It was a wild, unpredictable fourth quarter, but in the end, it wound up being a movie that the Phoenix Suns had seen far too often this season. This time though, it likely means the end of their playoff aspirations.
After eight fourth-quarter lead changes—including three in the final minute—the Golden State Warriors pulled out the victory on their home floor, 107-106, on a wild Harrison Barnes close-range shot through traffic to beat the buzzer. It was the fifth time Phoenix has lost on a buzzer-beater this season.
After trailing by double-digits in the second half, Phoenix stormed back in the final period to take the lead a number of times, by as many as four points. The teams traded baskets through the final few minutes, and all along it seemed as if the W would simply go to the team that had the ball last.
That's exactly how it turned out.
Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry each hit gigantic threes to cut down and eventually erase the Suns' late lead. Eric Bledsoe responded late with a huge lay-in to give Phoenix a lead with 4.5 seconds left—and when the Warriors had trouble inbounding the ball, it seemed like it would surely be the game-winner. Until Barnes took the ball down close, hurled it up over traffic and got the friendly roll, resulting in the win. It was one of his two made field-goals on the night.
Curry had a game-high 28 and eight boards, while Thompson finished with 16 and six assists. With the top seed locked up and virtually nothing to play for, Golden State still managed to dig deep and pull off the comeback.
Now five games behind eighth-place Oklahoma City, the Suns' "tragic number" shrinks to two, and their playoff hopes are all but extinguished at this point.
Coach Jeff Hornacek competed in this game by playing his young players though, which is encouraging for the team's future. Rookie T.J. Warren was key in the team's late push, finishing with 17 point and five rebounds—one of four Suns to finish with at least 16. Six Phoenix players finished in double-digits, led by Eric Bledsoe's 18—he also had a double-double, dishing out 11 assists.
Golden State continues their quest to finish with the NBA's second-best all-time record Friday on the road against the Dallas Mavericks. The Suns, still with a mathematical shot at the postseason, take on the Utah Jazz at home on Friday.