New Orleans was partying.
New Orleans was rocking.
No one thought the Pelicans could really push the Warriors in this series, but this night, last night, was their coming out party.
Anthony Davis was putting on a show and the New Orleans faithful were lapping it up.
The Pelicans went on a 10-0 run to close out the third quarter, taking a 20 point lead into the final frame.
All rational people assumed the game was over. No way the Dubs are coming back tonight. In the playoffs? In New Orleans??
Except that it happened.
I know, I'm just as amazed as you are.
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Kerr goes small heading into the fourth, with a lineup of Shaun Livingston, Leandro Barbosa, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green (playing with four fouls) as the nominal center.
11:45 left in the fourth - Klay misses a three, but Iguodala taps it out to Leandro "WGBC" Barbosa who drives and finishes over Ryan Anderson. Offensive rebounds! Offensive rebounds! 89 - 71 Pelicans lead.
11:28 - Anthony Davis misses on what would have been a huge lob. The crowd groans. In transition, WGBC Barbosa hits a long two. 89 - 73.
11:00 - Another NOLA turnover.
10:16 - Good ball movement from New Orleans leads to a Cunningham two pointer. 91-73
9:44 - Ryan Anderson is doubled, throws the ball away way up into the stands. Another turnover. The TNT cameras pick this moment to show Drew Brees, who is sitting courtside. He glances up, realizes he is on camera and then just looks straight into the lens with this face:
Oh, Drew. What on earth is floating around in your skull behind those steely blue eyes??
9:28 - Livingston gets a shovel pass under the basket from Iggy, puts it in off glass. 91 - 75.
9:05 - Ryan Anderson pulls a serious Dirk and hits the crazy shot off of one leg. 93 - 75. 17 points in the game for Anderson.
Coming back out of commercial, the cameras show THIS GUY:
"Oh yeah, that's a little, that's a little low brow right there. I hope that's as low as the brow goes for that guy.
"We, we have to get off that picture."
/camera cuts to other fans in the concourse.
"Yeah, that's better."
"Fear ...[ugh] .. The Brow."
Barbosa had been fouled before the commercial break, and hits both free throws.
93 - 77, Pelicans lead.
Back and forth baskets. Anderson drives at Iguodala and is fouled. He hits both free throws. 97 - 79.
18 point lead.
Curry checks back in.
7:25 - Klay drives and is fouled. Misses the first, but hits the second free throw. 97 - 80.
7:00 - Draymond drives to the hoop and misses, but Barnes is right there for the put back slam, leading Anthony Davis to jump up from the bench and head to the scorer's table to check back in. However, the game is moving too fast and he won't have an opportunity for another minute or so.
Anderson hits another step back! He is on fire.
6:20 - Livingston drives, missing, but grabs his own rebound and has a huge putback dunk!
5:57 - Anderson AGAIN! Step back over Draymond. What is happening??
5:48 - Curry answers with a deep two. "Quiets 'em down, briefly." 101 - 86
5:10 - Quick release three from Curry in transition leads to a long rebound and run out for Norris Cole, who flushes it with two hands on the other end.
This guy is my hero!
He's wearing a shirt with pink dolphins on it!
TNT announcers: "It's looking like New Orleans' night tonight!"
4:56 - Livingston hits a running answer on the other end. 103 - 90.
4:45 - Great defense by Draymond (still playing with four fouls!) on AD. Forces a turnover and then on the ensuing fast break he's fouled, going to the line. He misses the first, but hits the second. 103 - 91.
4:07 - Airball from AD at the top of the key perfectly lands in Ryan Anderson's hands, but he is BLOCKED by Klay when he goes back up.
3:56 - Klay gets the ball at the top of the arc and drives. He's fouled. The vibe in the building has shifted into a sense of dread. The once jubilant New Orleans fans are thinking, for the first time, "Wait.... Sheeeeet this is getting close." Klay hits both. 103 - 93. Ten point game. Klay leads all scorers with 28 points.
Monty Williams is NOT pleased at the turn of events.
3:43 - Green has another excellent defensive stand against AD, leading to a fastbreak three from Curry, who misses, but BARNES IS THERE WITH THE THROWDOWN!!
103 - 95. Eight point deficit. Timeout New Orleans.
3:14 - Evans misses ---> HUGE follow and put back from AD. Lead back to ten. 105 - 95.
2:49 - Dream shake and turn around from Klay. 105 - 97.
Klay is guarding AD, forces him into a bad shot. Davis grabs it off the rim. Offensive goal tending. Warriors ball.
2:13 - Curry misses, but Draymond is there with a MANSIZED rebound and put back. Gets the roll. 105 - 99.
Great team defense, leads to a long missed three from Jrue Holiday.
1:40 - another missed three from Curry and ANOTHER HUGE BOARD AND PUT BACK FROM DRAY! 105 - 101. Four point game!
Evans misses. --> Klay miss --> AD rebound.
1:00 left. 105 - 101
TNT announcers: "This is where the Pelicans—young team—you gotta grow up and finish this game."
Gordon misses a three -->Curry goes to push it but Steve Kerr calls timeout to draw up a play.
I gotta say this: Kerr was so g'damn cool and collected this whole time. What a level headed badass. HotDamn. Alright, back to it.
The New Orleans crowd is not emotionally prepared for this game.
The Dubs are on a 13-2 run over the past four minutes.
45.1 seconds left.
A series of missed shots followed by a series of Warriors offensive rebounds leads to Shuan Livingston eventually getting fouled and heading to the line.
21.3 seconds left.
Seth Curry, who is in the stands, is so nervous he is literally biting his nails.
Livingston bounces in the first free throw. 105 - 102.
Misses the second. Somehow, Draymond almost comes up with the offensive board again, but refs call is Pelicans ball.
20.1 seconds left. Holy shit. Draymond just moving fools around down there.
The Warriors have eight offensive rebounds through the quarter so far. What? What is this?
Are they really going to do this?? Really??
Funny thing is coming back in this game could just teach the warriors they don't have to remember how to give a fuck yet— Contrarian Barbarian (@basquiatball) April 24, 2015
On the inbounds, Curry and Klay double and almost force the turnover. Somehow, the refs decide instead to call a foul on Steph. He is not pleased.
20.0 seconds left.
New Orleans has to inbound again. Dubs had a foul to give.
The Pelicans get the ball in to Jrue Holiday. Livingston fouls him.
17.4 seconds left.
Hits the first. 106 - 102. Two possession game.
Hits the second. 107 - 102. Warriors timeout.
Have they come this far back only to falter at the very end? How in the holy hell are they going to get five points in 17 seconds?
11.8 seconds left - Curry gets the ball at the top of the arc, pump fakes the bejeezus out of Holiday, who goes flying by, and then calmly BURIES the three. Ahhhhhhhhhhh yea boi! 107 - 105.
Timeout. Holy, holy, holy....
Deep breaths. Positive thoughts. Waves lapping agaist the eternal sands of time and whatnot... Holy. Shit. What now?
This guy is using his NOLA "Play ON!" playoff T-shirt as an emergency barf bag.
11.8 seconds left - The Pelicans throw the ball deep into the back court to Anthony Davis. Draymond, who is guarding him, has to foul. It's his fifth.
9.6 seconds left - AD heads to the line. Scattered "MVP! MVP!" chants from the crowd.
MISSES THE FIRST! Wooooooooooooooodoggy.
Kerr goes big again, reinserting Marreese Speights into the game. [[Note: this will prove to be a very smart move.]]
AD makes the second! Three point game. New Orleans can foul to prevent the three from the Dubs. Kerr draws up a play.
This man knows how it is:
Here we go.
Green inbounds. Gets it to Curry. No foul! Curry let's it fly! AGH! He misses! But, wait!! Speights with the rebound and Curry with the reload in the corner as AD AND CO CRASH INTO HIM AND HE LET'S IT GOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOLY SHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETTTTTTTT AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA WUUUUUUUUUUUT?
2.8 seconds left.
hahahahahahaha— Bram Kincheloe (@BramKincheloe) April 24, 2015
STEPH LEVITICUS CURRY! https://t.co/TexcXcgV4G— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) April 24, 2015
Evans runs down the court and launches a running three as time expires. NO GOOD! OVERTIME!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! Overtime baby!!!!!!— Ayesha Curry (@ayeshacurry) April 24, 2015
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Now, we could keep this going all through the overtime period, but we won't.
The Warriors, with all the momentum, won the game. There was a strange play involving the refs and a foul on AD and some dumb shit happened that enabled New Orleans to have one last shot to win it, but they didn't.
Various post-game reactions from around the web:
Real MVP! @babers_mary pic.twitter.com/CcoKuUiYA2— Julie Phayer (@juliephayer) April 24, 2015
Hey Pelicans!!! I'm playing your favorite song...BLOW THE WHISTLE! WARRIORS COME OUT AND PLAYAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!! pic.twitter.com/GsWX0MCGOX— Henry Wofford (@HenryWoffordCSN) April 24, 2015
Woow that's all I have to say #dubnation— Marreese Speights (@Mospeights16) April 24, 2015
I feel like it's mean to ask New Orleans to play a 4th game now— Contrarian Barbarian (@basquiatball) April 24, 2015
Do I really have to write a blog post about this game? I feel like I should just run screaming through the streets giving people high-fives.— Fast Break (@GSWFastBreak) April 24, 2015
Warriors locker room featured dapping, music playing, yelping, Leandro Barbosa dancing by all accounts.— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) April 24, 2015
What a night! What a game! Basketball gods were with the Warriors tonight.— Rosalyn Gold-Onwude (@ROSGO21) April 24, 2015
Yeah, #StephGonnaSteph. pic.twitter.com/5F4io2CD17— Golden St. Warriors (@warriors) April 24, 2015
As @WillBrinson pointed out about Steph Curry's incredible three, not sure his eyes were even open on the release pic.twitter.com/iBklUHcuS1— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) April 24, 2015
@babers_mary your son is the greatest thing to happen to the Bay Area since good weather and Joe Montana!— Taylor Eigsti (@tayloreigsti) April 24, 2015
And the craziest graph I've seen in quite some time:
HOLY CRAP, the win probability chart from Warriors-Pelicans http://t.co/zQldAiEWtw pic.twitter.com/1tmjyhN5n5— Erik Malinowski (@erikmal) April 24, 2015
What a night!
Deep breaths. Eternal sands of time. Whatnot.
Game four tomorrow.