The Golden State Warriors never trailed in Saturday afternoon's matchup with the LA Clippers, until the final 8.9 seconds of the game. In a season that becoming synonymous with blown leads and close losses, the Warriors added a new level of heartbreak as Paul George completed a monumental 113-112 Clipper comeback victory.
When Moses Moody hit a corner three to start the third-quarter, Golden State had a 70-48 advantage and were seemingly in control. Coincidentally, it was a 72-48 lead they held against the Sacramento Kings earlier in the week, only to lose that game by a point.
The Warriors failed to learn their lesson from that occasion, allowing LA back into the game as James Harden took control of the third-quarter. Still, the visitors appeared on the precipice of victory up five with possession and less than 90 seconds on the floor.
The Golden State Warriors have sunk to another dramatic collapse, blowing a 20+ point lead for the second time in three games against the LA Clippers on Saturday.
Moody made the second of two free-throws with 38 seconds to play, lifting the Warrior lead to four. Crucially, Kawhi Leonard got a layup after the timeout within three seconds, before Stephen Curry's fadeaway jumpshot over Terrance Mann fell off the rim on the other end.
That allowed George to hit the dagger, pulling up over Klay Thompson to give the Clippers their first lead of the game. After the timeout, Draymond Green, who had made four threes earlier in the first-quarter, missed a corner three at the buzzer that would have won the game.
It seemed inevitable from a few minutes out -- Golden State have just found a way to lose these types of games so far this season. In fairness, this was much less self-inflicted than the Kings loss on Tuesday, and credit has to be given to Harden, Leonard and George for the plays they made in the second-half.
There'll be little solace taken from another blown lead, but perhaps there should be given the Warriors played quite well for the majority. Still minus Andrew Wiggins, Chris Paul and Gary Payton II, Steve Kerr again got production across the board.
Green found his hottest shooting stretch in years during the first eight minutes, making four of five threes as Golden State built a quick double-digit lead. He later took advantage of the threat posed by Curry and Klay Thompson, driving to the rim for multiple layups to finish with a season-high 21 points to go with nine rebounds and four assists.
Once again starting in place of Wiggins, Moody got to the line on 10 occasions as he notched a season-high with 21 points of his own. Curry led the Warriors with 22 points and 11 assists, but will be left frustrated in missing his last five field-goal attempts and scoring just two points in the game's final 15 minutes.
Brandin Podziemski played over 36 minutes off the bench, making plays on both ends while also learning some lessons from Harden during the third-quarter. The 19th overall pick had 12 points, six rebounds, three assists, a steal and two blocks, shooting 5-9 from the floor including 2-3 from three-point range.
Thompson had another important stretch in the second-half, particularly in the final minute of the third where his five quick points gave the Warriors some brief breathing room. He was otherwise somewhat subdued, taking only 13 shots in which he tallied four threes and 17 points.
After shooting nearly 55% from the floor and three-point range in the first-half, Golden State was limited to just 45 points in the second-half. Their 13 turnovers weren't overly game-defining, while they again won the free-throw count with 10 more attempts.
Now holding a 9-11 record on the season, the Warriors will have a few days off before looking to bounceback against the Portland Trail Blazers at Chase Center on Wednesday.