The Golden State Warriors are a modern basketball dynasty that sometimes feels unbeatable. The regular season has its ebbs and flows, sure, but come spring the Warriors lock in and are a force that few have shown they can handle in a seven-game series.
Regular season games against the Warriors often come down to shooting galleries where Golden State puts up impressive performances. But every now and again, a team gives them a test, and they have to reach back and find a little extra to pull out a win. That’s what it felt like was happening on Friday night when the Warriors hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves. What happened, though, was an extremely weird and somewhat embarrassing result.
Golden State trailed by three in the closing moments of the game, down 130-127 with the ball and 4.4 seconds left on the clock. Curry got the ball in the far corner and launched a three that tied the game with 0.5 seconds left.
But then Curry and the Warriors celebrated, and they almost certainly pointed and laughed at an official on the floor
The team clearly felt that Kevin Durant deserved a chance to win it with a 4-point play on a previous possession. But the game, now tied at 130, was not over. And on the inbound play with half a second to go, Durant was called for this foul.
Towns made both free throws, and the Timberwolves won. And as you can hear from the Timberwolves broadcast, they felt it was an extremely reasonable call to make.
But it was all a bit bizarre, and it would be presumptive to assume that showing up a ref before the game was over somehow cost the Warriors the game. But it was extremely odd that a team would so openly mock an official, basically as a unit, on the court while a game was underway.
And then they lost on an extremely iffy call to boot. After the game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr refrained from actually criticizing officials, but it was clear he wasn’t happy with the call.
As expected, Kerr was also upset about the lack of call in Durant’s favor on the three he made late in the game.
It’s clear the Warriors are frustrated after this one, but it’s still the regular season. These games are bound to happen for them, even if it’s under extremely odd circumstances.