looked to be turning the corner over the last two weeks, winning four of its last six games entering Wednesday. Just two nights prior, the Warriors held off the

Thunder after they cut Golden State’s 21-point lead down to a one-possession game in the fourth. Afterwards, Kerr lauded the team’s ability to close out the game.

But the Warriors couldn’t lock in down the stretch to earn the same result in Minnesota.

Klay Thompson said the Warriors need to do a better job at being more fundamenta­lly sound in clutch time.

Golden State turned the ball over six times in the fourth, including four in the last five minutes of regulation. The Warriors committed an additional three in overtime, ending the night with a total of 17. It also didn’t help that they went ice cold from deep, going 0-for10 from 3-point range in the fourth and overtime. Kerr also thought the team could’ve done a better job at boxing out and coralling rebounds.

“We’re not good enough to win without executing, we might have been a few years ago, we’re not good enough now to win without executing in the fourth quarter on the road,” Kerr said. “So we’re trying to correct that, we’re trying to work on that. And we got to do better.”

The Warriors’ threegame road trip ends Thursday against the conference-leading Denver Nuggets. With that being the second night of a back-to-back, Klay Thompson is not expected to be in the lineup. Meanwhile, Curry previously said he’d advocate for himself to play.

“I usually campaign to play every game,” Curry said. “That’s the misconcept­ion about load management and how it goes.”

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