Warriors get slight silver lining after disappointing loss to Pelicans

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

The Golden State Warriors suffered a potentially season-defining loss on Friday night, falling 114-109 to the New Orleans Pelicans at home after a disastrous second-quarter where they were outscored 45-22.

A win would have pushed the Warriors into the Western Conference's eighth-seed, with the Phoenix Suns having done them a favor by overcoming a seven-point deficit in the final five minutes to beat the Sacramento Kings 108-107 at Golden 1 Center.

The Sacramento Kings loss on Friday has provided a slight, albeit frustrating silver lining for the Golden State Warriors

While Golden State blew an opportunity that could prove a dagger in their season, Sacramento's loss does leave the door slightly ajar for the eighth-seed to still be claimed. The Warriors have moved back to the tenth-seed, sitting tied with Kings and a game behind the Los Angeles Lakers.

Golden State can still finish eighth provided they beat the Utah Jazz, the Portland Trail Blazers defeat the Kings in Sacramento, and the Pelicans beat the Lakers in Los Angeles. While the Warriors would be heavy favorites to beat the Jazz, so too would the Kings to overcome the Trail Blazers.

The other slight silver lining for Golden State is that the Lakers now have destiny in their own hands, opening up the very real possibility of the Warriors having to play the Kings in the dreaded 9/10 Play-In game.

Playing the Kings, who have now lost five of their past six games and are without Malik Monk and Kevin Huerter, is a more attractive proposition than heading to Los Angeles to face LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the Lakers.

There's a legitimate chance the Warriors would need to face the Lakers anyway should they beat the Kings, but at least in that scenario they're on the doorstep of making the playoffs. Los Angeles were far from convincing themselves in a 123-120 victory over a depleted Memphis Grizzlies.

It's far from an ideal scenario for Golden State, yet at the very least there's hope of the eighth-seed entering the final day of the regular season. Each of the Warriors, Kings and Lakers games will start at 3:30 PM on Sunday.