The Warriors, for the umpteenth time this season, have only themselves to blame.
Golden State’s 119-114 overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday at Target Center was another Warriors masterclass in self-sabotage.
Up 96-82 with 11:12 left in the fourth quarter, Golden State’s late collapse in regulation was the appetizer to what ended up being an error-riddled feast for Minnesota.
If the Warriors’ frustrating collapse wasn’t already a worrying sign that the problems persisted, coach Steve Kerr was the only one to speak after the game. It remains to be seen why the players weren’t available to the media, but speculation will lead you to believe that a possible squad meeting could have been called.
Although Kerr was the only speaker, his comments carried the weight of the entire team.
“I thought we had control of the game, and then I thought we just packed it up,” Kerr told reporters after the game. “And to take nothing away from Minnesota, I thought they were great. They took advantage of our mistakes and our lack of execution. [D’Angelo Russell] we got hot and the guys made some big shots, but we missed box-outs, we threw the ball, we took some really tough shots.
“So everything we had done up until then to control the game, we stopped doing that. We got what we deserved.”
Of the Warriors’ 25 losses this season, eight have been decided by five runs or less. In overtime, Golden State is 1-3 and would be winless had it not been for a 143-141 double-overtime win over the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 2.
For a team that has blown countless fourth-quarter leads this season, Wednesday night was an all-too-familiar feeling for the Warriors. Kerr’s reasoning for why this keeps happening is simple.
“Execution. I know that’s just a slogan, whatever you want to call it, but it’s the truth, you have to execute,” Kerr explained. “They are the best players in the world, even with their guys out. If you want to give a team a few possessions then they have guys who are going to take advantage of it. D-Lo hits like three 3s after throwing the ball away several times and the whole game changes.
“If you want to win, especially on the road, you have to execute and we’ve probably lost five, six games like this on the road this year because of lack of execution. 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 running the fourth quarter on the road. We’re trying to fix that, we’re trying to work on that and we have to do better .”
The Warriors got sloppy late in the fourth quarter and throughout overtime. In the final five minutes of regulation time plus five minutes of overtime, the Warriors committed seven costly turnovers. A sloppy game is often a symptom of a bigger problem in the game, but on Wednesday night the Warriors couldn’t attribute their slump to fatigue.
“The game went into overtime. Steph and Klay came in at 42 and 40 minutes, so you take out overtime and they’re in their normal range,” Kerr said. “We were free yesterday so I didn’t think fatigue was a factor. Just mentally we weren’t sharp. We gave away a bunch of goods.”
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After picking up three straight wins, the Warriors seemed to be turning the page and began their sprint to one of the top seeds in the Western Conference.
Unfortunately for Golden State, just around the corner was a brick wall.
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