The Golden State Warriors overcame a five-point deficit in the final 12 seconds, hit a ridiculous three-pointer to force overtime, and beat the New Orleans Pelicans 123-119 in the most dramatic game of the playoffs so far.
When you break down the final 12 seconds, you find that a combination of New Orleans errors, Golden State savviness, and Stephen Curry brilliance formed the perfect storm that resulted in the most unlikely of finishes.
Here’s how it happened.
Down 107-102 with 11.8 seconds left, Curry pump-faked Jrue Holiday out of the gym and hit a three to make it 107-105:
Anthony Davis got fouled and had a chance to end the game with two free throws. Instead, he missed the first and made the second to make it 108-105 with 9.6 seconds left:
That’s when things went bananas. The Warriors inbounded the ball to Curry and he missed a shot, but Marresse Speights got the rebound and passed it back to Curry in the corner, who hit a game-tying three-pointer over two defenders.
Here’s the full sequence (breakdown below):
First of all, Curry is really lucky that his first shot missed. Why? Because his foot was on the line. It would have been 108-107 Pelicans if this had gone in:
If New Orleans simply grabbed the rebound, they would have won. Instead, Anthony Davis failed to box out Marresse Speights, who ended up in the right place at the right time:
Look at where Speights was when the original shot went up. Nearly 20 feet from the basket:
After the shot, Curry’s defender Quincey Pondexter lost track of Curry. Pondexter jumped out on Draymond Green while Curry leaked to the corner, where he had enough space for the shot:
Curry never stopped moving:
Finally, Curry hit one of the most ridiculous shots you’ll ever see with 2.8 seconds left to force OT:
The Pelicans had every chance to win this game. Davis could have made a free throw. Pondexter could have stayed on Curry after the initial miss. Davis could have boxed out. But ultimately they gave Curry a half of a chance to burn them, and he did.
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