OKLAHOMA CITY – Gone is the margin of error for the Warriors.
For the defending champions to avoid losing their crown, it’s going to take a three-game win-streak against a team that has beaten them three times in four games over the past nine days.
The Warriors fell for the second consecutive time to Oklahoma City, taking a 118-94 loss in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday night in the cauldron of sonic assault that is Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Warriors now face a 3-1 deficit in the best-of-seven series.
Klay Thompson did his part to try to keep them close, scoring 19 of his 26 points in one third-quarter spurt. Harrison Barnes total 11 points, while Stephen Curry struggled mightily, scoring 19 points on 6-of-20 shooting from the field, 2-of-10 from 3-point distance.
The Warriors were outrebounded (56-40) and shot 11 fewer free throws (40-29) than the Thunder. The Warriors committed 21 turnovers, off which OKC scored 18 points.
The Warriors lost the two games in Oklahoma City by a combined score of 251-199.
All five Thunder starters scored in double figures, with Russell Westbrook leading the way with 36. Kevin Durant finished with 26, Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson 17 apiece and Steven Adams added 11.
Thompson provided a pulse in the third quarter, scoring 19 consecutive Warriors points, single-handedly bringing them back into the game.
Thompson’s line: 26 points (9-of-17 from the field, 3-of-8 beyond the arc), two rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot. He played 28 minutes, finishing minus-14 for the game.
After the Warriors cut the deficit to four, 44-40, with 6:39 remaining in the second quarter, the Thunder responded with a 22-6 run to go up 66-46 with 1:55 left in half.
The Warriors in the second half got as close as six (80-74, 4:48 left in the third quarter) before the Thunder pulled away again in the fourth quarter.
Warriors: F Kevon Looney (L hip surgery) was listed as out and, along with F James Michael McAdoo (healthy), placed on the inactive list.
Thunder: No injuries listed. F Josh Huestis and F Mitch McGary were placed on the inactive list.
Game 5 is set for Thursday at Oracle Arena, tipoff scheduled for 6 p.m. PDT.