The Warriors are going so badly that they barely had enough players to finish the game Friday night.
Only an NBA rule requiring five players to be on the floor kept the Warriors from playing with four in the closing seconds of a 113-104 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors started the game with eight available players but lost one to injury and three to fouls. Guard Stephen Curry was the last to foul out, with four seconds left, and with that the Warriors made NBA history. It was the first time Rule No. 3, Section 1-Team had been invoked.
The rule states, "If a player in the game receives his sixth personal foul and all substitutes have already been disqualified, said player shall remain in the game and shall be charged with a personal and team foul. A technical foul also shall be assessed against his team. All subsequent personal fouls, including offensive fouls, shall be treated similarly."
Joe Crawford, who has been officiating NBA games for 33 years, told Warriors coach Don Nelson that Friday was the first time he's had to apply the rule.
With guard Anthony Morrow suffering a right knee sprain early in the first quarter and center Chris Hunter fouling out midway through the third quarter, the possibility of not having enough qualified players became real. Center Andris Biedrins fouled out with 51.1 seconds left in the game, leaving the Warriors with no reserves.
The Warriors led by as many as 13 points in the first half before the Bucks went on a 16-6 run to start the third quarter. Milwaukee took the lead for good with less than a minute to go in the third.
Golden State stayed close, but with 18.9 seconds left, Brandon Jennings hit a 3-pointer to give the Bucks a 108-102 lead to seal the win.
"I have no complaints from the effort the guys gave," Nelson said. "(It was) the first time that I noticed that fatigue was setting in. It was hard for them to finish with not that much left in the tank."
Right now, though, it might make sense for the Warriors to call in a priest or a rabbi. Someone. Anyone who is capable of removing the injury curse that is haunting them.
After Morrow's knee sprain, small forward Cartier Martin suffered a laceration near his right eye late in the first quarter. Four players were already on the bench in street clothes, leaving Hunter as the only reserve player available for most of the second quarter.
Martin returned by the end of the first half and finished with seven points and eight rebounds. But Morrow, who scored 24 points against Miami on Wednesday, had to leave the game for a second time early in the second quarter. After the game, Morrow said he wasn't sure if he'd be available for Monday's game against Chicago.
Morrow and Warriors swingman Corey Maggette collided with 10:47 left in the first quarter. Morrow went down and retreated to the locker room. He was diagnosed with a mild right knee sprain and returned by the end of the period. Morrow, though, left the game for good with 9:41 left in the first half.
Because of the injury woes, Maggette started at power forward and Morrow played small forward for the first times since Jan. 2 at Portland.
"It's scary," said Warriors forward Devean George, who played a season-high 18:50. "I don't know what's going on or what kind of curse we've got going on."
Despite the thinning ranks, the Warriors carried a 56-48 lead into halftime. Monta Ellis had 19 points at the break and finished with 33. Maggette and Curry wound up with 32 and 18 points, respectively.
Jennings finished with 25 points, two months after he torched the Warriors for 55 points in Milwaukee on Nov. 14.