SAN FRANCISCO — A lot can happen in the matter of a second.
The Warriors found that out the hard way Wednesday night.
One game after Kevon Looney made the putback basket at the buzzer to push the Warriors past the Atlanta Hawks in double-overtime, Golden State experienced what it was like to end on the opposite side of the result as they fell 122-119 at the hands of the Detroit Pistons.
The Warriors looked to be heading into overtime for their second consecutive game after Klay Thompson hit a game-tying 3 with a second left in regulation.
But forward Shaddiq Bey responded on the other end, nailing a dagger 3 off the inbound pass as time expired.
“It was a tough way to lose. It looked like we had covered the play pretty well… but Saddiq freed himself up there at the last second,” coach Steve Kerr said after the Warriors suffered their first loss in two weeks. “He hit one of those shots that usually isn’t going to go in but I also feel like the game rewards the team that maybe plays harder.”
The Warriors had trailed the Pistons for the majority of the game and never led by more than one heading into the final period. Fatigue could’ve played a factor for the undermanned Warriors, who played 10 extra minutes two nights prior, with four of its starters having logged north of 40 minutes in that win over the Hawks.
Thompson had gotten off to a slow start before exploding for 17 of his game-high 30 points in the fourth.
A breakaway layup by Thompson put the Warriors up 99-98 for their first lead since early in the second. The Pistons responded with a 7-0 run. But Golden State hung tough. The Warriors had a chance to take the lead as the clock wound down, but Jordan Poole lost the ball and committed a turnover.
Golden State sent Killian Hayes to the line, who made a pair of free throws to extend the Pistons’ lead to three, giving the Warriors four seconds to make something happen.
Thompson answered the call, knocking down a 3 to tie it at 119 with a second left. This one looked like it was going into overtime, again, but Bey hit the game-winner as the clock expired. The Pistons joyfully celebrated after securing the regular-season series sweep while a short review of the play confirmed Bey got it off in time, effectively snapping the Warriors’ season-long five-game win streak.
That one hurt. Several of the Warriors players walked away in disbelief. Donte DiVincenzo had his hands on his hips and shook his head as he headed toward the team’s tunnel.
One fan yelled, “I can’t believe they lost!” as she walked toward the exit.
“It never feels good,” Thompson said. “We fought really hard and gave ourselves a chance to win it. Bey made an incredible shot, so credit to him.
“Five-win run at home; hopefully, we can bounce back Saturday… We have a great opportunity to really finish great on this last stretch.”
Draymond Green picked up his 11th and 12th technicals of the season. He was tossed with 1:24 left in the game after getting into it with Isaiah Stewart. The two had gotten physical trying to get a rebound on the previous play.
Green said he was trying to de-escalate the situation, telling Stewart to “chill out, bro.”
Kerr took issue with the call that sent Green to the showers early.
“In my mind, it’s like, do we have to call a double technical and eject a guy from the game because two guys in a really competitive game in the most competitive basketball league on earth are — oh my, who knew they were actually going to get a little upset with each other like this is the game. It’s what people pay to see, competition in its highest form,” Kerr said. “So to come out of a timeout, we’ve already drawn up our play, Draymond’s on the floor and then we go to inbound the ball and they tell us Draymond has been ejected. That’s a tough one. I haven’t experienced that before. And I prefer in those situations where the officials have the awareness that somebody’s got a T, we’re going to kick him out because two guys get into a little yelling match or whatever it was. If it’s earned, it’s earned. And maybe I’m totally wrong and if I’m wrong then that’s my fault. But I don’t really believe there should be double technicals that lead to an ejection for that.”
The Warriors will have two days off before returning to action Saturday against the Orlando Magic.