Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 4/25/12

Golden State Warriors fans have proven over the years to be among the most loyal in the NBA.

Tuesday night, they demonstrated they also might be the most intelligent.

In a you-had-to-be-there-to-believe-it turn of events, the Warriors faithful actually applauded a great defensive play by New Orleans unknown Gustavo Ayon and then roared in approval when their own Chris Wright was guilty of a game-losing goaltending violation in the final seconds of an 83-81 home loss to the Hornets.

It was the first game of the Bob Myers era as general manager, and chances are the ex-agent will never see another like it.

Having recorded an improbable victory Sunday at Minnesota in their third game in three nights, the Warriors took the Oracle Arena court on Tuesday knowing a win over the lowly Hornets would almost assuredly cost Golden State its first-round draft pick in June.

The Warriors must land among the bottom seven teams after the draft lottery in order to keep their first pick. Otherwise, it goes to Utah as part of a trade the Warriors made with New Jersey.

A 24th win Tuesday would have assured the Warriors would enter the lottery with either the eighth- or ninth-worst record. Their chances of finishing in the bottom seven under those circumstances would have been less than 10 percent.

Instead, a 42nd loss put the Warriors in the likely position of tying either New Jersey or Toronto for seventh-worst record, setting up unquestionably the most important coin flip in franchise history. The winner of that coin flip will have a better than 50-50 chance of retaining the seventh pick (or better) following the lottery.

With just one game remaining, the Warriors will tie the winner of Thursday's Nets-Raptors game in the final standings if Golden State should lose that night at home to San Antonio.

It wouldn't have been possible if not for perhaps the most exciting final five seconds of a Warriors game all season.

With the score tied at 81 in the final minute, the Warriors missed two consecutive shots, but kept possession thanks to a pair of Chris Wright offensive rebounds.

Charles Jenkins ran down the clock from the point and drove to the hoop with five seconds remaining. But Ayon blocked Jenkins' close-range shot, and the Hornets found Marco Belinelli upcourt on a breakaway.

With the Oakland crowd cheering wildly for Belinelli to beat the final buzzer, Golden State's Wright incredibly caught the ex-Warrior from behind and blocked his layup at the rim with seventh-tenths of a second to go, only to be called for goaltending.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Is Anthony Davis really the best big man from UK in the NBA?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Greg Hardy told police someone slipped cocaine in his wallet

Report: LSU will ‘gauge the interest’ of Saban, Meyer, others

Dustin Byfuglien didn’t enjoy the World Cup of Hockey

Marlins’ Dee Gordon emotional after lead-off HR

Patrice Bergeron’s worries go away with Brad Marchand’s contract signed

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Gabbert in danger of losing starting job to Kaepernick

John Fox won't commit to Cutler as starter when healthy

Report: Austin Sefarian-Jenkins claimed by Jets off waivers

Dez Bryant to undergo MRI after suffering knee injury

Report: Adrian Peterson determined to play again in 2016

Report: McDaniels plans to leave Pats, pursue head-coaching job

What the NBA (and world) looked like before Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan

A fond farewell to Vin Scully

So where will the ACC football championship be played?

Gordon: Hitting HR for Fernandez ‘best moment of my life’

Box Score: 9/27 - Goodbyes, farewells and hurdles

Kevin Garnett's unique career proves anything is possible

Jose Fernandez joins tragic list of premature departures

15 greatest calls of Vin Scully's career

Ten NFL early-season studs and duds

Week 4 in college football as explained by Queen

The good, bad, and ugly from Week 3 in the NFL season

LeBron supports Kaepernick but will stand for national anthem

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

What the NBA (and world) looked like before Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan

A fond farewell to Vin Scully

So where will the ACC football championship be played?

Kevin Garnett's unique NBA career proves anything is possible

Jose Fernandez joins tragic list of premature departures

Week 4 in college football as explained by Queen

The good, bad, and ugly from Week 3 in the NFL season

Where does Landon Donovan's return rank?

WATCH: What are the best WR-CB rivalries of all-time?

Bill Belichick may be forced to get hilariously creative to fill his quarterback slot

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker