The Golden State Warriors gave themselves a hole to dig out of early on Sunday night. They fell behind the San Antonio Spurs 6-0, and then 22-10. They trailed by 14 points at the end of the first quarter, as the offense couldn’t hit a shot and the defense simply wasn’t good.
And then the comeback was on. Which meant the Spurs response was on. Which meant the Warriors comeback was on. Which meant the Spurs response was on. And so on and so forth until the buzzer rang, with the Spurs winning 110-108, handing Golden State their second straight loss.
Things got interesting in the third quarter, when yet another Warriors run made things close. But then Draymond Green was called for a technical foul (with what seemed like a very quick trigger), and then, while arguing it, was ejected (with what was definitely a quick trigger). At that point the Dubs were losing, Green was ejected, Steph Curry was sidelined, and Klay Thompson had missed seven straight shots. Doom was written all over things.
But the Warriors worked their way back thanks to key plays by Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, Nemanja Bjelica, Otto Porter Jr., and Jonathan Kuminga, and took their first lead of the game with 29.8 seconds left in the third quarter. The Spurs built a big lead again in the fourth — like I said, they had answers for everything — but the Dubs once again cut into it.
And then came a bizarre and ridiculous ending. With the game tied 107-107 and a few seconds left, Jordan Poole hoisted a deep three, and missed long. The rebound was batted around and eventually ended up in Wiggins’ hands 25 feet from the hoop where, for some odd reason, the Spurs fouled him with just three seconds remaining.
Wiggins made the first free throw to give the Dubs the lead, but missed the second. The Spurs grabbed the rebound, but Kevon Looney was, for unknown reasons, whistled for a foul fighting for the rebound, in a play that looked no more physical than any other rebound attempt at any portion of any game.
It sent Jakob Poeltl to the free throw line, where he tied the game with the first free throw. His second was way off, and after a mad scramble that featured far more contact that what Looney was whistled for, the ball ended up in Keldon Johnson’s hands, where he banked in the game winner with 0.3 seconds remaining.
Stupid. And aggravating. But mostly stupid.
Poole finished with 28 points on 11-for-21 shooting, while Thompson splashed in 24 on 9-for-22 shooting. Porter, who was awesome all game, had 16 points and 16 rebounds, while Bjelica had one of his better games of the year, finishing with 9 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists, and Wiggins had 16 points and 9 rebounds. The Warriors held the Spurs to 38.8% shooting, and out-rebounded San Antonio 57-44, but struggled to take care of the ball and, as a result, took eight fewer shots and four fewer free throws.
With the loss, Golden State falls to 47-24, and 1.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the second seed. They’re back in action on Tuesday, when they begin a five-game road trip by visiting the Orlando Magic.
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