The Golden State Warriors blew a big fourth-quarter lead on Friday night and Draymond Green was visibly upset with Kevin Durant for his late-game shot selection.
The Golden State Warriors own the NBA’s best record with a 31-6 record but their latest loss on Friday night is one they’ll soon like to forget. The Warriors entered the fourth quarter with a 19-point lead only to lose in overtime to Tony Allen and the Memphis Grizzlies.
The loss was the first in 165 games for the Warriors when leading by more than 24-plus points. The last time they blew a lead this large was April 20, 1990, when they blew a 28-point lead to the Los Angeles Lakers. According to ESPN Stats & Info, The Grizzlies became the first team to overcome a 19-point fourth-quarter deficit to win since the Indiana Pacers beat the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 9, 2013. The Warriors loss snaps a 662-game winning streak for NBA teams holding a lead of at least 19 points entering the fourth.
During the historic collapse, Kevin Durant had a chance to put the game away in the closing moments. The former league MVP called his own number as the team got away from its team-first offensive identity, much to the chagrin of Draymond Green.
Green is visibly frustrated with Durant’s decision to jack up the shot instead of running the offense and moving the ball around to set up the best shot. Durant’s shot hit iron and the Grizzlies were able to tie to force overtime where they’d win 128-119.
After the game, Durant spoke to the media and said Green told him they should have stuck with the pick-and-roll because it was working throughout the game. Had Durant’s shot gone in, the Warriors likely close out the game and all is right in Warrior World and Green’s reaction isn’t a thing and Durant’s late-game shooting isn’t a topic of conversation.
However, Green is ready to look at the game as a teaching moment and was actually happy they lost because you learn more from losses and they have things to correct in order to be a championship team.
After the Warriors signed Durant in the offseason we had to figure there would be some tweaks, adjustments and kinks to work out to fit this new part into their high-octane engine. Consider Friday night’s loss one of those opportunities to tweak the machine in order to be ready for the postseason.
The Warriors will be there and they are more than willing to sacrifice a few regular season losses if it means winning the Larry O’Brien Trophy later this summer.