Fourth-quarter offensive woes return for Golden State Warriors

Fourth-quarter issues sting Warriors again — The Golden State Warriors
offense — with or without Kevin Durant in the lineup — is a force to be
reckoned with. Yet even their stunning scoring ability has its weaknesses,
which, of late has been found as the game wears on. Last night’s loss to the
visiting Boston Celtics was no different from the recent trend, writes Connor
Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle, as Golden State sputtered to the
finish line:

With Kevin Durant watching from the locker room, the Warriors again were undone
by fourth-quarter issues. They piled up nearly as many turnovers (eight) in
those final 12 minutes as points (12) and shot 5-for-14 from the field. A 15-0
Boston run in three minutes, 18 seconds, midway through the period paved the way
for Golden State’s third defeat in five games.

It all raises the question of just how vulnerable the Warriors are sans Durant.
With the eight-time NBA All-Star sidelined at least another three weeks by a
left knee injury, Golden State limps into a back-to-back set in Minnesota and
San Antonio with a 1½-game lead over the Spurs for the top seed in the Western
Conference. San Antonio, which overcame a 28-point, first-half deficit Wednesday
without Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge to beat the Kings, gets the
tiebreaker if it wins one of its two remaining games against the Warriors.

“We still have the No. 1 seed, but I won’t run guys ragged to get it,” Kerr
said. “We have to manage this stretch right here and get through this week.”

They had overcome off shooting from beyond the arc to seize a 74-72 lead. In
their fifth straight game without Durant, Curry and Klay Thompson had combined
for 47 points.

Then, after a Draymond Green dunk put Golden State up 79-78 with 7:18 left, old
problems — stagnant offense, lackadaisical offensive rebounding, slopping
passing — resurfaced. A Curry-Clark-Iguodala-McCaw-McAdoo lineup coughed up
turnovers and allowed open driving lanes. By the time Thomas hit a three-pointer
with four minutes remaining, Boston had a 93-79 lead.

It was just the latest fourth-quarter collapse for a Warriors team prone to such
issues. Golden State has outscored teams by a combined 767 points in the first
three quarters this season. In the final 12 minutes, it has been outscored by

“We only scored 12 points in the fourth quarter,” Thompson said. “That’s not
going to do it.”

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