A 119-116 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night was a microcosm of the Warriors' season, as they failed to capitalize on a grand opportunity.
The Warriors got a career-high 48 points from Monta Ellis. David Lee recorded his second career triple-double (25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists). And the Warriors put a scare into the team with the best record in the Western Conference.
But when it came down to the end, the Warriors did what it took to lose. Even at home.
Golden State turned it over six times in the fourth quarter. After shooting 59.7 percent through three quarters, the Warriors went 7 for 18 (38.9 percent) in the fourth, including five missed 3-pointers and just six points in the paint.
Ellis, with the Warriors down one in the closing seconds, wound up taking a 3-pointer.
"Our effort was there," Ellis said. "We played them hard the whole game. It came down to one shot. ... It was a great shot. Nothing you can do about it. It didn't go down. It is what it is."
As a result, the step-back jumper with 14.2 seconds left by the Thunder's Kevin Durant, who scored 12 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, proved to be the winner.
The game was the Warriors' 14th at home this season. That means more than 60 percent of their games thus far have been at home.
In previous seasons, that would have been good news for the Warriors, as Oracle Arena had become one of the toughest places in the
With the toughest part of the schedule still to come, the Warriors find themselves well behind .500 and buried at the bottom half of the Western Conference.
"We have not taken advantage of our schedule," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "That's the real answer. And it's going to be challenging going forward."
Tuesday's performance, for the most part, makes that reality all the more frustrating. The Warriors played well enough to beat Chicago and Miami at Oracle. They've had a chance to win others but failed to capitalize.
The Warriors gave one away to Orlando. They suffered close losses to Utah and Indiana. They blew a big fourth-quarter lead against Memphis.
Then they missed a chance to upset Oklahoma City, which won in overtime at Portland a night earlier.
Given the Warriors' struggles on the road (2-6), it stands to reason they'll pay for the home woes later.
"We have some things we've got to pick up," Lee said. "The rebounding, and then the turnovers we need to get better at. We fix those two areas, I don't think it matters where we play -- home or away. Because teams aren't beating us, we're beating ourselves."
That proved to be true Tuesday. Golden State won the battle of the boards (36-33) and, most of the game, limited its turnovers. As a result, the Warriors led 93-91 through three quarters. They were shooting 59.7 percent entering the fourth.
The Warriors led by as much as seven twice in the fourth quarter -- 105-98 after a layup by Ellis, then 107-100 after a jumper by Lee. Minutes later, a three-point play on a runner by Ellis put Golden State ahead 112-108 inside of four minutes.
But that lead didn't last, thanks largely to the six fourth-quarter turnovers. Golden State went the next three minutes without a point, allowing a 7-0 Oklahoma City run -- capped with an emphatic dunk from Durant. Golden State trailed 115-112 with a 1:23 left.
After Dorell Wright split a pair of free throws, Golden State reclaimed the lead on a three-point play by Ellis. The Warriors led 116-115. But Durant responded by banking in a jumper from 18-feet out with 14.2 seconds left.
Ellis had his chance to answer, but his 3-pointer clanked out with 4.9 seconds left. Free throws by Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook put Golden State down by three, and Brandon Rush's last-second attempt was blocked by Durant.
"When you talk about being a playoff team, you take care of business at home and you give yourself a chance on the road," Jackson said. "We've had opportunities at home, and we didn't capitalize on it to the fullest. That being said, we feel extremely confident that if we play the way we're capable of playing, it doesn't matter whether we're home or away. We'll be fine."
"I'm not afraid to throw him out there," Jackson said. "Works his tail off. Plays like a veteran. Not afraid of the moment."
Jenkins started during the eight games Curry sat out with a sprained right ankle. As a starter, he averaged 3.9 points and 2.2 assists in 14.8 minutes. Since then, however, Jenkins had totaled just over three minutes in two games. He played three minutes against the Thunder and didn't score.