It’s official: The Warriors are out.
They’re going to win 48 or 49 games and miss out on the postseason. They won more games this year than just about anyone expected and yet the season ends in disappointment.
Fact is they needed another win or two to get in. Seems like the only thing left to do is take a look back at five killer losses this season:
» Denver 114, Warriors 105 (Oracle Arena, April 10): The Warriors suffered some harsh losses to inferior teams during the season, but they still had control of their playoff destiny Thursday when the Nuggets came to town.
Both teams entered that game with a 47-31 record and a Warriors win would have given them a one-game lead with just three to play.
The Warriors started well and built a 16-point lead. That would be the high point of the season. Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson shot a combined 14-for-42 from the floor, while Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson combined to go 24-for-41. Ballgame.
» Chicago 114, Warriors 108 (Oracle Arena, Feb. 7): It was Chris Webber’s first game as a Warrior and it might have been the team’s worst performance. Chicago entered the game with a 19-29 record and was without three — yes, three — of their best players: Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon and Luol Deng.
But point guard Chris Duhon scored a career-high 34 points and Davis suffered through a miserable 8-for-24 shooting night, including just 2-for-10 from 3-point range. File this loss under “No Excuse.”
» Charlotte 118, Warriors 109 (Bobcats Arena, March 5): This loss got lost during a 3-1 road trip, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t sting. The Warriors jumped all over the Bobcats early, leading by 16 points and seemingly headed toward blowoutville.
But old friend Jason Richardson, who finished with 42 points, willed Charlotte back into the game and the Warriors couldn’t get their first-quarter mojo back.
In what would become a late-season theme, the Warriors’ bench wasn’t much help, scoring just 14 points on 4-for-15 shooting. Meanwhile, Jared Dudley came off the bench for Charlotte and finished with 10 points and 18 rebounds and Earl Boykins had 12 points in just 19 minutes.
» Los Angeles Lakers 123, Warriors 119 (Oracle Arena, March 24): This overtime loss hurt big-time because of the way it occurred.
The Warriors were down two points and inbounding from midcourt in the final seconds. They never had an opportunity to get off a shot because official Bob Delaney whistled Monta Ellis for a charging foul, despite replays showing that Derek Fisher had actually pulled Ellis down.
A few days after, the NBA acknowledged that Delaney had made an incorrect call. The Warriors might not have won this game anyway, but as they say, we’ll never know.
The Pacers, behind former Warrior Mike Dunleavy, put a 46-spot up in the fourth quarter, going 17-for-17 from the line over the final 12 minutes. The Warriors, on the other hand, went 4-for-11 from the foul line in the period.