For most of the game Tuesday, the crowd at Oracle Arena was about as lively as a turtle after a shot of NyQuil.
"We started off terrible," Warriors rookie guard Stephen Curry said, "so they didn't have anything to cheer about."
By late in the fourth quarter, after the Warriors came within a basket of erasing a 24-point deficit, Oracle was back to its rocking self. But unlike Sunday against the Atlanta Hawks, the Warriors couldn't provide the payoff, succumbing to the Philadelphia 76ers 110-102.
They hit enough 3s, collected enough steals, to foster hope that they would do it again — erase a big lead and steal a riveting victory. But the Warriors, who have won three games after trailing by at least 18 points, couldn't quite make enough stops down the stretch.
It turned out to be a tease.
The Warriors got as close as three points in the waning moments. But Sixers guard Louis Williams scored 11 of his game-high 26 points in the final fourth quarter to stiff-arm the Warriors' rally.
"We clawed our way back," guard Monta Ellis said after totaling 22 points in 41 minutes. "But we didn't make plays at the end. That's it. We really just needed one stop at the end."
That the Warriors (16-40) had a chance at all could be seen as a feat. They shot 37.9 percent, including 13-for-33 from behind the arc. But the players were more disappointed in the hole they created than the fact that they nearly dug out of it.
The Warriors trailed 90-73 at the end of the third quarter. It was the second consecutive game they entered the fourth quarter down 17. They rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat Atlanta on Sunday.
But less than four minutes into the fourth quarter, the Warriors had Philadelphia's lead down to 91-78. Then, an Anthony Morrow 3-pointer, followed moments later by a layup from Curry, pulled the Warriors within 93-83 with 6:41 left in the game.
The NyQuil was wearing off.
"I know we shouldn't put ourselves in that position," forward Anthony Tolliver said. "But when we do get a couple shots down, the crowd is great about really boosting us. Once we hit a couple, they sensed we were picking it up and they got right behind us. I thought they were the biggest difference."
Out of the Philadelphia timeout, Morrow got a steal and saved it. On the other end, Ellis found Morrow wide open for a 3-pointer, cutting the deficit to nine. He finished with 18 points and seven rebounds.
Guard C.J. Watson, who scored 11 of his 20 in the fourth quarter, followed with a 3-pointer. And, after a jumper by Philadelphia swingman Andre Iguodala, Curry nailed a pull-up 3-pointer. The Warriors trailed 95-92 with just over five minutes remaining.
But unlike against the Hawks, the Warriors couldn't supplement their sudden offensive flurry with stops at the other end. Once the game got close, Philadelphia had an answer every time. It was often Williams.
He knocked down three straight clutch baskets, the last a three-point play, to put the Sixers up 103-96 with 2:57 left.
Moments later, Iguodala — who finished with 22 points and seven assists — answered a Watson 3-pointer with a midrange jumper. Then after Morrow nailed another 3-pointer, Williams found himself open after a couple quick passes. Nailed it.
Golden State trailed 108-102 with 14.5 seconds left. Chances of another improbable victory were gone.
"It's hard to come back from those types of deficits," said center Chris Hunter, who had seven points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes. "We just have to come out and play like we know how to play, and have energy and be decisive with the ball and get after it on defense. I don't think we were doing that in the first half."
NEXT GAME: Thursday, vs.
Nuggets, 7:30 p.m.