The Warriors were in control, then completely out of rhythm and then rode their competitive spirit to get back into a game that meant nothing to them.
It was, in the end, not quite enough to save the Warriors from their second consecutive defeat.
Unable to stave off a fierce Pelicans rally in the third quarter, the Warriors ended up with a 103-100 loss on Tuesday night at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.
The Warriors (63-15) had a chance to tie it in the final seconds, but Stephen Curry's 3-pointer rimmed out, allowing the Pelicans to secure a victory that lifted them past Oklahoma City and into eighth place in the Western Conference.
Curry finished with a team-high 25 points and a game-high nine assists. Forward Draymond Green was the only other Warrior to score in double figures, putting in 24 points. No other Warrior scored more than eight points, with Klay Thompson and Andrew Bogut each reaching that total.
Forward Anthony Davis led New Orleans (42-35) with a game-high 29 points, including a pair of free throws with nine seconds left that provided a final margin. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked four shots.
After being whistled for two fouls in the first four minutes, Green was sent to the bench. He was upon his return nothing short of fabulous and therefore gets the honor.
Green did commendable work defending Davis, but was an absolute force in all other facets. His line speaks volumes: 24 points, 14 rebounds (game high), four assists, one steal and one block.
Bogut also gets a piece of the action. Anytime a man blocks nine shots, he must be acknowledged and applauded.
Though the Warriors rolled through the first half, this one was in doubt throughout the second half – all the way until the final seconds.
It was New Orleans that delivered the defining moment. With the Warriors up 55-43 at the half, the Pelicans responded with a 22-9 run to open the second half, taking a 65-64 lead with 5:48 left in the third quarter.
The Warriors suddenly were on their heels and though they fought back and even took a lead, they never again took command.
The Warriors prior to the game listed no injuries and none were reported during the game.
The Warriors return home for the final four games of the regular season, beginning Thursday night when the Portland Trail Blazers come to Oracle Arena.