The Warriors knew they’d fallen apart down the stretch in Game 4.
They vowed it wouldn’t happen again.
“Whether it’s the first quarter, second quarter or crunch time in the fourth, we’ve got to be us and that’s going to be the adjustment for game 5.” – @StephenCurry30
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 23, 2018
But on Thursday, it did.
Curry collected seven points in the fourth quarter, but failed to score in the final 4:53 of the 95-92 loss. Durant had just two points in the whole period, on a pair of free-throws with 6:43 remaining.
The point guard missed a potential game-winner with 14 seconds remaining; he’s now 0-for-6 on shots to take the lead in the last 24 seconds of playoff games.
That was Stephen Curry’s 6th shot to take the lead in the last 0:24 of a playoff game
He’s missed all 6 pic.twitter.com/Hm8xTGp2f4
— Basketball Reference (@bball_ref) May 25, 2018
But at least he tried.
In the closing seconds of Game 4, Durant passed up on a decent look with time running out, only to put Klay Thompson in an impossible position.
The star duo combined to shoot 1-of-6 for five points in the final five minutes of that contest.
And they’re not just coming up short in the scoring department: Durant and Curry have combined to dish just two assists (both Curry’s) across the last two fourth periods.
The Rockets have solved the Warriors’ motion offense by deploying switchable defenders and disrupting off-ball action with physicality. But the individual brilliances of Durant and Curry are supposed to counter such a scenario, even with the occasional double-team thrown their way.
For two straight losses, they weren’t up to the task, and are now facing elimination.