The Golden State Warriors have again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory through their own doing, with Draymond Green's ill-advised late foul allowing the Oklahoma City Thunder to force overtime and claim a 138-136 victory.
Stephen Curry's step-back three gave the Warriors a 118-115 lead with 19 seconds to play. Clearly traumatised after Chet Holmgren's buzzer-beating three forced overtime on November 18, Golden State wanted to foul and play the free-throw game. Instead, Green wrongfully chose to go for a steal off the in-bounds pass, with his efforts to foul Holmgren intentionally coming only after the Thunder big man had went into his shooting motion. The 21-year-old calmly knocked down all three free-throws, allowing OKC to go to overtime after Curry's potential game-winner missed on the other end.
Plagued by an NBA season-record 28 turnovers, the Golden State Warriors found a new way to avoid victory in Oklahoma City on Friday night
Led by 38 points from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and 28 from Jalen Williams, the Thunder again dominated the early part of overtime as they had in that November 18 matchup. After OKC extended the lead to 10 in overtime, Curry inspired a Warrior fightback but it was too little too late as the hosts won the fourth and final meeting between the two teams.
Golden State had produced one of their best defensive quarters of the season in the opening period, limiting OKC to less than 35% shooting and just 19 points. However, the Warriors turnover woes were evident from early in the game, with their eight in the first-quarter a sign of things to come.
The visitors built a 14-point lead in the second-quarter, before Gilgeous-Alexander began to find his groove late in the half to cut it to six by the main interval. The Thunder then produced a 33-22 third-quarter to build a five-point advantage heading to the fourth, but the Warrior bench fought back as the teams went back-and-forth down the stretch.
Curry had been well held by Lu Dort for the majority of the game, before finding life in the final minutes of regulation. The 35-year-old manoeuvred his way into an and-1 reverse layup with 50 seconds to play to retake the lead, then answered Gilgeous-Alexander's game-tying shot with the big step-back three.
Yet like so many times this season, it wasn't to be for the Warriors and they only had themselves to blame. Green's gamble to go for the steal and subsequent foul was a jarringly-bad decision from one of the smartest defenders in the history of the game, not to mention the franchise's abhorrent 28 turnovers that came in the absence of veteran point-guard Chris Paul who was out through illness.
Curry led the way again with 34 points and six rebounds, while Jonathan Kuminga backed up his impressive second-half on Wednesday with a season-high 24 points. The third-year forward's 21 field-goal attempts were a career-high, as were his 12 rebounds which included six on the offensive end.
Golden State dominated the glass, fighting for 24 offensive boards as part of a 60-39 advantage overall. Dario Saric had 11 points and 12 rebounds, with he and Kuminga leading a bench squad that outscored the Thunder's 51-26.
Klay Thompson had an efficient 22 points on 8-15 shooting but contributed to the turnover issues, as did Andrew Wiggins who tallied six giveaways and had just four points after the first-quarter. Green had 12 points, five rebounds and 13 assists before fouling out in overtime, though the game should never have got to that point in the first place.
The Warriors are now 10-12 on the season, a record that could be entirely different if not for a pile of self-inflicted losses. They'll now have a few days off before facing the Suns in Phoenix on Tuesday night.