Nine minutes of disaster could spell the end of Golden State Warriors' season

New Orleans Pelicans v Golden State Warriors
New Orleans Pelicans v Golden State Warriors / Kavin Mistry/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors chances of the Western Conference's eighth-seed have all but evaporated after a disastrous second-quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night.

After an 11-point lead early in the game, the Warriors were outscored 38-15 over the final nine minutes of the first-half as the Pelicans took control during a 25-point turnaround.

A 114-109 defeat has all but ensured the Golden State Warriors will need to win a pair of Play-In games to make the playoffs

While there's countless moments Golden State may come to rue in their up-and-down season, those nine minutes of basketball may prove the final dagger. The Warriors were otherwise the better team across the other 39 minutes, but the blistering Pelicans run was so devastating that it proved too great to overcome.

New Orleans couldn't miss from deep during the second-quarter, though Golden State didn't help themselves with nine unforgiveable turnovers. The hosts pulled to within five early in the third-quarter, yet the Pelicans steadied to extend the margin back to 13 ahead of the final period.

Stephen Curry did his best to ignite a monumental comeback with 16 fourth-quarter points, but the 36-year-old's game-tying three-point attempt in the final 15 seconds went awry to sink the Warriors' chances.

While Zion Williamson had 26 points on the night, it was the Pelicans' three-point barrage that proved the difference. CJ McCollum and Trey Murphy III combined to shoot 14-of-22 from beyond the arc, with the visitors shooting 20-of-38 (52.6%) from deep overall compared to Golden State's 13-of-34 (38.2%).

Curry led the Warriors with 33 points, four rebounds and five assists, though the two-time MVP did have seven turnovers including some rather lackadaisical ones during the nightmare second-quarter.

Klay Thompson had 19 points but shot 6-of-19 from the floor, while Andrew Wiggins' 18 points came on only 5-of-14 shooting. Draymond Green went scoreless but had 12 rebounds and 11 assists, with Trayce Jackson-Davis adding a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double.

The loss is made all the more frustrating for the Warriors after the Phoenix Suns did their part of the job by coming back to beat the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Golden State can still mathematically finish eighth, yet need to beat the Utah Jazz, have the lowly Portland Trail Blazers beat the Kings, and the Pelicans to beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the final day of the regular season on Sunday.