Houston Rockets Win Game 4: Kevin Durant said: R20;I wish I had that last playback”. Referring to the Golden State Warriors’ final transition possession. With less than 12 seconds remaining in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday.
The Houston Rockets were up by two points. When Draymond Green pulled down a defensive board to start the break. He passed it to Durant, who dribbled the ball up the court. Instead of taking a shot, Durant found a cutting Klay Thompson along the baseline.
Trevor Ariza closed hard on Thompson, forcing Thompson to put the ball on the floor before firing up an ill-advised turnaround airball. Durant saw demanding a kick-out. And with 5 seconds on the clock. Green called for a timeout that went unnoticed by the officials.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr stuck by his decision not to call a timeout as soon as his team secured possession.
R20;Well, I wanted the timeout,” Kerr said. R20;Draymond tried to call one around 4 seconds, but he got trapped. And at that point, the officials weren’t looking, and they’re not going to look down at our bench. So I saw Draymond trying to call it and I was hoping they’d give it to us, but we didn’t get it.
R20;But I’m always a proponent of pushing the ball off of a miss and not taking a timeout, letting the defense get set up. So, I thought we’d get a better shot in transition. That’s why I let them play.”
Golden State went into the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead, but the Warriors managed to score only 12 points in the frame, while Houston Rockets put up 25 points to come away with the 95-92 win. The Houston Rockets evened the series at two games apiece.
Durant gave a breakdown of what he was thinking on that crucial last possession.
“I raced it down, I was trying to see if I had some options, I saw Klay running along the baseline. And maybe should have waited until he set his feet, but I just threw a bounce pass and tried to relocate for it,” he explained. “But, man! is not the reason we lost the game.
“It’s the Western Conference finals,” Green said. “When you’re battling getting to the Finals, no one worried about fatigue. We’re just trying to do what you got to do to win the game.”
Thompson suffered a knee contusion in the second quarter after he banged it on the hardwood. He headed to the locker room for treatment, then re-entered the game soon after. Team officials said his injury is of no concern moving forward.
“It’s sore, but it’s early,” Thompson said. “I’m anticipating feeling better tomorrow.”
The Warriors dropped a golden opportunity to end the series in Houston on Thursday, but the locker room was surprisingly in good spirits following Tuesday’s contest. Durant told ESPN they “just have to get another one” on the road.
As a team, the Warriors expressed disappointment in not sustaining a high level of play than focusing on one possession. Durant said that’s what they need to fix to go into Game 5.
“It’s the game that we’ve got to get better at, especially in the fourth,” he said. “I think going up 10 going into the fourth, it was a good opportunity for us to kind of take control, and we didn’t. So I definitely wish I had that last playback. So I’m going to watch film and see what my options were and just hope if I’m in that place again I’ll be better.”
Green offered his take. “We know we made a lot of mistakes down the stretch in that fourth quarter. So, we’ll be fine,” he said.