Thanks to 38.1 percent shooting, the Warriors couldn't pull off the upset on Fan Appreciation Night. That they couldn't, losing 103-94 to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday, is something many fans appreciate.
The Warriors are still in the mix for the third-worst record in the NBA, which means a better chance of landing one of the top three picks in June's NBA draft. The teams with the worst records get the best chance of having the pingpong balls bounce their way in the May 18 draft lottery, which determines the order of the draft.
Before Tuesday's loss to the Jazz, Golden State had won six of its past 10 games, irritating many fans looking forward to getting the highest pick possible.
"I get messages on my Facebook," forward Anthony Tolliver said. "Fans of Golden State saying, 'Just go ahead and blow this one so we can get more pingpong balls.' We're not doing that. We're not throwing games. We're trying to win every game we can."
The Warriors finished their home schedule 18-23. Warriors guard Monta Ellis played all 48 minutes, finishing with 14 points on 4-for-22 shooting with six assists and five rebounds. Forward Devean George had a season-high 21 points off the bench. Tolliver and Reggie Williams combined for 29 points and 18 rebounds.
But Utah, still in the hunt for a Northwest Division title, managed to stiff-arm the Warriors despite a first-half injury to forward Carlos Boozer and an off-night by point guard Deron Williams,
"We still gave ourselves a chance to win," Ellis said. "We were in the game until the end. Nothing more I can say."
The Warriors clawed and hustled their way to a 47-all tie at halftime after trailing by as much as seven. George nailed a turnaround baseline jumper at the buzzer to give the Warriors some life.
Being tied was no doubt a good spot for the Warriors — who shot 38.6 percent from the field, including 3-for-15 from 3-point range. But they didn't capitalize, however.
Though they were tied despite cold shooting, though the Jazz lost Boozer to a rib injury in the second quarter, though Williams picked up his fourth foul a minute into the second half, the Warriors still fell behind in the third quarter.
The Warriors got even colder on offense in the third, going 7-for-22. With Millsap destroying the Warriors on the boards, and guard Wesley Matthews' 10 points giving Utah somewhere to go on offense, the Jazz was able to create some cushion.
Golden State trailed 77-69 entering the fourth quarter and never got close to scaring the Jazz. Of course, to some fans, that's a good thing.
"That shouldn't be an issue, to sacrifice our feelings at the end of the year to try to get more pingpong balls," rookie guard Stephen Curry said after totaling 17 points, six assists and five rebounds. "When you're in it, whenever they do the pingpong-ball thing, you want to be No. 1. But that's not something to think about right now."
Notes: Warriors general manager Larry Riley, in his season-ending chat with the press before the game, said coach Don Nelson will be back as coach next season as long as he's around. "It would take something that would be uncharacteristic or an oddity," said Riley said. That something could happen as the Warriors are for sale. A new owner could get rid of Nelson, and Riley for that matter. But unless that happens, all signs point to Nelson being on the Warriors sideline next season. "I really like the players," Nelson said. "I think they play the game the right way. There's a very strong bond in there, especially with our younger guys. ... My motivation is to do a good job and develop the team and do what coaches do. And I'm under contract." ... The announced attendance was 19,230 for the final home game of the season. The Warriors finished with an average of 18,027. That is a slight drop from last season (18,942), but it's Golden State's fifth consecutive season topping 18,000. Only seven other teams can claim such a feat: Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, San Antonio, New York, Utah and the Los Angeles Lakers. ... The NBA recalled the Rookie of the Year ballot from Charlotte Bobcats broadcaster Dell Curry. His son, Stephen, is a serious candidate for winning the award. The elder Curry will be allowed to vote in other categories, but his Rookie of the Year vote will be given to another Bobcats media member.