The Golden State Warriors were oh so close to turning a mediocre season into a smashing success but couldn’t beat the defending champion Lakers in the NBA Play-In Tournament on Wednesday, despite holding multiple leads throughout the contest.
After amassing a 13 point halftime advantage, turnovers and excessive fouling on defense — Golden State’s primary weaknesses this season — doomed the Warriors once again as they lost to LeBron James and crew, 103-100.
Superstar guard Stephen Curry tallied 37 points for the Warriors, but it was James that had the signature moment, a deep dagger 3-point shot over Curry. After the game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he had a bitter taste in his mouth from the loss.
The coach also told reporters, or rather confirmed, that it was the third quarter that did his team in the most. The Warriors let their lead dissipate within minutes, turning the ball over eight times in the frame and racking up five personal fouls almost immediately, granting the Lakers plentiful free throw attempts.
Still, the Warriors fought back behind Curry’s brilliance and forward Draymond Green’s other-worldly defense.
But the turnovers kept coming. Curry had six of his own, as did Green. It’s the same issue the team had during its dynasty of the last decade, but on this night, they couldn’t power past their mistakes. Next up, a win-or-go-home game against the Grizzlies on Friday. (Below video courtesy Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Note the time in the game and the score.)
(Photo credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)