A veteran of the slow-down Eastern Conference for years, Harrington's brain hasn't yet adjusted to life as a Warrior. So when teammate Baron Davis grabbed a rebound with 5.9 seconds left and Golden State down by a point to the New Jersey Nets, his instinctive move was to call for a timeout.
"I was thinking about it, and then I was just like, 'Run,'" Harrington said.
Davis did just that, driving the length of the court before feeding Monta Ellis for an open 17-foot jumper at the buzzer that gave the Warriors a critical 110-109 victory over the New Jersey Nets.
The Warriors (20-23) thus avoided tying their longest losing streak of the season, posted their first win in four tries since revamping their lineup via an eight-player trade with the Indiana Pacers and washed out some of the bad taste from close losses to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lakers in the past week.
"We're starting to get on an edge now where we can fall off and be out of the playoffs in a short period of time if we're not really careful," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "This certainly postpones that and gives us some life. We dodged a bullet. There's no question."
Harrington scored a game-high 29 points with four assists and four rebounds, Ellis finished with 20 points and six assists, and forward Matt Barnes returning from a one-game benching for poor play notched a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
"It is a relief, because we should have three wins," Harrington said.
The Warriors won despite going 5-for-26 from 3-point land as a team and allowing the Nets to shoot 51.3 percent from the floor. Davis had 18 points and 10 assists but struggled mightily from the field, going 6-for-20. Stephen Jackson went 2-for-9 and was benched in crunch time.
"I told Baron that I had to wait 47 minutes and 48 seconds before he finally did something that was positive," Nelson said.
Things certainly looked negative when Davis missed yet another 3-pointer at the 6:22 mark of the fourth quarter, leading to boos from some of the 17,284 fans. They trailed 98-89 and seemed doomed to suffer their seventh loss in eight games.
But Ellis scored on a finger roll with the Warriors' next possession, kicking off a 17-8 run that culminated with Andris Biedrins tapping in a Davis miss for a 106-106 tie with 1:38 to play.
Jason Kidd, who finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists nailed a 3-pointer at the 1:00 mark, and Barnes' 3-point reply rattled out. But the Warriors caught a break when the rebound went out of bounds and remained in their possession. That allowed Harrington to drive the lane, get fouled by Antoine Wright and hit both free throws to make it 109-108, Nets.
New Jersey (20-22) put it in the hands of Bostjan Nachbar, who hurt the Warriors with 14 points and eight boards off the bench, but his 3-pointer went long with 6.9 seconds left.
Davis collected the fateful rebound, then motored down the left side of the court. When Nets guard Marcus Williams left Ellis to try to interpose himself between Davis and the basket, everyone knew where the ball was going.
"I said, 'I better haul it up the court and try to make a play,'" Davis said. "As a young guy, sometimes you get down because you come off the bench, but (Ellis) has been great for us the whole way and accepting every role we've given him this season. He's just a tremendous key to this team."
Ellis coolly drained the jumper and was quickly engulfed by the rest of the Warriors. "I knew it was good," Ellis said. "Once (Williams) left me to go get (Davis), I knew he was going to pass it to me. That's why I kept my hands up, ready to shoot."
The Warriors have one more game at home, against the 14-27 Charlotte Bobcats, before heading on the road for a daunting six-game road trip.
"We needed it, man, we really needed it," Barnes said. "We've really got to learn on the fly with these new guys. This is definitely a good step. Now, (we need to) take care of Saturday's game, get a little winning streak and gain some confidence."