It was 69 seconds of glory, followed by 46 minutes of infinitely forgettable infamy.
The Warriors on Wednesday lost a game they were destined to lose. They lost it because they were fatigued, preposterously short-handed and subjected to the masochistic machine that is the Spurs.
"They’re a great basketball team, the best team in basketball right now for a reason," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said after a 111-90 loss at AT&T Center in San Antonio. "Another job well done (by the Spurs), individually and collectively. I give them a lot of credit."
The Warriors ran out to a 4-0 lead, and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich immediately called timeout with 10:51 left in the first quarter, perhaps to remind his team of their current status.
There is the 18-game win streak, the best record in the NBA and the 30-game home win streak over the Warriors.
The Spurs responded emphatically, going on a 16-2 run that led to a 31-18 lead by the end of the quarter. The Warriors (46-29) never got closer than seven after that. San Antonio (59-16) extended its streaks to 19 and 31.
The Warriors, already without starting big men Andrew Bogut and David Lee, also added to Andre Iguodala to the injured list on Wednesday. After a 41-minute performance in victory over Dallas on Tuesday, Jackson decided to give Iguodala a rest to take the stress off his knee tendinitis.
The only members of regular starting lineup to play were guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Jermaine O'Neal started for Bogut, Draymond Green for Lee and Harrison Barnes for Iguodala.
"We knew the task that was in front of us, with the way they have been playing," Curry said. "With the lineup we had tonight we had to fight, and I think the energy and effort was there all game long, just came up a little short. I like the way we played. It’s going to take a lot to beat those guys, we knew that coming in, but to split the road trip and have three home games in a row, we’re looking forward to that."
Though O'Neal played only four minutes in the first half, Jackson said he could have returned but thought it was better to be cautious with the 18-year veteran, who played 33 highly productive minutes the previous night.
Marreese Speights came off the bench to finish with a game-high 22 points. He also grabbled nine rebounds in 30 minutes of action.
"I just keep going out there and playing hard," Speights said. "Coach keeps giving me a chance, and I’m just trying to make the best out of it. Coach is a good coach and he finds guys and gets the best out of them."
THE GOOD: Not much to see here. Speights was active and productive. Hilton Armstrong came off the bench to snag nine rebounds in 16 minutes. Curry did manage a double-double, with 11 points and 10 assists.
THE BAD: Nearly all of it, but mostly the lack of depth. The Warriors were overmatched against the best team in the league playing at its peak. Given the conditions, it's hard to be critical.
THE TAKE: This game was a throwaway night. The trip was a success because the Warriors split two road games against playoff-caliber teams and did it with, in essence, half of their starting lineup. The effort can't be faulted, but the result on Wednesday was as predictable as the win on Tuesday was laudable.