OKC Thunder unable to finish against Warriors

Head coach Mark Daigneault of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)
Head coach Mark Daigneault of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images) /

A fourth quarter at Chase Center was too much for the young OKC Thunder to handle.

After leading for most of the game, the Oklahoma City Thunder lost 136-125 against the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors dialed up the intensity, and the Thunder did not have a response when they needed it most.

The OKC Thunder never trailed in the first 39 minutes but could not finish it off

The Thunder’s downfall began early in the fourth quarter while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Stephen Curry were on the bench. It was Jordan Poole time.

Early in the fourth quarter, Poole made a three to tie the game at 108. A couple of possessions later, he gave Golden State its first lead of the night after drawing a foul against Aaron Wiggins and hitting two of his three free throws.

Jalen Williams quickly responded by converting an and-one on the next possession to give the Thunder the lead back. Unfortunately for OKC, it would be its last lead of the night.

Once again, Poole came up big for the Warriors and nailed another 3-pointer to take the lead just in time for Curry to check back in. Poole finished with 30 points and scored 18 in the fourth quarter.

It was smooth sailing for the Warriors after Curry came in to close the game. A technical foul called against Mark Daigneault with less than six minutes to go felt like the end for the Thunder, as they never regained their composure.

Golden State extended its lead to as much as 15 in the final minutes by capitalizing on OKC’s youth and inexperience in big games. The Warriors are built for these moments, and the Thunder are not, at least not yet.

The Thunder fell to 38-42 but remained 10th in the western conference standings. Like Sunday’s loss to the Suns, losing the game is not ideal, but there are still plenty of positives to take away.

The Thunder’s offense was tremendous through three quarters. It was free-flowing, and the players were taking what was given to them perfectly en route to 106 points.

Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 32 points on 64% shooting. The offense was not the main issue, although the Thunder struggled in the fourth.

Defensively, OKC struggled all night and gave up at least 33 points each quarter. The Thunder not only allowed points but also failed to be disruptive on that end. OKC tied its season low in stocks (steals and blocks), finishing with just five.

The Thunder’s focus will shift to Utah for the biggest game of the season. Depending on how Dallas performs against Sacramento, OKC may be able to clinch a play-in berth.

While these recent losses have helped a young team learn some critical lessons, moral victories will not get the Thunder into the postseason.

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