The Golden State Warriors looked well on their way to a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night, but a second-half collapse spelled doom for the Dubs.
Golden State suffered a 120-116 loss in front of its home fans at Chase Center against a Brooklyn team that was without its best player in Kevin Durant. The Warriors led by as many as 17 points in the game and as many as 13 in the fourth quarter, but they lacked focus down the stretch and couldn't hold off the scrappy Nets.
Brooklyn outscored Golden State 27-10 over the final seven minutes of the game and 60-44 in the second half overall. Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 38 points, while Nic Claxton added regular-season highs of 24 points and 15 rebounds. The Nets shot 54.4 percent from the field and 51.9 percent from three-point range in the victory.
Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 26 points, while Jonathan Kuminga had 20 points off the bench. Golden State's reserves combined to score 50 points, but it wasn't enough.
Fans on Twitter had no choice but to call out the Warriors for their second-half lull, which has been a reoccurring theme for the defending NBA champions this season:
Cyruthan Saatsinga @DogSurfRoadshow
The <a href="https://twitter.com/warriors?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@warriors</a> 17 point lead went poof and I can't feel good about this team until they regain their 3rd quarter dominance. The gnats have two players on the floor who are awful at free throw shooting. I don't understand why Kerr isn't taking full advantage of that.
Tamarra The Aries @T_monster
The <a href="https://twitter.com/warriors?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@warriors</a> just falling asleep in the 3rd forcing them to win this game a second time is infuriating. STAY AWAKE and keep your foot on the pedal!!!! Let's go <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DubNation?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DubNation</a>
The Warriors (23-24) have struggled to find consistency this season and are now 3-6 in their last nine outings. Golden State will need to be better down the stretch of games if it hopes to make another deep postseason run.
There will be ample time for the Warriors to evaluate the areas they need to fix, as they will be off until Wednesday when the Memphis Grizzlies (31-15) come to town for a marquee matchup.