OAKLAND -- There are those nights when the mind strays, the body betrays and the game becomes a chore. It's a distressing place for a basketball team.
That's where the Warriors were on Thursday. Having already accomplished their regular-season goals and trying to stay fit for the playoffs, they returned to Oracle Arena after a four-game road trip and failed to summon any real energy or verve.
They still found a way to win, beating the Phoenix Suns 107-106 when Harrison Barnes shoved up a 5-foot floater than bounced off the back rim before dropping through with 0.4 seconds remaining.
Not until then did the Warriors escape the plucky Suns and the quicksand that comes with trying to truly engage when nothing beyond pride is at stake.
"I don’t think anyone got up for it from the start," center Andrew Bogut conceded. "It was an ugly game at the start.
"But give (the Suns) credit. They've got a lot of guys playing for contracts, and young guys that want to prove themselves. So it was a good battle for us. We needed a game to go down to the wire, to have to execute and make plays. And we did."
The game-winning basket redeemed Barnes, who in the final minute made two glaring defensive errors -- neither of which went unnoticed by coach Steve Kerr -- which led to baskets that put Phoenix ahead.
"They played really well," Kerr said of the Suns. "They outplayed us tonight."
But Barnes' bucket rescued the Warriors (62-13), extending their win streak to 11 and pushing their home record to a league-best 35-2.
"Coach Kerr kind of looked at me after I made the shot, like, 'You messed up on those two defensive possessions, but it's OK,' " Barnes said.
It's always OK when the result is victory, no matter how tedious the journey. Kerr before the game said he planned to play a lot of people, and he kept his word. Ten different players logged at least 15 minutes.
"We played a lot of different people and tried a lot of different combinations, and maybe that got us into some trouble," Kerr said. "But more likely it was just kind of a natural letdown game after the other night. We had the day off (Wednesday) and we just didn't look very engaged out there."
The Warriors often take over games with a single spurt that begins on defense, and that appeared to be the case when they held Phoenix (38-38) to 29.2-percent shooting in the second quarter and went into the half with a 55-44 lead.
But the Suns, with their playoff hopes barely alive, came back in the third and fourth quarters, taking a 94-93 lead with 4:32 to play. The teams spent the rest of the game trading leads no more than four points before the Barnes finally ended things.
"This one was tough just because we've been on the road and we were in L.A. for a little bit," said Stephen Curry, who scored a game-high 28 points. "I'm just trying to shake the cobwebs off (being) back at home."
That's precisely how it looked -- just in time for the Warriors to pack up once again and take to the road Friday for three games between Saturday and Tuesday.
Curry's 6-of-11 shooting from 3-point distance represented the seventh consecutive game in which he shot at least 50 percent from deep. He also has made his last 51 free throws.
Rookie James Michael McAdoo came off the bench and acquitted himself well, with eight points, a career-high eight rebounds, and a steal.
Klay Thompson tied his season-high with six assists, including a big one to Curry, whose ensuring 3-pointer gave the Warriors a 105-104 lead with 6.8 seconds left.
Bogut once again was a factor in the middle, with eight points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots.
Curry's turnover bug bit him. The point guard committed six giveaways, for which he will pay a fine -- to his mother, Sonya. Until his game-winner, Barnes had disappeared again. After shooting 69.4 percent over a three-game stretch when Thompson injured, he's shooting 36.8 percent since Thompson's return.
This one was long and ugly and, in many ways, an abomination on the game. The Suns certainly played harder and with more desire. The Warriors are the better team, though, and that eventually was revealed. If there is anything at all to take from this game, it's that the Warriors were able to practice a late-game pressure situation in live action. That's something they should anticipate in the playoffs.