OAKLAND, Calif.--Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson had no problem with Stephen Curry passing up the do-or-die shot at the buzzer.
Curry found a wide-open Harrison Barnes with the game's final seconds ticking away, but the struggling second-year man couldn't convert as the Warriors fell 121-120 to the Minnesota Timberwolves at Oracle Arena in a game otherwise filled with offensive fireworks Friday.
"That's a heck of a play, and we missed the shot," Jackson said of Curry, who poured in 33 points and wished he had added one more to his final total of 15 assists.
"Your job as a superstar or star basketball player is to put us in position to get us a great look, and he did his job. That didn't lose us the ballgame."
What irked Jackson was a Warriors defense that struggled to get stops at the start of the game and ended up allowing the Timberwolves' Kevin Martin to hit the winning jump shot with 8.4 seconds left, sending Golden State to its fourth loss in five games and third in a row at Oracle.
Martin finished with 26 points and afterward mused he thought each team was going to score 200 points. All-Star big man Kevin Love had 26 points and 14 rebounds, and center Nikola Pekovic added 22 points and 14 rebounds, with baskets coming too easily for Jackson to accept.
"I think that we are not defending at a high level to start ballgames. We've been bad, and that's on our starters," Jackson said.
"We have not been ready for whatever reason, and it's been disappointing. The proof is in the pudding. The history of this franchise, the history of this basketball team, you are not going to get anywhere attempting to outscore people, and that's not who we are, and that's not who we're going to be."
Andre Iguodala tried to rally the Warriors with 11 of his 16 points in the game's final four minutes. He hit two free throws with 27.9 seconds left to give the Warriors a 120-119 lead before Martin had the last laugh.
Curry had the ball in his hands on the final play but said he saw two defenders in his way and Barnes open to take the shot. It missed, and Barnes finished with two points on 1-for-7 shooting.
"It's just one of those things where we did not want Curry to get it," Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said.
"He made a nice play, the guy was open, but you have to pick your poison sometimes."
Said Curry of the opportunity at having Barnes get an open look: "It's a great shot, one that we'll take."
Scoring, Curry said, was not Golden State's problem. The Warriors scored the final 10 points of the third quarter to seize a 98-91 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Curry connected on a 3-pointer, saw his layup miss tipped in by Draymond Green and then passed to a wide-open Marreese Speights for a dunk to cap the scoring in the quarter.
The Warriors and Timberwolves scored at will in the first half, going into the locker room with the score tied at 63 and the lead having changed eight times.
The Warriors' Klay Thompson caught fire with 16 first-half points, finishing with 18. Curry scored 15 points in his first quarter of play since receiving word he was voted an All-Star game starter.
Curry put the Warriors ahead 29-28 -- their first lead of the evening--when he completed a four-point play, banking in a 3-pointer while getting fouled. It was a quick six-point spurt for Curry, who after a driving in for a layup quickly got the ball back for the 3-pointer after a steal on the other end from Green.
David Lee finished with 23 points and seven rebounds, and Andrew Bogut had eight points, 11 rebounds and seven blocks. Both Warriors big men remained in the starting lineup after having suffered injuries in the team's previous game.
--Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant, asked on Twitter who would win in a 3-point shooting contest between him and Curry, tweeted, "Steph any day, best shooter to ever play."
Durant has gone on a tear of late, scoring at least 30 points in his last nine games before missing Friday's game at Boston with a sore shoulder.
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