The Warriors didn’t have Stephen Curry at all, or Kevin Durant for the final four minutes. But they nearly found a way to steal a win in Los Angeles.
After wiping out a 14-point deficit inside the final seven minutes of regulation to pull into a tie with the Clippers, the Warriors pushed Monday night's game into overtime. They took their first lead of the game with 4:05 left in OT.
Nineteen seconds later, Durant fouled out, and that pretty much handed the game to the Clippers, who posted a 121-116 win at Staples Center.
Here are three takeaways from a game that the Warriors (11-3) didn’t deserve to win:
The Dubs were outworked ... until the final 11 minutes
The Warriors saw the scouting report and watched video. They realized one of the keys to the Clippers' success is their tenacity. They don’t have the most talent, but they’ve been outworking opponents.
So what happened? For 42 minutes, the Warriors still were outworked.
They dragged on defense and paid a steep price, as the Clippers shot 60.5 percent in the first half and 54.1 percent through the first three quarters. L.A. was beating Golden State badly on the glass (23-13 in the first half) and in second-chance points (9-0).
Though the Warriors turned those numbers around late in the fourth and OT, it wasn’t quite enough.
Durant didn’t get enough help on offense
KD had another strong game on offense, with a triple-double: 33 points (10-of-24 shooting from the field), 11 rebounds and 10 assists. He did about what was anticipated.
He needed a sidekick, though, and for most of the game, neither of the Warriors' other primary scoring threats -- Klay Thompson and Quinn Cook -- were up to the task.
Not until late in regulation and in overtime did Thompson rediscover his stroke. He finished with 31 points -- 20 in the fourth quarter and OT. He was 5 of 19 from the field before rallying to finish 13 of 31.
Cook, coming off a 27-point performance Saturday, managed just seven points on 3-of-7 shooting. He was as toothless Monday as he was terrific Saturday.
The one portion that held up its end was the bench. The reserves combined for 39 points on 15-of-22 shooting. On a normal night, that tips the scales.
On this night, it wasn't enough.
The young big men got cooked by L.A.'s
The Warriors are committed to relying mostly on their young centers -- Damian Jones, Jordan Bell and Kevon Looney -- to be a presence in the paint. They failed miserably in this game.
All three, and a few of their teammates, were taken to school by none other than Montrezl Harrell. L.A.’s hyperactive young big man spent the evening controlling most everything within 10 feet of the basket.
Jones, Bell and Looney played a combined 42 minutes, and submitted 11 points and six rebounds. Looney, who played 26 minutes, had a few moments, but he eventually wore down.
Harrell came away with 23 points (10 of 13 shooting), eight rebounds and four blocks. He was too good to take off the floor, and a big reason for L.A.’s 62-36 advantage in paint points.
The Warriors don’t need much from the youngsters. But they do need them to provide more resistance.