The Golden State Warriors don’t really have to win and play hard in every remaining game, but they didn’t let the Phoenix Suns walk away with a surprising win inside the ORACLE arena, as a Harrison Barnes shot with 0.4 seconds left on the clock won it 107-106.
On 90’s night, the Warriors almost lost for the third time at home this season. The final 40 seconds included lead changes aplenty, capped off by Barnes scoring a weird looking shot, which could have been overruled by calling traveling, but that’s not going to happen in the NBA, and especially not when the best team in the league is playing at home.
So who did things go down? Klay Thompson hit a wide open 3-pointer with 40 seconds remaining to tie the game at 102-102. P.J. Tucker, a great defender but not the most talented offensive player, drove to the basket to give the Suns another lead (104-102) with 26 seconds left to play. Stephen Curry hit a 3-pointer with 8.5 on the clock to give the Warriors a 105-104 lead.
But Eric Bledsoe refused to let his team lose and on a rough night for him, which included a lot of futile chasing after Curry (28 points, 5 assists), and hit a layup with 4.5 seconds remaining to put the Suns back in the lead. But the Warriors, maybe a bit lucky, refused to let a celebratory night turn into a disappointing one, getting the effort from Barnes to go in.
The game included some fancy dancing from Curry after a wild Barbosa shot and cute celebrations from young fans after the game winner from Barnes. The postgame comment section also included Andrew Bogut having a chance to take another verbal shot at Mark Jackson, a head coach he really didn’t care for and wasn’t too sad to see him leave.
Jackson said before the game that Stephen Curry is still his guy, but he doesn’t deserve to win the MVP. Bogut replied by referring to Jackson as ‘what’s his name‘. It’s eating Jackson from the inside to see the Warriors do so well this season under Steve Kerr, angry because he was fired, and angry because he’s not getting the recognition he thinks he deserves for his work with the team in the previous three seasons.
The Suns aren’t making the playoffs. They won’t catch up with the Thunder. The Warriors? They’re preparing for OKC and so far, not slowing down even though they can start resting everyone. However, maybe the Pelicans end up being the team they’re playing against which is fine by them, although it’s hard to believe there is a single team the Warriors are actually worried about going into this postseason with the best record in the NBA.